Romario won it in 1994. It was the turn of Ronaldo in 1996 and 1997, and again in 2002. Rivaldo was chosen in 1999, Ronaldinho in 2004 and 2005, and Kaka in 2007.
In a 13-year spell, five Brazilians won the Fifa World Player of the Year award on eight separate occasions, which set the bar for subsequent generations of their compatriots.
The career of Neymar will be seen – by himself and other Brazilians – as falling short of potential if he does not get his hands on the award.
And so if you want to know why the 25-year-old forward might consider leaving Barcelona for Paris St-Germain then it is crucial to understand that how he will be remembered back home in Brazil is paramount.
But beyond that, there is also the issue of why PSG might be the next logical step for Neymar to take if he is to finally win an award that has so far eluded him.