But despite their inevitable departure appearing on the horizon, the sport looks to be in safe hands as several of the world's most promising stars shone for their teams across Europe's top leagues this weekend.
Some of the best performances came from Joao Felix, Kai Havertz and precocious 16-year-old talent Eduardo Camavinga.
Angolan teenager Camavinga -- appearing in only his 10th senior game for Ligue 1 side Rennes -- played a starring role in the victory over powerhouse Paris Saint-Germain, assisting for Romain Del Castillo to head home to winner.
After a few breakthrough games last season, his performances this term have really started to turn heads as Rennes narrowly lost to PSG in the Champions' Trophy and opened its Ligue 1 campaign with back-to-back wins.
Camavinga was born in Angola and moved to France at the age of two, reports L'Equipe. He was spotted by Rennes playing football in Fougères, 50 kilometers from the city, at the age of 13.
He signed his first professional contract with Rennes in December and, in an attempt to tie down his future at the club a little longer, signed an extension this week until 2022.
Though a native of Angola, L'Equipe say Camavinga is in the process of becoming a French citizen with a view to playing for the national team.
Before Sunday's win over PSG, Rennes manager Julien Stéphan warned of the exposure -- and subsequent necessary protection -- Camavinga will need.
"Exposed, because if he repeats the kind of performance that he achieved against Montpellier (1-0 on the opening day), he has chances to take a greater place in the team," Stephan explained.
"But also protected, because he is not yet seventeen years old, he is still building himself on a muscular level and he has not experienced a Ligue 1 sequence of matches with the intensity it requires yet."