G20 Brisbane is set to be a clash of the titans, with Vladimir Putin again topping the pops ahead of Barack Obama in the 2014 Forbes ‘Most Powerful’ list.
The Russian leader has annexed Crimea, raged war with Ukraine and signed off on a $70 billion gas pipe line with China has kept the American President out of the top spot for the second year running.
The stone-faced president has polarised opinions with his continued unaccountability over human rights tragedies in Crimea and the MH-17 disaster but is undoubtedly authoritative.
Chinese President and Supreme Leader Xi Jinping has come in third, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel the first female on the list in fifth.
The list comes just hours after President Obama’s Democratic Party was humiliated in the mid-term senate election by the Republican Party.
This blow renders Obama a lame duck president unlikely to be able to pass a bill due to the Republicans now controlling both the senate and the House of Representatives.
Racial issues stemming from the tensions in Ferguson, growing threat of Ebola, and the ISIS driven relapse in the Middle East have all brought about challenges for the outgoing President.
Progressive Argentinean Pope Francis has ranked in at fourth with his work to change the conservative image of the Church making him first non political entry on the list.
The annual list of the 72 most powerful people in the world is voted on by Forbes editors, and considers the use of power and financial resources.
British Prime Minister David Cameron has ranked in at tenth with a total of ten G20 leaders making the cut.
Technology pioneers Bill Gates and Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page have ranked seventh and ninth respectively.
After a year waging a bloodthirsty campaign in the Middle East, self-proclaimed ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has come in at 54th.
As far as an Australian contingency, the Murdoch Family – headed by media mogul Rupert, came in at 32nd on the list with Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s threat to shirtfront Vladimir Putin seemingly not factoring in on the power struggle.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter has slipped one spot polled in at 70th on the list after struggles with corruption within his organisation and surrounding the upcoming Qatar World Cup out weighing the World Cup success in Brazil.
The list comes at a particularly poignant time, with the 20 world economic leaders set to descend on the river city next weekend for discussions on the current economic climate.