Alves, Piqué, Mascherano, Rakitic, Iniesta, Suárez, Neymar and Messi in shortlist of 40 – with voting open to everyone until January 5
For the fifth time, voting is now open for the eleven players in the UEFA Team of the Year. All users of the official UEFA website have until Tuesday 5 January at 1.00pm CET to make their choices athttp://en.toty.uefa.com.
European football’s governing body has made a shortlist of forty players, and the final XI will be revealed on Friday 8 January on its official website.
Current European champions FC Barcelona are understandably well represented, with eight players on the list, namely Dani Alves, Gerard Piqué, Javier Mascherano, Ivan Rakitic, Andrés Iniesta, Luis Suárez, Neymar Jr and Leo Messi, the current UEFA Player of the Year.
Each of the chosen eleven will receive a cheque to donate to the charity of their choice. The shortlist includes ten players that have been nominated for the first time ever, while twelve of them have featured in the final selection in the past. The youngest candidate is Juventus’ 22 year old Paul Pogba, while the oldest is his 37 year old teammate, goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.
A total of 13 different clubs from six different leagues and 19 different nationalities are represented in the complete list, which reads as follows:
Four goalkeepers: Hart (Manchester City), Buffon (Juventus), Neuer (Bayern Munich), Boyko (Dnipro).
Twelve defenders: Dani Alves, Gerard Piqué and Javier Mascherano (FC Barcelona), Alaba and Boateng (Bayern Munich), David Luiz and Thiago Silva (PSG), Godín (Atlético Madrid), Ricardo Rodríguez (Wolfsburg), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Bonucci and Chiellini (Juventus).
Ten midfielders: Rakitic and Andrés Iniesta (FC Barcelona), De Bruyne (Manchester City), Hazard (Chelsea), James (Real Madrid), Konoplyanka and Krychowiak (Sevilla), Çalhanoglu (Bayer Leverkusen), Arturo Vidal (Bayern Munich), Pogba and Marchisio (Juventus), Verratti (PSG).
Ten forwards: Neymar, Luis Suárez and Messi (FC Barcelona), Cristiano Ronaldo and Bale (Real Madrid), Lewandowski and Müller (Bayern Munich), Ibrahimovic (PSG), Agüero (Manchester City), Griezmann (Atlético Madrid), Alexis Sánchez (Arsenal), Morata (Juventus).
The organization published a XI with the players who have appeared there more times:
In goal, the former Real Madrid Iker Casillas, who has appeared six times in the XI (2007, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12).
On the defensive line, the former Barcelona player Carles Puyol (6 times: in 2002, 05, 06, 08, 09, 10), accompanied by White center-back Sergio Ramos (elected four times: 2008, 12, 13, 14) with two European sides: German Philipp Lahm (elected in 2006, 08, 12, 13, 14) and Italian Alessandro Nesta (2002, 03, 04, 07).
Blaugrana midfield, thanks to Xavi Hernández (elected five times: 2008, 09, 10, 11, 12) andAndrés Iniesta (four times: 2009, 10, 11, 12), accompanied by Steven Gerrard (3 times : 2005, 06, 07).
In attack, there is also majority of players related to Barça: Messi (elected in 2008, 09, 10, 11, 12, 14) and Thierry Henry (in 2001, 02, 03, 04, 06). The 3rd striker is Cristiano Ronaldo(elected in 2004, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14).
We also find former Barcelona players on the bench: Ronaldinho (chosen in 2004, 05, 06) and Zlatan Ibrahimovic (in 2007, 09, 13, 14). The rest are goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon(elected in 2003, 04, 06), John Terry (2005, 07, 08, 09), Zinedine Zidane (listed in 2001, 02 03), Pavel Nedvěd (in 2003, 04, 05) and forward Kaka (elected in 2006, 07, 09).