It’s that time of the year to reflect on the football year that’s been.
Cristiano Ronaldo recently won FIFA’s The Best award following an exceptional 2017, and is widely expected to add the Ballon d’Or on December 7.
The finest goal of 2017 was awarded to Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud, who earned the Puskas Award with that stunning scorpion kick against Crystal Palace in January.
UEFA will release their Team of the Year next week and to whet the appetite, they have created an XI that features the players who have appeared in the annual star-studded team the most.
It’s being considered UEFA’s 'Team of the Century' - and it’s certainly sparked debate among football fans.
Check out the team below.
GK | Iker Casillas | 6 appearances
RB | Sergio Ramos | 6 appearances
CB | Gerard Pique | 5 appearances
CB | Carles Puyol | 6 appearances
LB | Philipp Lahm | 5 appearances
CM | Steven Gerrard | 3 appearances
CM | Xavi | 5 appearances
CM | Andres Iniesta | 6 appearances
RW | Cristiano Ronaldo | 11 appearances
ST | Lionel Messi | 8 appearances
LW | Thierry Henry | 5 times
Some team, that. Not one player finished their career without hoisting the Champions League trophy at least once.
Yet, not everyone completely agrees with UEFA’s picks.
As mentioned earlier, the team is made up of the players who have appeared in UEFA’s Team of the Year the most.
That’s why Ronaldinho, who made three appearances, and Dani Alves, four, both miss out, despite being considered among the best players in their respective positions.
Still, the fact that UEFA’s team omits Ronaldinho, and appears to settle the Gerrard/Frank Lampard/Paul Scholes debate, hasn’t gone down well on Twitter.
Check out the reaction below.
Looking ahead to next week’s Team of the Year announcement, it’s likely the XI will feature several Real Madrid players.
Los Blancos are currently 10 points behind Barcelona in the league having lost twice already, but they are coming off the back of a memorable campaign in which Ronaldo and co. lifted the La Liga and Champions League trophies.
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