It appears to be that time of the year, doesn’t it? As 2012 draws to a close the cigars and champagne are being handed out as the cream of world football celebrate each other’s achievements.
There’s the Ballon D’Or, in which Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Andres Iniesta will battle it out for the right to be crowned the best player in the world.
Then there’s the FIFA Puskas award for the best goal scored this year , not to mention the FIFA/FIFPro team of the year.
So surely what the world of football needs right now is…..another award shortlist.
This time it’s the UEFA.com users Team of the Year, a poll of European football’s governing body’s website users to find the best team in Europe. Probably no need for the second half of that sentence, the name itself is fairly self-explanatory…
The shortlists for each position have been revealed here (where you can also vote), so GMF has taken it upon itself to name it’s very own XI – Let us know what you make of it and leave your UEFA XI below. Enjoy.
Iker Casillas, Real Madrid – The Real Madrid shotstopper surely deserved a place in the final three for the Ballon D’or? The Spaniard was exceptional at Euro 2012 and his standards have rarely dipped across an impressive 13-year career at Madrid.
Jordi Alba, Barcelona – the former Valencia full-back rose to prominence in earnest at Euro 2012 and his been in brilliant form ever since, his marauding style suits Barcelona down to the ground.
Thiago Silva, Paris Saint-Germain – The Brazilian earned a place in transfer record history when he became the 2nd most expensive defender of all time following his €42 million move to Paris Saint-Germain over the summer.
Mats Hummels, Borussia Dortmund – Germany’s renegade central defender earned a legion of admirers as he helped Borussia Dortmund claim a second successive league title last term, while his efforts at Euro 2012 amply demonstrated his ability going forward as well as at the back.
Phillp Lahm, Bayern Munich – Lahm is a bastion of consistency for Bayern Munich and Germany; he was perhaps his club’s best player as they came within inches of winning the Champions League while he was named in the Euro 2012 team of the tournament.
Andres Iniesta, Barcelona – Could this be the year that someone breaks the Ronaldo v Messi duopoly and claims the Ballon D’Or? Maybe, maybe not, but Iniesta has been at his peak for the last 12 months and perhaps represents the best of Barcelona and Spain more than any of his team-mates.
Andrea Pirlo, Juventus – With age comes experience and there are few with as much nous as Andrea Pirlo – the wily Italian rolled back the years to help Juventus go unbeaten last season on their way to the Scudetto and drive Italy to the brink of Euro 2012 glory.
Xavi, Barcelona – Spain’s chief puppeteer has still got it and while he had a tough Euro 2012, his pass consistency and his ability to dictate proceedings mean he is worthy of a spot in any midfield.
David Silva, Manchester City – In a galaxy of stars, David Silva shone brightest for Manchester City as they claimed their first domestic title in 44 years, while his efforts in helping Spain win Euro 2012 will never be forgotten.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid – the Portuguese superstar’s standards have simply not dipped since he joined Real Madrid – he now has an astonishing 125 league goals in 115 games and shows no signs of slowing down any time soon.
Lionel Messi, Barcelona – Quite possibly the greatest player of all time, Messi broke the record for most goals scored in a single season last time round, smashed the record for most goals in a single Champions League campaign in the process, and is on the cusp of breaking the record for the most goals in a single calendar year. Want more? Ok, he could soon become the first four-time Ballon D’Or winner in history. Magical.
Agree with our selection? Get involved with the debate and leave your selection below!