UEFA have today named a star-studded 40-man shortlist for their 2014 team of the year that includes players from Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea, but the Premier League trio only feature exclusively on the strength of their efforts in the transfer market.
From the seven Premier League players included only Manchester City trio Vincent Kompany, Pablo Zabaleta and Yaya Toure were based in England last season, with that cast including the only two defenders from the Premier League included.
Arsenal fans will not be surprised to learn that Alexis Sanchez is the only Gunner deemed worthy of a mention alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Arjen Robben, with the verdict on Manchester United's flop from last season just as scathing.
Di Maria the only United star named
If it weren't for Louis van Gaal sanctioning a British transfer record £59.7 million deal for Angel di Maria then the Red Devils would miss out on this marquee shortlist altogether, but thankfully his tremendous displays for Real Madrid last season are not overlooked.
Di Maria was an integral part of the Los Blancos side which finally secured Madrid's 10th Champions League crown, and at the expense of bitter rivals Atletico to boot.
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Chelsea's transfer business looks fantastic
Chelsea also get star men on the shortlist purely based on a transfer raid of La Liga this summer, after bringing Thibaut Courtois back to Stamford Bridge and also wrapping up a £32.5m move for Diego Costa.
Blues boss Jose Mourinho's decision to pinch two of the Atletico Madrid side which stunned La Liga to win the title last season now looks like a masterstroke, with Courtois and Costa enjoying a brilliant start to life in West London that gives them a genuine chance of making UEFA's Team of the Year.
Courtois may miss out to Bayern Munich stopper Manuel Neuer in the fan vote for the title of Europe's top goalkeeper, but Costa is in with a genuine shout of featuring next to Ronaldo and Messi in attack when the final XI is announced.
Unsurprisingly Madrid, Bayern and Barca are mainstays of an incredible cast of talent signalled out for special praise by UEFA's, but far more interestingly this list proves top Premier League clubs now see La Liga as their source for marquee signings in a trend that looks likely to continue.
Goalkeepers: Neuer (Bayern), Courtois (Chelsea), Buffon (Juventus), Beto (Siviglia)
Defenders: Alaba (Bayern), Benatia (Bayern), Boateng (Bayern), Carvajal (Real Madrid), Garay (Benfica), Godín (Atlético Madrid), Hummels (Dortmund), Kompany (Man City), Lahm (Bayern), Miranda (Atlético Madrid), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Zabaleta (Man City)
Midfielders: Xabi Alonso (Bayern), Arda Turan (Atlético Madrid), Di María (Man Utd), James Rodríguez (Real Madrid), Koke (Atlético Madrid), Kroos (Real Madrid), Modrić (Real Madrid), Pogba (Juventus), Rakitić (Barcellona), Reus (Dortmund), Robben (Bayern), Yaya Touré (Man City)
Attackers: Alexis Sánchez (Arsenal), Gareth Bale (Real Madrid), Benzema (Real Madrid), Diego Costa (Chelsea), Ibrahimović (PSG), Lewandowski (Bayern), Messi (Barcellona), Müller (Bayern), Neymar (Barcellona), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Soriano (Red Bull Salzburg), Tévez (Juventus)
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