Ronaldo heads Premier League quintet

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AC Milan star Kaka is the only player from outside the English and Spanish leagues to be named in the FIFPro team of the year announced on Monday.

Prospective world footballer of the year Cristiano Ronaldo is one of five Premier League players named, while there are three representatives of Barcelona and two of Real Madrid.

Ronaldo is in line to win a series of major individual awards, deservedly so in his own opinion, following his astounding 42-goal contribution to Manchester United's double-winning campaign.

And his presence in a team voted for by thousands of players, spanning more than 40 associations, was virtually guaranteed. Perhaps more surprising is that Ronaldo is only joined by one more United player, Rio Ferdinand.

The defender may have turned in a shaky display at Everton on Saturday but generally the 29-year-old has been superb throughout 2008. Indeed, many believe his recent eloquent attack on the WAGS culture around England's abysmal 2006 World Cup campaign bore all the hallmarks of the captain Fabio Capello should have appointed.

Not that too many can argue with Capello's choice of John Terry as, for the fourth consecutive year, the Chelsea skipper has made the team as well.

Like United, Liverpool provide two members of the FIFPro team, including swashbuckling captain Steven Gerrard, who has finally begun to show his club form at international level. Alongside Gerrard is Fernando Torres, who proved to be such a success in his first year at Anfield following a £20million move from Atletico Madrid.

Having prospered under Rafael Benitez, Torres then helped Spain land Euro 2008 and it is not a shock to discover he is one of five members of that side in FIFPro's elite team.

Barcelona's Carles Puyol and Xavi are joined by Real Madrid duo Iker Casillas and Sergio Ramos.

Argentina forward Lionel Messi, also of Barca, is named alongside Kaka.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2008, All Rights Reserved.

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John Terry
Fernando Torres
Manchester United
Cristiano Ronaldo
Steven Gerrard
Rio Ferdinand

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