Ronaldo, Messi, Gerrard: UEFA name Liverpol and Arsenal legends in 'ultimate all-time XI'

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UEFA have released the nominees for their Team of the Year.

As 2020 limps towards its conclusion, no love lost there, we're entering the awards season where football's governing bodies crown everything from the player, manager and goal of the year.

That is, of course, with the major exception of the Ballon d'Or, which was a little ham-fistedly retired by France Football this year due to the disruptions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

UEFA Team of the Year

Nevertheless, FIFA will still lead the way with their 'The Best' awards and UEFA won't be far behind them as they line up 50 nominees who can be voted into their 2020 line-up.

The list of contenders includes some familiar faces with Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Sergio Ramos sitting amongst the legends who have been regularly chosen in UEFA's best XI.

But there are also some new kids on the block such as Alphonso Davies and Erling Braut Haaland who will be hoping to upset the applecart with their performances over the last 12 months.

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'Ultimate Team of the Year'

Albeit moderated by the UEFA Technical Observer, the selection process is firmly in the hands of the supporters and the online voting commenced earlier this week.

However, in anticipation of the 2020 victors, UEFA decided to highlight the players who have made their way into their Team of the Year the most since the turn of the century.

The governing body has branded it their 'Ultimate Team of the Year: the all-time XI' with legends ranging from great clubs like Liverpool, Real Madrid and Barcelona all featuring.

And with the biggest and closest decisions made by the statistics and history books, UEFA hopes it will serve as their definitive all-time XI and one that will only be changed by future voting.

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'The all-time XI

So, without further ado, check out what the long history of the UEFA Team of the Year considers to be the greatest XI in European football history since 2000:

Iker Casillas | Goalkeeper | 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012

Sergio Ramos | Right-back | 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018

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Philipp Lahm | Left-back | 2006, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014

Gerard Pique | Centre-back | 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016

Carles Puyol | Centre-back | 2002, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010

Xavi | Centre-midfield | 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012

Andres Iniesta | Centre-midfield | 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016

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Steven Gerrard | Centre-midfield | 2005, 2006, 2007

Cristiano Ronaldo | Striker | 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019

Lionel Messi | Striker | 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019

Thierry Henry | Striker | 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006

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GIVEMESPORT's Kobe Tong says

Can we take a moment to appreciate the insane amount of selections Messi and Ronaldo have earned? You simply couldn't write it.

While there's no denying that all 11 players deserve a round of applause for their achievements, it borders on mind-blowing that the pair have featured in the XI on a combined 25 occasions.

When you consider the Team of the Year is open to voters, you have to imagine that Ronaldo and Messi's popularity will steer them to yet another year in UEFA's flagship line-up. 

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Other than that, the XI shows off Spain's era of dominance during the late 2000s and early 2010s with four members of the back five and two stars in the midfield three winning the World Cup with Las Rojas.

Otherwise, in terms of the Premier League, Henry and Gerrard are the sole representatives for their achievements with Liverpool and Arsenal, though they do have significantly fewer selections than some of their teammates.

But being in one of the XIs is an accolade in itself, never mind the all-time version, so hats off to all the players because it's pretty clear to see this team would be near enough unbeatable.

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