5 players who should have made UEFA's Team of the Year

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Overall, 2016 will go down as a year never to be spoken of again for all sorts of reasons, but at least we've been treated to some glorious moments in the football.

We've had Euro 2016, Real Madrid's dramatic Champions League triumph, and of course, Leicester's shock Premier League title win. In the midst of all that, there have been some outstanding performance from the very best players the continent has to offer.

Yet, UEFA's Team of the Year is one of those announcements which is always going to divide opinion.

Somewhere in the upper echelons of European football's governing body, someone has made some pretty odd decisions when it comes to putting together the 40-man shortlist.

Joe Allen's inclusion is an easy target for ridicule, but he did have an impressive Euros with Wales, plus not putting him in might upset the cult following he's somehow developed over the course of the year.

Elsewhere, though, there are quite a few notable absentees who definitely should have made the cut. With honourable mentions for Sergio Busquets, Claudio Marchisio, and Manuel Neuer, let's take a look at five very strange omissions.

David de Gea (Manchester United)

De Gea is widely recognised as the best goalkeeper in the world right now, with the possible exception of Neuer.

The Spaniard came close to winning the Premier League Golden Glove but was narrowly pipped to the post by Petr Cech on the final day of the season.

Philippe Coutinho (Liverpool)

Coutinho has been in unstoppable form for Brazil and Liverpool, and his attacking play has been one of the key factors behind the Reds' transformation into title contenders.

Marcelo (Real Madrid)

Marcelo is so often underrated because of the calibre of his Los Blancos team-mates, but he was absolutely key in their Champions League campaign. The 28-year-old's already weighed in with two goals in La Liga this season. 

Miralem Pjanic (Juventus)

Juventus don't seem to get the attention they warrant, perhaps because Serie A hasn't been at its best for the last five years.

Midfielder Pjanic is off to a flyer again this season, though, with four goals in all competitions.

David Alaba (Bayern Munich)

Alaba is reportedly a target for a number of Europe's top clubs, including Manchester United, thanks to the versatile midfielder's role in Bayern Munich's Bundesliga dominance.

The 24-year-old came on leaps and bounds under Pep Guardiola and has continued that progress under Carlo Ancelotti.

Full short-list: 

Goalkeepers: Rui Patricio (Sporting), Keylor Navas (Real Madrid), Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid), Gigi Buffon (Juventus)

Defenders: Gerard Pique (Barcelona), Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich), Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Raphael Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal), Diego Godin (Atletico Madrid), Pepe (Real Madrid), Juanfran (Atletico Madrid), Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid), Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich)

Midfielders: Dimitri Payet (West Ham), Yannick Carrasco (Atletico Madrid), Paul Pogba (Man United), Riyad Mahrez (Leicester), Kevin De Bruyne (Man City), Joe Allen (Stoke), Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal), Toni Kroos, (Real Madrid), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), N’Golo Kante (Chelsea), Grzegorz Krychowiak (PSG)

Strikers: Leo Messi (Barcelona), Luis Suarez (Barcelona), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Man United), Gonzalo Higuain (Juventus) Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund), Neymar (Barcelona), Gareth Bale (Real Madrid), Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal), Sergio Aguero (Man City)

Who else is missing? Have your say in the comments. 

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Manchester United
UEFA Champions League
Real Madrid
David de Gea
Premier League
Cristiano Ronaldo

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