No surprise to see that the 50-man shortlist for UEFA’s team of the year is dominated by players from La Liga and European champions Real Madrid, who boast 11 nominees, including Cristiano Ronaldo, who is included for a record 14th time. Italian champions Juventus, who were beaten by Real in the Champions League final last season, have the next most with seven.
Tottenham stars Harry Kane and Dele Alli are joined by teammates Christian Eriksen and Davinson Sanchez on the shortlist, and are among 12 Premier League players nominated.
Manchester United also have nominees in David de Gea, Antonio Valencia, Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, while Sergio Aguero, Benjamin Mendy and Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City are in the running.
Eden Hazard is Chelsea’s only representative, while there are no players from either Arsenal or Liverpool on the list, leaving N’Golo Kante, Philippe Coutinho and Alexis Sanchez as surprise omissions.
Barcelona are strongly represented, with Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta, Gerard Pique and Luis Suarez shortlisted, while former Barca forward Neymar is joined by PSG teammates Thomas Meunier, Dani Alves, Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani.
The final XI, selected by fans via UEFA’s website, will be announced on Jan. 11, 2018. No English or Premier League players made the final XI last season but Kane and Alli have been nominated after helping Spurs to a title challenge last season’s and first place in this season’s Champions League group, ahead of holders Real.
Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), David de Gea (Manchester United), Keylor Navas (Real Madrid), Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid)
Dani Alves (Juventus/Paris Saint-Germain), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus/AC Milan), Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Kamil Glik (Monaco), Diego Godin (Atletico Madrid), Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich), Marcelo (Real Madrid), Benjamin Mendy (Monaco/Manchester City), Thomas Meunier (Paris Saint-Germain), Gerard Pique (FC Barcelona), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Davinson Sanchez (Ajax/Tottenham Hotspur), Alex Sandro (Juventus), Antonio Valencia (Manchester United)
Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Marco Asensio (Real Madrid), Casemiro (Real Madrid), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Christian Eriksen (Tottenham Hotspur), Fabinho (Monaco), Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Andres Iniesta (FC Barcelona), Isco (Real Madrid), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Manchester United), Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Miralem Pjanic (Juventus), Paul Pogba (Manchester United), Saul Niguez (Atletico Madrid)
Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid), Edinson Cavani (Paris Saint-Germain), Paulo Dybala (Juventus), Radamel Falcao (Monaco), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich), Dries Mertens (Napoli), Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona), Neymar (FC Barcelona/Paris Saint-Germain), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Luis Suarez (FC Barcelona), Kylian Mbappe (Monaco/Paris Saint-Germain)