Saturday 25 February 2017

UEFA release shortlist for team of the year and it does not reflect well on Premier League

Eden Hazard celebrates scoring his team's second goal with his team mates
Eden Hazard celebrates scoring his team's second goal with his team mates

Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart and Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale are the only British players to be included on UEFA's 40-man shortlist for its team of the year.

Barcelona players, headed by Lionel Messi, Neymar, and Luis Suarez, dominate the list with eight representatives in total while German champions Bayern Munich have six - but only five players from across the Barclays Premier League are included.

England's number one Hart is joined by Manchester City team-mates Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne, while the only other Premier League players to feature are Chelsea's Eden Hazard and Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez.

Hart has been nominated alongside Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, Manuel Neuer of Bayern Munich and Ukrainian side Dnipro's Denys Boyko.

The shortlist, comprising of four goalkeepers, 12 defenders, 12 midfielders and 12 strikers, has been selected by UEFA based on performances throughout 2015 and fans from across Europe can vote for the Team of the Year on its website UEFA.com.

Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo, Paris St Germain striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Barca midfielder Andres Iniesta and Colombia's World Cup star James Rodriguez all feature as expected.

But some lesser known players to British fans include Sevilla midfield pair Grzegorz Krychowiak and Yevhen Konoplyanka.

More than 8.4million votes were cast for the 2014 Team of the Year, with this year's dream team to be announced shortly after voting is closed on January 5.

The 40-man shortlist is: Goalkeepers - Joe Hart (Manchester City), Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Denys Boyko (Dnipro). Defenders - Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), David Alaba (Bayern Munich), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), David Luiz (Paris Saint-Germain), Dani Alves (Barcelona), Thiago Silva (Paris Saint-Germain), Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich), Ricardo Rodriguez (Wolfsburg), Javier Mascherano (Barcelona), Diego Godin (Atletico Madrid), Gerard Pique (Barcelona), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid). Midfielders - Grzegorz Krychowiak (Sevilla), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona), Arturo Vidal (Bayern Munich), Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Claudio Marchisio (Juventus), Marco Verratti (Paris Saint-Germain), Yevhen Konoplyanka (Sevilla), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), James Rodriguez (Real Madrid), Paul Pogba (Juventus), Hakan Calhanoglu (Bayer Leverkusen). Forwards - Gareth Bale (Real Madrid), Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Paris Saint-Germain), Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich), Neymar (Barcelona), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Alvaro Morata (Juventus), Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Luis Suarez (Barcelona), Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid).

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