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Who's in your Uefa Team of the Year?

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Phil Minshull | 12:22 UK time, Thursday, 30 December 2010

When I blogged about the candidates for the Ballon D'Or in October, a lot of you suggested Fifa had gone for overkill by drawing up a ridiculously large list of 50 players in contention for the award, which has since been whittled down to the Barcelona trio of Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi.

Well, Uefa, never one to let the grass grow beneath its feet when it comes to emulating its global counterparts in Zurich, has put forward 55 players - five for each position - for the 10th edition of the Team of the Year, plus the five nominations for the coach of this hypothetical team.

However, unlike the Ballon D'Or recipient who is voted for by a closed constituency of national coaches, captain and journalists, at least the public get the chance to say who they think are the best players on the continent over the last 12 months.

Lionel MessiMessi has enjoyed another outstanding year for Barcelona. Photo: AP

Uefa claims more than 4m votes were registered last year, while a total of 16m have been cast in the nine years of the poll so far. European football's governing body will no doubt hope for record numbers this year, although I cannot find out when the closing date is, having looked at Uefa's website. In other words, don't spend too long pondering over your choices if you want to participate.

Happily, at least in comparison to Fifa, which ignored players whose country did not make it to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, Uefa has also included the likes of Welshman Gareth Bale (Tottenham) as well as Norway's Brede Hangeland (Fulham) in its initial list of candidates.

One flaw is that Uefa has stuck rigidly to a 4-4-2 formation and each player has only been nominated in one position. I would have liked to have picked Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo up front in a 4-3-3 formation but I have got to settle for him being a right-sided midfielder - and that means leaving out Bayern Munich's Arjen Robben.

Angel Di Maria is also listed as a left-sided midfielder but the Argentine has played predominantly on the right since joining Real Madrid in the summer from Benfica. As for Bayern Munich's Philipp Lahm, he is among the nominations at right-back, which is perhaps a testament to his versatility but also to the constraints of the voting process as the German international was a left-back in the teams of 2006 and 2008.

It seems a bit like voting in a general election but stipulating that your local MP can only become foreign secretary if he or she is asked to join the cabinet.

One of the noticeable things about Teams of the Year is that the majority of the recent line-ups have been made up of European players, even though players from other continents are eligible if they are featuring for a European club side.

Last year, only the Barcelona pair of Messi (Argentina) and Daniel Alves (Brazil) came from beyond Europe's frontiers. Messi was the lone non-European in 2008, while Alves and Chelsea's Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast) made the grade in 2007.

The health of European football at the very highest level is clearly very robust, although my selection this time around has three South Americans in it.

There were certain positions that seemed to be replete with quality, particularly the four slots in midfield. It was very hard to leave some people on the bench. However, there is a slight lack of true world-class quality in a couple of positions.

Real Madrid's Iker Casillas, a World Cup winner with Spain, looks like a good bet for his fourth consecutive selection as Europe's leading goalkeeper but this has not been a vintage year for the men with the gloves.

Benfica's Fabio CoentraoBenfica's Fabio Coentrao is attracting interest from a number of top European clubs. Photo: AP

The same appears true at left-back. I went for Benfica's impressive Fabio Coentrao - and I would put serious money on the Portuguese defender being at an Italian or Spanish club this time next year - but there was no-one else that really grabbed the attention, definitely not a Paolo Maldini or a Roberto Carlos, although Ashley Cole, who made the team in 2004, has been nominated again.

For the record, my votes were cast for: Iker Casillas; Philipp Lahm, Gerard Pique, Lucio, Fabio Coentrao; Cristiano Ronaldo, Xavi Hernandez, Wesley Sneijder, Andres Iniesta; Lionel Messi, Diego Forlan. Coach: Jose Mourinho.

Personally, I would take things a step further than simply naming a team. I would like to see Uefa make an effort to bring the chosen players together in a real flesh and blood side, perhaps taking on another continental selection in a charity game. It would be great to see the team in action, even in a less-than-full-throttle friendly, against counterparts from South America, Africa and Asia.

Could it happen? Uefa certainly has the money to make it a real headline-grabbing event. All it needs to do is bring forward the voting by a few weeks and capitalise on the traditional winter break. Plenty of friendlies take place at this time of year already, often involving the players who have been named in the Uefa Team of the Year.

Obviously, a packed Premier League programme over the holiday period would tend to exclude players at English clubs but, sadly, you cannot have everything. However, if the rest of Europe think along the same lines as me - this year, at least - and do not vote for any Premier League players, then that would not be a problem anyway!

Comments on this blog in the space below. Other questions on European football to:

I'll be answering some questions in the new year. I don't need your full address but please put the town/city and country where you come from.


or register to comment.

  • 1. At 1:24pm on 30 Dec 2010, Vikdaddy wrote:

    Good side Phil - can't see much wrong with it.

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  • 2. At 1:29pm on 30 Dec 2010, Vikdaddy wrote:

    Just visited the site and made my picks - chose Julio Cesar as my keeper, Ashley Cole as my left-back and Tevez as my forward instead of Forlan. Otherwise, same side as Phil's. I'm surprised by the inclusion of Hengeland and Adam Johnson though!

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  • 3. At 1:35pm on 30 Dec 2010, Vox Populi wrote:

    Here's my team:

    Casillas, Maicon, Ashley Cole, Lucio, Vidic, Cristiano Ronaldo, Xavi, Sneijder, Iniesta, Messi, David Villa. Coach: Mourinho

    Ashley Cole and David Villa are blatantly the best left back and striker in the world, respectively. They've also had a great 2010 and consistency is the theme here. To leave them out for Coentrao and Forlan is ridiculous. That's a decision only based on the World Cup.

    I can only assume that Bale's performance against Maicon in the Spurs-Inter match has affected your opinion about the Brazilian but Maicon was brilliant for Inter in the most part in 2010. I like Lahm but I don't think he offers as much defensively or even going forward as Maicon does when he is at his best.

    Again, I think Vidic is a better defender than Pique although Pique may well be silkier on the ball. Vidic has also had a great 2010 as well, although Man Utd didn't win the big trophies. It's relatively easy for Pique and Puyol in that Barcelona team. Their centre backs are rarely under pressure because their midfield dominates possession.

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  • 4. At 1:38pm on 30 Dec 2010, Vox Populi wrote:

    wow, Vidic wasn't even one of the options on the UEFA website. Hangeland? That amazes me.

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  • 5. At 1:39pm on 30 Dec 2010, Leonalmeida wrote:

    I like the idea of an all star game. NBA & NFL do it year on year and its a pretty big success.

    Some managers may feel insecure about their players in the all star team with an all star manager.

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  • 6. At 1:42pm on 30 Dec 2010, Dylan Elfyn wrote:


    how the hell was adam johnson on it?? benchwarmer at city and the likes nani whos had a good year arent nominated??

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  • 7. At 1:42pm on 30 Dec 2010, Vidic with the header wrote:

    Suprised by the exclusion of Rooney and to a lesser extent Vidic, also have no idea why Brede and Johnson are in their!

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  • 8. At 1:42pm on 30 Dec 2010, 1950 wrote:

    Great choice having Fábio Coentrão in your team Phil, him having a bad game is a rarity. Top class player.

    And I also had David Luiz on my side, another great player to look out for. And Di María has been getting better and better, Real really got their moneys worth.

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  • 9. At 1:45pm on 30 Dec 2010, Angelo Trofa wrote:

    Fifa's nominations have gone ridiculous we all know, they have shown that they are a joke with the final 3 up for the Ballon D'Or. I have read many times that a side should be put forward for the accolade which I feel is only right. My side is therefore:

    Julio Cesar; Zanetti, Lucio, Samuel, Maicon; Motta, Sneijder, Cambiasso; Eto'o, Milito, Pandev.
    Manager: J Mourinho

    How else can you argue against a side that won everything, beating the likes of Chelsea and Barca on the way?

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  • 10. At 1:48pm on 30 Dec 2010, RVP_VCC_COYG wrote:

    Cesar, Maicon, Pique, Lucio, Van Bronckhorst (C), Sneijder, Iniesta, Xavi, Ronaldo, Forlan, Messi. Mourinho.

    Relatively straight forward picks. Forlan has to be there. Best player at the World Cup, incredible in the Europa League. Cesar was also amazing for Inter throughout their treble winning season. And Van Bronckhorst, well lets just say that's a bit of a soft choice but what a goal in the Semi-final against Uruguay and he captained his side to the final of the World Cup!

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  • 11. At 1:49pm on 30 Dec 2010, Roberto Del Rio wrote:

    My team: Julio Cesar, Ivanovic, Pique, Lucio, Cole, Ronaldo, Xavi, Sneijder, Malouda, Drogba, Messi (Yes, I'm a Chelsea fan :P)

    But yes some very surprising inclusions

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  • 12. At 1:53pm on 30 Dec 2010, Chris wrote:

    You're spot on about the formation! as I have left out xavi to put Schweinsteiger in the defensive midfield position in order to put xavi in the attacking one but when i came to do so i wasn't allowed to have xavi there and instead picked Sneijder. If I could I would have but Schweinsteiger in the middle with iniesta and xavi either side with the same upfront but with drogba in the middle and ronaldo and messi either side of him. I picked a formation which would bring the best team together but it wasn't the best team.

    amazes me how hangeland is in there and vidic is not. As an Arsenal fan i would have to say vidic is in the same class as lucio and pipue and would even go as far to say he is the best out of those three. Furthermore were you decisions influenced by recent meetings (maicon vs bale) and also the World Cup?

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  • 13. At 2:02pm on 30 Dec 2010, jonnyb wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 14. At 2:18pm on 30 Dec 2010, dudesteven_g wrote:

    Two huge omissions for me are Vidic in defence and and Guardiola as manager..... still good fun to pick your team, and I'm quite surprised to find I went with the same team as Phil with the exception of Cesar in place of Casillas and Puyol instead of Pique.

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  • 15. At 2:26pm on 30 Dec 2010, MU_FC wrote:

    I thought this was a pretty poor voting system.

    Iniesta LM!? I know he has played there but it isn't exactly his natural position. And how can Messi be a forward and Ronaldo not be? They're either both right/left mid or both forward.

    Anyway I went Cesar, Maicon, Lucio, Pique, Coentrao, Ronaldo, Xavi, Ozil, Bale, Eto'o, Milito. Seems like quite a few people have went for the same players in some positions.

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  • 16. At 2:35pm on 30 Dec 2010, MU_FC wrote:

    Also, Evra probably should have been included, he hasn't had the best year but when the other left back options are that bad, he should still be included.

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  • 17. At 2:36pm on 30 Dec 2010, MartinLip wrote:

    How on earth Patrice Evra isn't in the left back nominee's is an absoloute outrage - he was Uniteds most consistent player last season, the only error of significance he made all season was against Bayern. He was quality, and for all the people who state that Ashley Cole is the best left back in the world, check the PFA team of the year, not just last season, but previous seasons to see who's been in the most teams - despite a shorter career in England.

    Just to clear it up for you Phil, the voting closes on the 7th of Janurary.

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  • 18. At 2:43pm on 30 Dec 2010, Jols Barber wrote:

    I thought this was a pretty poor voting system.

    Iniesta LM!? I know he has played there but it isn't exactly his natural position. And how can Messi be a forward and Ronaldo not be? They're either both right/left mid or both forward.


    I thought it was flawed in that respect too, Iniestas a centre mid of the left side of Barcas middle 3 not a left winger.

    Bales been the best left midfieldser in my biased opinion, but Inesta can't be left out!

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  • 19. At 2:44pm on 30 Dec 2010, Gahadzie wrote:

    why an earth are hangeland, KUYT and bale nominated? as for ppl lyk bale, its world player for 2009/10 + the world cup if played in, not world player over the last cupple of months, so my team is:

    maicon, lucio, pique cole
    ronaldo (wudda pick robben buh for same reason as phil) xavi sneijder and iniesta
    messi and milito (who just edged tevez)

    some of these players it contraeo an forlan jus had gd world cups or stand out games buh i feel my team has been most consistent thruout the year

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  • 20. At 2:46pm on 30 Dec 2010, TB wrote:


    Agreed regarding Ballon D'Or, maybe FIFA were all too busy cashing their cheques from the Russians and Qatar to notice that Barcelona didn't win everything this year.

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  • 21. At 2:53pm on 30 Dec 2010, b17ume wrote:

    Julio Cesar, Lahm, Lucio, Pique, Van Bronckhorst; C Ronaldo, Xavi, Sneijder, Iniesta; Messi, Milito.

    Team is based on 2010 achievements, and is not a popularity contest or ranked on who is the best player in their position. My team is picked on the basis of Spain winning World Cup, Inter Milan winning the Champions League/Serie A and outstanding contributions from players, from the options available, such as Gio captaining his side to World Cup final, Lahm for his contribution to Bayern/Germany, and despite being everything that is wrong with football today, Ronaldo for his 30+ goals every season!

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  • 22. At 2:53pm on 30 Dec 2010, jhwalker wrote:

    My Team:

    Iker Casillas.
    Philipp Lahm, Gerard Pique, Lucio, Asley Cole.
    Cristiano Ronaldo, Xavi, Sneijder, Andres Iniesta.
    Lionel Messi & Diego Forlan.

    Pretty much your team too.

    I have to say though UEFA suprised me with some of their candidates. Hangeland and Douglas stand out most of all to me. Also, I know Lukaku is good, but is he worthy of more praise than Rooney and the season he had with United?

    Have to say though there was a lot of choice in the midfield, I felt bad leaving Schweinsteiger out!

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  • 23. At 2:57pm on 30 Dec 2010, crabbiT_Scot wrote:

    I think having a charity game with the winners Vs a Worl Select would be a great idea - maybe they could be managed in the one off game by a competiion winner, a member of the public who have provided services to sport.

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  • 24. At 2:57pm on 30 Dec 2010, 1950 wrote:

    Why are people saying Coentrão just had a good world cup? Like they follow Portuguese football to know how he is actually playing? Thought not.

    Teams are not willing to pay more than 20 million just for World Cup performances.

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  • 25. At 3:01pm on 30 Dec 2010, Redallover wrote:

    Seems a bit iffy. No Alves, Vidic... and the limited positions were ridiculous. The most successful teams in the world aren't playing 442 these days, yet that's the only option.

    Cesar, Lahm, Lucio, Pique (would have been Vidic), Cole, Ronaldo, Xavi, Sneijder, Iniesta, Messi, Villa.

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  • 26. At 3:03pm on 30 Dec 2010, cynicalyorkie2 wrote:

    Anyone remember a player called Alonso?
    ....or Tevez?

    Goodness only knows how the handbags would be out if a penalty was awarded to some the teams above!!

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  • 27. At 3:05pm on 30 Dec 2010, artillery_john-TW14.... Joan at the weekend wrote:

    Good blog Phil, although missing the usual European league chat. Very much enjoy reading about other leagues, especially the Bundesliga!

    Voting is open until 7th Jan:

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  • 28. At 3:08pm on 30 Dec 2010, waldorf wrote:

    Irritated that I chose my team and the submit button didn't work, eventually worked out that I had to be logged in, but they could do with an error dialogue pop up.....anyway....

    I agree, more flexibility would have been better, although, not sure how Uefa would have then decided who played where in their final team.

    My team:

    Casillas, Lahm, Lucio, Pique, Coentrao; C Ronaldo, Xavi, Sneijder, Bale; Messi, Milito.

    Now THAT's a team that would manage to beat Wolves at home!

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  • 29. At 3:11pm on 30 Dec 2010, The United Way wrote:

    Zero players from Manchester United.

    Give me a break.

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  • 30. At 3:14pm on 30 Dec 2010, colinbell wrote:

    Haven't got time to think of a team, Villa and Messi are my favourite players I know that. After the Brazilian Ronaldo, Villa is the best goal scorer I have seen for a long while and he never gives the ball away.
    I see the PL is well represented and reinforces the views of people who think the English league is over rated, which it is. Some shocking football being played this season.

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  • 31. At 3:22pm on 30 Dec 2010, woobaloo14 wrote:

    Casillas (best of a bad situation this year)
    Lahm - Puyol - Lucio - Cole
    Ronaldo - Xavi - Sneijder - Bale
    Messi - Villa

    Iniesta can't really be picked because he has been out with injuries a lot of the time scoring just the one goal last season, whereas Bale has had a magnificent 2010.

    Puyol has had the exact same season as Pique but from what I've seen (admittedly not much) he has been a little more solid. Would have picked Vidic if he was listed.

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  • 32. At 3:30pm on 30 Dec 2010, Ghost of Highbury_The Hair Stylist of Alex Song wrote:

    My team :

    Julio Cesar, Maicon, Lucio, Puyol(c), van Bronckhorst, Ronaldo, Xavi, Sneijder, Iniesta, Tevez and Messi [who is impossible to leave out]

    Manager : None other than JOSE MOURINHO !

    And SUPERB idea about the Continent vs Continent match. If it ever happens, they should probably call it the "Clash of the Titans".
    But couple of years back there was a match Manchester United vs Europe XI at Old Trafford. Anyone knows what that was ?

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  • 33. At 3:30pm on 30 Dec 2010, tridiv wrote:

    The best goalkeeper of the world at the moment, Manual Neuer, is not even nominated. The list is ridiculous. And as has been pointed out by the blogger, it has nothing to do with modern football where versatile players change positions. May be Uefa has not registered that most successful and attractive teams play 4-2-3-1.

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  • 34. At 3:37pm on 30 Dec 2010, The United Way wrote:

    From the Uefa Selection:

    This team should be Inter Milan heavy; after all, they did win the treble, something that takes a season, not a month. Consistency is the key here:

    Coach: Mourinho - although Del Bosque did a great 'continuity' job

    Maicon Lucio Puyol* A.Cole
    Xavi Sneijder Iniesta
    Robben Forlan Messi

    *Feel Pique or Puyol are apt, but Puyol is the senior and marshalls both the Barca and Spanish back line, something I think he did exceptionally.

    My World XI (not just 2010):

    Alves Ferdinand Vidic A.Cole
    Xavi Gibson(c) Iniesta
    Ronaldo Villa Messi

    No idea why Darron 'Pelé' Gibson wasn't included, mind.

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  • 35. At 3:40pm on 30 Dec 2010, camborambo wrote:

    Does the fact that there are hardly any players from the English Premier League show that it has been a very bad season for English football and it is in decline? Ashley Cole seems to be in by default, there is a lack of good left backs in world football, and I would have had Lahm at lb and Ramos at RB.

    I think this poll shows that English football is nowhere near the quality that we are led to believe it is.

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  • 36. At 3:45pm on 30 Dec 2010, The_soul_patch_of_David_Villa wrote:

    I do think that the voting is a little bit inflexible, assigning players to one particular position and a rigid formation.

    For example, Arjen Robben - when injury free - has had a great year for club and country, but he's not going to get too many votes, because he's up against Cristiano Ronaldo in that position.

    I'm sure if you had both players in your squad, they could be accommodated.

    Also, having to pick the 2 forwards is a little difficult. 99% of people will have Messi in their team, so that means you can only pick 1 out of Villa, Forlán, Eto'o and Milito !

    As someone has previously mentioned, it's also a little surprising that Guardiola has been left out as an option for coach ( although, I'd have still picked Mourinho ).

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  • 37. At 3:46pm on 30 Dec 2010, TB wrote:

    It's refreshing to see that as so often happens people haven't taken the obvious option of simply naming the players they have seen the most of (invariably premiership players).
    I watch a fair amount of football, %70 English leagues, 10% Spanish Primera Division and 10% Italian Serie A, %10 Bundesliga, roughly. But I wonder how much people really know about some of these players that they have put onto their list, are they merely copying Phil who is undoubtedly an expert? Short of living in the respective countries I don't know how anyone has seen enough of these players to form a valid opinion. Admittedly there will be people who know their stuff, but I reckon the majority are just looking to book their seat on the bandwagon.

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  • 38. At 3:48pm on 30 Dec 2010, 1974 wrote:

    7. At 1:42pm on 30 Dec 2010, Vidic with the header wrote:

    "Suprised by the exclusion of Rooney"

    LOL, you watched much football in the last year??

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  • 39. At 3:48pm on 30 Dec 2010, Spaced Invader wrote:

    Same old UEFA bias.

    Be brilliant in Italy or Spain, get nominated. Be brilliant in England or Germany... total anonymity. Always been the same.

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  • 40. At 3:54pm on 30 Dec 2010, shevabk2milan wrote:

    Fabio Contrao is better than Ashley Cole in my opinion. I also don't rate Casillas, he's too prone to mistakes. Example was made in the recent draw against AC Milan.

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  • 41. At 3:55pm on 30 Dec 2010, Theres been a goal Jeff wrote:

    The UEFA voting system is indeed flawed, the option of a 4-3-3 would solve the Iniesta issue, and Ronaldo is clearly more effective on the left than on the right.
    Either way..
    Coach: Mourinho (no explanation necessary)

    Casillas (C)
    Maicon (Despite his comeuppance against Bale he is the best in the world.)
    (I'm an Arsenal fan, and will never select Ashley Cole for anything beneficial to him.)
    (He inspired Bayern throughout all of last season and battled through injury to aide Holland to the final. It's the best season he will probably ever have and he deserves credit for it.)
    (Last season he played brilliantly out of position for the benefit of the team, and this season being played through the middle, his record is outstanding)

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  • 42. At 3:56pm on 30 Dec 2010, giobob123 wrote:

    No Manchester United players? Last season Rooney was brilliant until his injury. Nemanja Vidic is one of the best central defenders in the world and there is no better left back than Patrice Evra. There is argument to be made for others maybe but to have the likes of Brede Hangeland, Ashley Cole, Dirk Kuyt and Adam Johnson ahead of Evra, Vidic and Rooney is just ridiculous.

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  • 43. At 3:59pm on 30 Dec 2010, kavencleary wrote:

    MY TEAM my opinion
    goal: ben foster
    defence dani alves , roger johnson , scott dann , ashley cole
    mid : valencia , xavi , kaka , bale
    striker : messi, milto
    subs : joe hart , puyol , pique , snejider , c.ronaldo , robben , pedro
    manager: ian holloway

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  • 44. At 4:01pm on 30 Dec 2010, Frank T J Mackey wrote:

    Rooney has been nothing shy of garbage. He has mitigating circumstances and has provided the odd flash of brilliance but no way does he deserve an inclusion .

    It would be great to see Ronaldo and Messi play together

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  • 45. At 4:02pm on 30 Dec 2010, Simply Ruud wrote:

    I've gone for;
    Julio Cesar
    van Bronckhorst

    Coach: Mourinho

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  • 46. At 4:07pm on 30 Dec 2010, keeno064 wrote:

    The Spain squad that played in the world cup final? simples

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  • 47. At 4:09pm on 30 Dec 2010, U14480235 wrote:

    Some dubious contenders on the UEFA site. Especially not impressed with the recognition of Van Bommel's 'talent'.

    My team based on what was on offer:

    Cesar, Lahm, Pique, Lucio, Cole, Ronaldo (Adam Johnson...really? bit soon that), Xavi (would have paired him with Schweinsteiger), Sneijder, Iniesta (awkward positioning as you point out Phil), Messi and Eto, with Mourinho in charge.

    I think Casillas' reputation is preceding him a tad at the moment, he didn't play that well last year.

    In terms of the moneyspinner for charity, I have the 'big idea':

    UEFA team of the year versus the World Club Championship winners (helping to add a little prestige to that trophy).

    There would be the issue of players being eligible for both sides (e.g. this year Cesar and Sneijder) - perhaps some form of player swap at half time. Alternatively we could see the team of the year smash 50 past the soccer aid shower!

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  • 48. At 4:12pm on 30 Dec 2010, U14480235 wrote:

    In terms of my proposal for the moneyspinner event, we should let Jack Warner be in charge of ticket distribution ;)

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  • 49. At 4:13pm on 30 Dec 2010, Roy_Ron_Roo_Rio wrote:

    Team of the year:

    Julio Cesar, Maicon, Lucio,Walter Samuel, Coentrao, Robben, Xavi, Ozil, Iniesta, Messi, Drogba
    Coach: Jose Mourinho (hands down)
    First 4 are the reason why inter won champions league. Coentrao: well same reason phil picked him. Robben's goal took Bayern to CL final(HEARTBREAKER). Ozil's a better package than WS and CF.
    Villa was sensational in world cup and since he joined Barca but Drogba always is (last 4 weeks aside)

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  • 50. At 4:16pm on 30 Dec 2010, Azza wrote:

    this is so stupid. no Evra - he's been the best left back in the world for the last two seasons due to his bombing runs down the flank and awesome slide-tackles so how on earth does john arne rise make the cut and he doesn't?

    and where on earth is vidic? He's many people's first choice - little own nominee.

    If i'm being picky then id say rafael da silva should also be in contention for a right back spot. call me biased if you will but i've watched chelsea many times and i can say with as much certainty as 'i think therefore i am' that I'd rather have rafael than ivanovic at right-back.

    Oh and also, Bale has 5 blinders in a YEAR (along with many more very mediocre performances) which is apparently enough to be considered as one of the world's best.


    Maicon - Lucio - Vidic - Evra
    Ronaldo - Sneijder - Iniesta
    Messi - Drogba

    Coach: Mourinho is the best coach in the world but for team with such rich attacking assets i'd like to see Ian Holloway managing the tactics.

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  • 51. At 4:18pm on 30 Dec 2010, Selecao wrote:

    Definitely surprised by Johnson and Di Maria on the list. Also wondered how Kuyt made it and Nasri didn't. In any case my team was

    Julio Caesar

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  • 52. At 4:23pm on 30 Dec 2010, 23-7 wrote:

    Phil, I know this is nothing short of a pipe dream but I once envisaged a football tournament, perhaps for charity as you have suggested or just for football fanatics like myself.

    Try and imagine this with me... An English Premiership All star 11 team including subs hand picked by the fans themselves, in a 4 team tournament against similar La Liga, Serie A and Bundesliga all star teams. Imagine the combinations you could come up with for the line ups - Tevez and Drogba upfront with Rooney and Torres on the bench? Just imagine how incredible it would be to see the Spanish league's best 11, the sight of Messi and Ronaldo taking to the field together on the same team. How about the Italy's best Sneijder, Ibrahimovic Pato and co and that the German contingent can bring to the table as well. So many pub arguments blog debates would be settled (if not more created!)

    Alas there is too much red tape and politics in football to ever let that happen even if it was logistically possible to arrange such a feat. Instead we have to settle for the UEFA teams which never get round to actually kicking a ball together.

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  • 53. At 4:23pm on 30 Dec 2010, TheSportsDirector wrote:

    I went for:

    Julio Cesar
    Maicon Hangeland* Pique Bastos
    Ronaldo Schweinstieger Sneijder Iniesta
    Forlan Higuian

    Quiche Sanchez Flores

    *I voted for Hangeland as a Fulham fan and I beg all of you to vote for him as well, would be a great achievment.

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  • 54. At 4:27pm on 30 Dec 2010, Scott Danns Four Million wrote:

    Why are so many people so desperate to include Ronaldo? It's all on past seasons glory. Ronaldos had a good 2010, helping madrid achieve nothing, underachieving by their standards. Robben carried Bayern to a champions league final in a weaker team, as well as playing a key role getting Holland to a world cup final, whilst Ronaldo scored a goal he knew nothing about against North Korea? It baffles me why so many are including Ronaldo instead in a form team of 2010.

    Also why Casillas? He's had a shaky year by his standards. Yes he was in a world cup winning side, but how much of that can be put down to him? All I remember from him at the world cup was a clanger in the group stages. He's getting back to his best, but Cesars been rock solid all year.
    Anyway for my team:
    Maicon Lucio(c) Pique Coentrao
    Robben Xavi Iniesta
    Messi Forlan

    Messi is a no-brainer but the other forward slot required some thought. Milito or Villa could easily have been interchangable with Forlan.

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  • 55. At 4:28pm on 30 Dec 2010, WaveOfMutilation wrote:

    There are undoubtedly a few names on there that are making up the numbers - it looks suspiciously like Uefa have picked the first four and then thrown in some extra names out of a hat. But the one thing that really sticks out in reading teh article and comments is that there seem to be a few shoe-ins to almost everybody's teams that nobody has given a reason for, beyond an assumption that they have to be there, and I would have some hefty issues with - and they go by the names of Xavi and Iniesta.

    Two players who orchestrated the most tedious World Cup win ever. Two players who, alongside Ronaldo, are responsible for the most sulky stares at referees/linesmen/the turf/anything else after they make a mistake or someone has the affront to challenge them. I will freely acknowledge that they maintain possession brilliantly - but the team of the year should consist of players who make an impact on games rather than wearing the opposition out to allow an easier target for their more dynamic teammates.

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  • 56. At 4:28pm on 30 Dec 2010, U14480235 wrote:

    #9 here, here. To be fair though, Xavi has long deserved more recognition than he's had, and as a WC winner and La Liga winner deserves to be nominated.

    #43 - I think a solid defence such as that would provide a solid foundation for any side ;)

    I'll give it a shot without the UEFA straight jacket on (based on 2009-10 season and World Cup - not the 2010/11 season):

    -Maicon, Lucio, Vidic, Cole
    -Ronaldo, Xavi, Schweinsteiger, Eto'o (did a heck of a job for Inter here far too often)
    -Villa, Messi

    Subs: Van Der Sar, Lahm, Pique, Iniesta, Sniejder, Forlan (would have had Rooney had his form not disappeared after his injury / affairs / treachery).

    Do I think that side could actually play together - hell no!

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  • 57. At 4:40pm on 30 Dec 2010, haris_1994 wrote:

    Schweinstieger should be there

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  • 58. At 4:46pm on 30 Dec 2010, jstan wrote:

    Some very strange inclusions. UEFA looking at future potential rather than actual performances (though they (Johnson, Lukaku) have all played well and are great talents.

    -Bale only has played well the last 2 months.
    -Evra has made numerous mistakes defensively and I would have only short listed him as I haven't really seen any better around apart from Lahm, Bastos, Cole and Coentrao.
    - Ceaser, Lucio, Cambiasso and Sneijder are the only Inter players I'd have, they may have won the treble but look at their big wins (Barca and Chelsea) and the wins go mainly to Jose and his genius.
    - Can't understand why UEFA have done a 4-4-2 formation and stuck each player in rigid postions. Perhaps Mike Bassett should be on the manager short list!
    - You can't leave off either Ronaldo or Messi. I know not many will but both are on a different level! Both of their stats over the last 3 years or so are ridiculous and they don't show signs of slowing down, only getting better. It's scary. It's just a shame that International football is so poor and any old organised mob can stick to some defensive tactics, tackle hard and nullify their threat. I think thats why neither of these will set a World Cup alight though both should still be regarded with the best ever! (debate for another time)

    @#34 United Way- Gibson is more of a Zidane than a Pele but a fine choice none the less

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  • 59. At 4:53pm on 30 Dec 2010, Dont call my name Dont call my name Chicharitoooo wrote:

    People who are suggesting Rooney and nasri should be there are clueless. Nasri has had a good few months whereas Rooney hasn't scored since march. You have to remember this is team of the YEAR, Rooney was exceptional last season but not this year. The Vidic exclusion is insane, IMO he is the best center back in the world so how he can't make a shortlist is baffling. The rigid 442 necessity does not make sence either, messi and ronaldo who are the best 2 players in the world play better coming of the wings into the middle. So for that reason 433 would be the best option.
    Without the uefa shortlist or formation, my team is.....
    Lahm lucio Vidic cole
    Xavi. Iniesta
    Messi. Villa. Ronaldo

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  • 60. At 4:56pm on 30 Dec 2010, red_rebel wrote:

    How on earth Walter Samuel,Brad Haangeland become better than Nemanjia Vidic?Why is (C)Ashley Cole selected ahead of Patrice Evra?I think there is something wrong with the whole selection process of UEFA,as there is in FIFA,who couldn't select Wesley Sneijder ahead of Andres Iniesta.

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  • 61. At 5:11pm on 30 Dec 2010, crm wrote:

    Totally agree with all the comments questioning Evra's glaring absence from Uefa's left back candidates. He is and has been miles better than every other left back out there.
    The fact that he and Vidic are left out just causes me to think this whole team of the year thing is just absolutely bias and not even worth looking at or respecting. Similar to Fifa not even including Sneijder (the winner of WC, CL and Serie A) in it's top three for the Ballon D'or. Unbelievable.

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  • 62. At 5:12pm on 30 Dec 2010, barrytig wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 63. At 5:17pm on 30 Dec 2010, barrytig wrote:

    Ok, I'm a City supporter but agree that Johnson doesn't deserve to be in this category, at present, but will in the future. Forlan, we saw that he couldn't cut it in the Premier and no one has been tempted to bring him back. Tevez is a must in any team and there is no better defensive midfield player in the world than Nigel de Jong.
    So, your team with De Jong for Sjneider (there are enough creative players) and Tevez for Forlan.

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  • 64. At 5:35pm on 30 Dec 2010, MagpieConor wrote:

    I find it completely ridiculous that people are insisting Rooney should be in the nominations. It is team of the year, 2010. He hasn't scored in open play since March, that's over 3/4 of the year. I'm the first to admit he had a great season last year on the whole, but most of it was pre-2010 or in the first quarter of the year. Since then he's been distinctly average in every respect and is only in the last few weeks looking anything like the player we know he can be.

    Considering the poor options for left back, Jose Enrique... I'll just throw it out there

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  • 65. At 5:35pm on 30 Dec 2010, TheSeventhDoctor wrote:

    I complained as there was no Roy Hodgson on the coaches list.

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  • 66. At 5:36pm on 30 Dec 2010, TJVillan wrote:

    Lahm Lucio Vidic Coentrao
    Schweinsteiger Xavi Sneijder Iniesta
    Messi Ronaldo

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  • 67. At 5:37pm on 30 Dec 2010, TJVillan wrote:

    (Del Bosque)

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  • 68. At 5:43pm on 30 Dec 2010, KeejayYNWA wrote:

    Julio Caesar;

    Marcelo, Lucio, Puyol, Maicon ;

    Xabi Alonso,

    Messi, Xavi, Muller



    Manager: J Mourinho

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  • 69. At 5:51pm on 30 Dec 2010, Theres been a goal Jeff wrote:

    Obviously Evra should have been included as he is head and shoulders above every other left back in the world. But surely it's just the whole French saga of the World Cup is what has kept him out from Platini's playground?

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  • 70. At 6:06pm on 30 Dec 2010, Phil Minshull wrote:

    united2bayern1 (and mentioned by a couple of others): “Just to clear it up for you Phil, the voting closes on the 7th of January.” Thank you! Get voting.

    Vidic with the header: “Surprised by the exclusion of Rooney and to a lesser extent Vidic, also have no idea why Brede and Johnson are in there!” As various people have mentioned, Hangeland is a very strange choice. It was one of the first things that struck me when I was looking through the list. However, as this is the season of good will to all men, I didn’t criticise it too much in the main part of the blog. Likewise, Vidic’s absence was immediately noticeable.

    MU_FC: “Evra probably should have been included, he hasn't had the best year but when the other left back options are that bad, he should still be included.” I’d have to agree.

    Camborambo: “I would have had Lahm at lb and Ramos at RB.” If those options had been available, I would have gone for them as well. Ramos is good as a central defender but right back still seems to be his preferred place, and most effective, on the pitch.

    Spaced Invader: “Same old UEFA bias. Be brilliant in Italy or Spain, get nominated. Be brilliant in England or Germany... total anonymity. Always been the same.” This isn’t true historically. This year would be the first, if it actually happens, that the Team of the Year hasn’t had a Premier League player in it. Also, for several years in the mid-2000s, the Bundesliga was definitely devoid of superstars

    Have a great New Year's Eve and I hope all your dreams come true for 2011... regardless of who you support.

    PS There will be Spanish football on Sunday January 2. The proposed strike wasn't so much as called off on Thursday lunchtime but not allowed to happen. However, I suspect that this is not the last we have heard about the issue of the Spanish first and second division players going on strike

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  • 71. At 6:09pm on 30 Dec 2010, The_soul_patch_of_David_Villa wrote:


    '' Forlan, we saw that he couldn't cut it in the Premier and no one has been tempted to bring him back.''


    Sorry, I have to strongly disagree with you here.

    What you say simply isn't true.

    Manchester United was Forlán's first club outside South America, so there was always the potential for him to not settle in.

    I think he would have been much better off, had he gone to Middlesbrough, as was originally intended; he would have had regular first-team football there, and an opportunity to excel in the PL.

    You can't compare Forlán's performances at the start of his European career with those that he has achieved since he's developed into a better player.

    By your own argument, you could say that we could see that Thierry Henry ''couldn't cut it in Serie A'', because he wasn't an overwhelming success at Juve.

    Forlán is a class act, and not only has he won the European Golden Boot award with two different clubs, but he was hugely influential in both Atlético Madrid's Europa League triumph ( including scoring vital goals against two EPL sides ) and Uruguay reaching the semi-finals of the World Cup.

    Saying that ''no one has been tempted to bring him back'' is untrue as well.
    He has been linked with a return to the Premier League for a bout 5 years now.

    Considering that he would probably cost £15m+ when at full fitness, then that narrows down the number of clubs that he could play for in England.

    Also, has it never occurred to you, that Forlán - not being English - mightn't consider the Premier League to be the be all and end all of football ?

    He might have no interest in returning to England, and is probably happy living and playing football in a country that shares the same language and culture as he does.

    Strangely enough, not everyone looks at a move to Tottenham or Liverpool as a upward step in their career.

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  • 72. At 6:12pm on 30 Dec 2010, The_soul_patch_of_David_Villa wrote:

    ''European Golden Boot award'' should of course read: ''European Golden Shoe Award''.


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  • 73. At 6:14pm on 30 Dec 2010, whatdoiknowaboutanything wrote:

    Like so many, I think they've got the people in the wrong places.
    Messi is not best played up front in a 4-4-2 but as the attacking midfielder, or 3rd of 3 forwards. Similarly, Ronaldo is not a midfielder, Xavi not a holding midfielder either.
    So, I've gone for:
    Cesar in Goal
    Cole and Ramos as fullbacks - as they need to be fast up and down, but able to defend.
    Pique and Diawara - odd choice but he adds a bit of fun and offers more all round than Lucio.
    Schwensteiger as holding midfielder. There has to be a no nonsense player with all the skill and speed. Xavi is brilliant but not in this position
    Robben and Inesta as left and right. Robben gets the vote over Ronaldo on work rate. He tackles back.
    Fabregas as attacking midfielder. Would have been Messi had he been there, so it is between Fab and Sneijder. Tough one given all that Sneijder has won last year, but has been anonymous too often.
    Drogba and Villa up front. They just get the vote ahead of Tevez and Millito.
    Mourinho as coach. Although whether this team would do as he says would be a moot point.

    Think this team would attack hard, able to do so from all areas, but have a good defensive ability. Would make Schweinsteiger captain as you need a cool head and someone not frightened of all the big names around.

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  • 74. At 6:19pm on 30 Dec 2010, phil wrote:

    #55 what absolute rubbish

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  • 75. At 6:19pm on 30 Dec 2010, VanMistelroum wrote:

    Who on earth is Douglas? I seriously doubt he's been as good as Vidic this season, whoever this fiendish Douglas is!

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  • 76. At 6:25pm on 30 Dec 2010, Nicole wrote:

    Evra > Ashley Cole

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  • 77. At 6:39pm on 30 Dec 2010, BayernRocks wrote:

    Lahm is listed as a RB because that's the position he has been playing since the 09-10 season. He was shifted there by Van Gaal and that is the position he played for Germany.

    And he certainly deserves to be in the team of the year. Imo he is the best overall rb - can both attack and defend ably. And he is extremely fit - only missed a game or two all year and has started nearly all of them for club and country. Astonishing player

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  • 78. At 6:40pm on 30 Dec 2010, Jonaldinho90 wrote:

    G. Neville, Carragher, R.Ferdinand, P.Neville
    Guthrie, Barry, Y.Toure, Hargreaves
    Rooney, Owen

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  • 79. At 6:47pm on 30 Dec 2010, BayernRocks wrote:

    I hate how I had to choose Xavi and Sneijder over Schweinsteiger and Muller. Both Schweini and Muller had amazing years...if only they had won the world cup. But Xavi and Iniesta were the best overall.

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  • 80. At 7:15pm on 30 Dec 2010, crafty222002 wrote:

    Just a quick one
    im not that bothered about voting for best teams but as a spurs fan I felt I ought to put the numerous on here who have said bale has only had a good couple of months right.
    Bale has pretty much been in great form since he came back into the spurs side in january and has been in this sort of unstoppable form since march which makes up the majority of 2010. It just took the papers about six months to cotton on to it.
    On a similar note there is no way I could include a player in a uefa best team who had been completely torn apart on not one but two occasions in uefas premier competition. Ok we all have bad games but to get in a best of 2010 team you should never be made to look thast poor by a player that few if any of you have included in your uefa best, although with iniesta listed as a left midfielder I have to admit I wouldnt have included bale either.
    I suppose it just shows the lack of talent in the full back positions that there is no stand out choice for either position.

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  • 81. At 7:22pm on 30 Dec 2010, BiiiiiG_Al wrote:

    They should have a funniest football moments award as well. My two candidates for 2010 was when we got Justice for Germany in 1966 with England's 'goal' and also when England got 1 vote in their World Cup hosting bid which is a sound reflection of what the rest of the world thinks about the english nation! Hilarious

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  • 82. At 7:23pm on 30 Dec 2010, redsloz wrote:

    There are some difficult choices to be made when deciding on a team like this. But after it all, you need to choose some players that have won things during the year as well as players that have burst onto the scene. Why include so many Barca players? Many of them won the World Cup, in a team so superior to the rest we may as well have stopped watching after they beat Chile in the group stage. Inter Milan's Champions League success was better than Spain's World Cup victory, and in winning the CL Inter beat the World Champions basically anyway. This criteria needs to be combined with players that have take the game to next level because of their brilliant performances.

    Lahm (Quite comfortably the world's best full-back, not just left/right back)
    Vidic (Man Utd won nothing, but he still had a great 2010)
    Ronaldo (His first year and half of his second year with Madrid have cemented his place among the games greatest)
    Sneijder (Put him in the Barca team and bye bye Iniesta)
    Ozil (Absolutely awesome in the World Cup, and his start at Real Madrid has probably ousted a former FIFA World Player of the year from the team)
    Messi (Phenomenal, easily better than any other Barca player, who was only let down by the small amount of trophies won)
    Robben (got Bayern Munich to the CL final with some of the most unbelievable goals I have ever seen)
    Milito (The most effective, efficient and deadly striker on the planet when on form, if only he was younger and somebody had signed him earlier)

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  • 83. At 7:23pm on 30 Dec 2010, kundios wrote:

    De Gea
    Maicon - Lucio - Pique - A.Cole
    Xavi - Busquets - Sneijder
    Messi - Milito - Ronaldo

    De Gea must be the keeper, played in 3 major finals this year before turning 20, should be the obvious choice but not many have gone for him. The defence picks itself, in midfield, Busquets just edges Schweinsteiger, and Sneijder just edges Iniesta based on his form up until the start of this season. Milito has to be up front, as he scored the goals that secured all of Inter's trophies last season. He and Forlan have started the season poorly, but I went for Milito over him, Muller and David Villa.

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  • 84. At 7:25pm on 30 Dec 2010, redsloz wrote:

    Forgot the left back. I would put Ashley Cole there because he won the double with Chelsea, scoring quite a few goals iin the process, and unlike most of the squad, didnt perform that badly in the World Cup.

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  • 85. At 7:32pm on 30 Dec 2010, MeWeeOpinion wrote:

    I am so surprised why people still think that there is a better left or right back than Phillip Lahm. He is soo good at both sides. To understand how good he is you have to check the performance for germany, the right or left winger always plays better than the other side as soon lahm is behind them, as they know their back is covered. Maicon, Evra and especially Cole are not as good as Lahm.
    Schweinsteiger would deserve to be in the team. While i agree Iniesta and Xavi are more creative player, I rate Schweinsteiger as the best defensive midfield player in the world.
    Imagine a midfield with Sneyder, Iniesta, Xavi and Iniesta and Messi (I still see him not as a real striker).
    One name that should be at least mentioned, but unfortunately has no chance against iniesta and Xavi, is Ozil. A great year with bremen, World Cup and a brilliant start with Real. I think he will be in there ina few years.
    Not surprised by the lack of English players, none of them has perfromed well throughout the year or even the World Cup. Even one f the best performers in the premier League last year (Fabregas) cannot be compared agaisnt the likes of Sneyder, Robben, Iniesta etc. Maybe it will change this season, who knows....

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  • 86. At 7:48pm on 30 Dec 2010, CulturedLeftPeg wrote:

    Cesar, Ramos, Lucio, Pique, Coentrao, Ronaldo, Xavi, Iniesta, Sneijder, Messi and Villa.

    Mourinho as coach.

    No idea why u decided to leave out villa considering he almost single handedly scored all of spains goals in the world cup. Knocked a few in for barca aswell.

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  • 87. At 8:02pm on 30 Dec 2010, Portugal_R_Live wrote:

    Lahm Lucio David Luiz Coentrao
    Ronaldo Xavi Sneidjer Iniesta
    Messi Forlan

    Coach: Mourinho

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  • 88. At 8:15pm on 30 Dec 2010, FlappyBale wrote:

    Casillas, Lahm, Pique, Lucio, Fabio Contraeo, Robben, Xavi, Sneijder, Bale , Messi, Higuain.

    Strange choices but personally I feel they've had the best 2010

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  • 89. At 8:16pm on 30 Dec 2010, FlappyBale wrote:

    Oh yeah and Del Bosque

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  • 90. At 8:18pm on 30 Dec 2010, FlappyBale wrote:

    I think Bale is better than Inesta on the left. Robben is better than Ronaldo on the right. And Higuain's had a great season.

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  • 91. At 8:27pm on 30 Dec 2010, FlappyBale wrote:

    At 6:19pm on 30 Dec 2010, VanMistelroum wrote:

    Who on earth is Douglas? I seriously doubt he's been as good as Vidic this season, whoever this fiendish Douglas is!
    Douglas is Twente's best center back. He played very well against Tottenham in the 2 legs. At only 22 he seems like a decent player and destined to play for Brazil.

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  • 92. At 8:29pm on 30 Dec 2010, finnharpsman wrote:

    (1) how can you possibly suggest that the team might get together for a game in the winter break. I am tired of reading about the "need" for a break in the English season and now you suggest that those who have a break might be brought together to play a meaningless game. I am totally baffled!
    (2) what is thing about including Pique in the team. I am totally baffled again. If he was at Manchester United now, he still would not get in that team so how is he worthy of playing for UEFA?

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  • 93. At 8:34pm on 30 Dec 2010, FlappyBale wrote:

    Because Finnharpsman he is a solid center back who has formed a watertight defence partnership with Puyol at Barca and Spain.

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  • 94. At 8:36pm on 30 Dec 2010, FlappyBale wrote:

    Has no-one seen Nasri and Ribery's exclusion to this list. Alos, where's Pedro and Busquets?

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  • 95. At 8:39pm on 30 Dec 2010, Pirlo-vision wrote:

    That team ought to be dominated by South Americans. Half of Inter's 1st team must surely be in there. I mean, who had a better season than Julio Cesar, Lucio, Cambiasso and Milito in their respective positions?

    GK - Casillas had an OK World Cup, though he didn't have much to do in all honesty. Cesar wasn't at his absolute best either in 2010 but there few, if any, better than him.

    DEF - Biased as I am, I reckon Thiago Silva is fast becoming the best CB in the world - shame he didn't play enough Champions League footy to get a look-in this time round. One for the future though. Walter Samuel, for me, is basically a better version of Vidic (minus the goal-threat). Alves and Maicon front-runners for the RB slot, both considerably better than the ever-so-slightly-overrated Lahm. Coentrao impressed in South Africa, but is still some way off Cole and Evra. I'd go with the Chelsea man for LB.

    MID - Cambiasso has got to be a shoe-in for holding-mid. Sit him alongside Xavi and you've got the perfect creator-destoyer set-up, even more so than Cambiasso-Sneijder. Out wide, Robben was decisive throughout the season and into the World Cup - stick-on for right-sided mid. Inter's Zanetti was his usual tireless self - 'class-personified' a phrase seemingly invented for him - BUT I'm going with Iniesta wide-left. He made history.

    FWD - Messi + one of: Drogba, Villa, Milito, Eto'o and Higuain. I'm going Argentine on this one; you can't score the title-deciding, cup-winning and CL-winning goals and not get into this side - Diego Milito rounds off my selections.

    Julio Cesar

    4/5 of that defence are South Americans, not to mention both the strikers. 7 members of my team are South American, and with some justification I might add. Yes, I admit, there are some humungous exclusions; Ronaldo, Sneijder, Pique, Puyol and Villa - but such is life...

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  • 96. At 8:42pm on 30 Dec 2010, Pirlo-vision wrote:

    Almost forgot...

    Just the small matter of the coach: Rafa Beni-...just kidding! It's gotta be Mourinho.

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  • 97. At 8:45pm on 30 Dec 2010, FlappyBale wrote:

    Hahahahahaha!!! Samuel over Pique. Pique, at 23, has established himself as first choice center back for both Spain and Barca, won the World Cup and that's still not enough to be better than a 32 year old center back who lacks everything except for good tackling. He can't head the ball well and for me is nowhere near as good as Gerard Pique.

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  • 98. At 8:54pm on 30 Dec 2010, Ronaldo_vs_Cristiano wrote:

    Maicon puyol vidic A.cole
    Robben kaka Lampard Bale
    Eto Drogba
    Coach: Pep G

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  • 99. At 8:55pm on 30 Dec 2010, FlappyBale wrote:

    How is Daniel Alves not there for right back?? I don't understand why Lukaku is there and Pedro isn't. Honestly who has picked Lukaku.I didn't know Cassano was a left-winger. And if you didn't know :

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  • 100. At 9:01pm on 30 Dec 2010, FlappyBale wrote:

    I thought this was a pretty poor voting system.

    Iniesta LM!? I know he has played there but it isn't exactly his natural position. And how can Messi be a forward and Ronaldo not be? They're either both right/left mid or both forward.


    I thought it was flawed in that respect too, Iniestas a centre mid of the left side of Barcas middle 3 not a left winger.

    Bales been the best left midfieldser in my biased opinion, but Inesta can't be left out!
    Couldn't agree more

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  • 101. At 9:53pm on 30 Dec 2010, Kevin wrote:

    Gotta say, Phil, based on those players' performances over the season, I don't see a whole lot wrong with the claim you make. Of course, were this side to play together, it would probably be quite imbalanced (no outstanding defensive midfielder as such), and there's still a whole load of others that could possibly be included (Zanetti? Diego Milíto? Even someone like Busquets and Xabi Alonso have rightful claims to be in the mix), but it's always subject to personal opinion at the end of the day.

    And, after all, the concept isn't to pick the best "team" as such; merely to pick the best players to make an XI.

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  • 102. At 9:54pm on 30 Dec 2010, Football_Realist wrote:

    "Why are so many people so desperate to include Ronaldo? It's all on past seasons glory. Ronaldos had a good 2010, helping madrid achieve nothing, underachieving by their standards. Robben carried Bayern to a champions league final in a weaker team, as well as playing a key role getting Holland to a world cup final, whilst Ronaldo scored a goal he knew nothing about against North Korea? It baffles me why so many are including Ronaldo instead in a form team of 2010."

    Sorry, but this is rubbish. Have you actually SEEN Ronaldo's statistics in 2010?? They're absolutely insane, something like 45 goals in 50 games - Robben spent three quarters of the year injured, had a good run of 10-15 games and that was it. While generally you could count achievements over individual performances, in this case it's just plain ridiculous.

    Having said that, Rooney and Evra aren't there because quite simply, ManUtd had a terrible year collectively, no real silverware to speak of.

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  • 103. At 9:55pm on 30 Dec 2010, Sir K wrote:

    My team

    Julio Cesar, Maicon, Lucio, Pique, Coentrao, Robben, Xavi, Sneijder, Iniesta, Messi, Villa

    Coach Jose Mourinho

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  • 104. At 10:06pm on 30 Dec 2010, samredunited4life wrote:

    some really surprising inclusions, lukaku may be a quality player but hes 17 and plays in belgian league?? all the other strikers probably deserve their nominations and after rooneys poor year, well since around march, he probably didnt merit a nomination.

    adam johnson hasnt really played that much and nani and nasri would have been far more worthy of nominations for the midfield and whoever put kuyt in there must have done that for a joke there are better players in the championship than him.

    at left back clearly evra should be there imo he is only bettered by ashley cole, but bastos and riise are both nominated ok both have explosive shots and are good attacking and driving forward but i feel evra has a better overall game.

    in central defence the omission of vidic is hard to comprehend, easily the best cb in the world and very consistant man united struggle when without ferdinand and especially vidic, when united play consistantly well ferdinand and vidic are always the backbone of the team. imo both could have been nominated and vidic should be in the team, douglas is good player now coming through, young but deserves a nomination, not sure about hangaland and soulamayne??? and puyol is just a more aggressive version of richard dunne and gets away with more fouls than even john terry, mind you if titus bramble had been in a team that won the world cup they would probably have nominated him...

    my team

    gk: julio cesar

    rb: lahm (just ahead of maicon)
    cb: pique
    cb: lucio (would have been vidic if nominated)
    lb: cole

    cm: cambiasso (huge player for inter a leader, can pass, tackle and chip in with goals)
    am: fabregas (good allround game and brilliant passer)
    lm: malouda (strong fast and scores lots of goals)
    rm: ronaldo (has to be in the team, unrivalled goalscoring ability one of the worlds top players)

    cf: forlan (exciting player with fantastic vision and technical ability and scores loads)
    cf: villa (imo the best player in the world pretty much led spain to the world cup final with his goals)

    coach: mourinho (always gets the best out of his players and his win at all costs attitude is instilled into his players)

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  • 105. At 10:19pm on 30 Dec 2010, danlucas wrote:

    coach mourinho
    How vidic was not there I never know

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  • 106. At 10:45pm on 30 Dec 2010, jstan wrote:

    104- Included Malouda and Forlan but not Messi? hahahahahaaha

    And anyone who has watched Barca this season will see that Villa pops up around the left wing position more than Iniesta does! Though thats all apart of the rotational front 4 or 5 that most top teams play these days.

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  • 107. At 11:36pm on 30 Dec 2010, JP wrote:

    Julio Cesar - Helped Inter win UCL, helped brazil to semis at world cup, neither could have done it without him
    Lahm - Showed his leadership at the world cup by guiding a group of youngsters to 3rd place, and was brilliant in getting to the UCL final with Bayern
    Lucio - Very Solid year, with winning the treble and getting to the world cup semis
    Pique - Another very solid year, winning the world cup and doing well in the champions league
    Cole - Helped Chelsea win the double, proved a constant threat where-ever he went
    Robben - Was key in getting both his club and country of the final of both the UCL and the world cup respectively, and helped Bayern win the domestic double
    Khedira - Since january has gone from zero to hero, being key for Germany at the world cup, and is now one of Real Madrid's best players.
    Sneijder - Simply the best attacking midfielder in the world last season, was the main man in bringing both his club and country to very strong finishes ad the finals in both the UC and the world cup
    Bale - Simply the best 1 on 1 attacking player in the world right now
    Drogba - Was key in helping chelsea win the domestic double last season,
    Forlan - Was key in helping Athletico Madrid win the Europa league last season, and also was very influential in allowing uruguay to punch well above their weight in the world cup
    Jose - Who else is anywhere near as good as he is

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  • 108. At 11:42pm on 30 Dec 2010, kaufman39 wrote:

    great blog, particularly delighted at your praise of coentrao. quite telling that none of your picks (and i find it hard to argue with them) feature no premier league players at all. an exciting league? absolutely. top quality? that's to be found in spain, and, emergingly, germany.

    i'd love a blog on the seemingly meteoric rise of the bundesliga, there are many things many readers would love to know on here, as would i. its financing puzzles and fascinates me - perhaps you could shed some light on it? i hear t-mobile and bayern have the most lucrative sponsorship contract in the world, more than man u or madrid!

    for the record, here's my team - i've not kept to uefa players (vidic?!) or formation (i've gone 4-2-3-1, this is the team i believe should be uefa team of the year:

    julio cesar ; lahm , lucio , vidic , a. cole / coentrao (would go for evra but for a quite poor 2010) ; xavi , schweinsteiger ; messi , iniesta , robben ; villa

    (ronaldo, sneijder on the bench i'm afraid - great year for attacking football)

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  • 109. At 11:45pm on 30 Dec 2010, kaufman39 wrote:

    oh, and boss: allardyce - give him the chance to finally manage the team he deserves to!

    and guardiola or mourinho if he's unavailable / taken the burnley job instead

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  • 110. At 01:08am on 31 Dec 2010, theleodensian wrote:

    Hi Phil,

    In order to add a little more variety in attack how about putting Drogba up there along with Ronaldo and Messi? You then have a bit of everything. On his day Drogba is unplayable and has the ability to create space and opportunities for others.

    I also think that maybe there should be some annual fixture of teams from Asia, Europe, Africa and the Americas that would be something to really behold and give the participants some pride to play for.

    My Side would be:

    Lahm, Pique, Lucio, A.Cole,
    Iniesta, Essien, Xavi,
    Messi, Drogba, Ronaldo

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  • 111. At 01:28am on 31 Dec 2010, MatG14 wrote:

    My team of the year not according to the rules.

    Formation 4-1-3-1-1

    keeper - casillas, won the world cup. was thinking of van der sar but he has had a lack of games due to his age over the last season
    Right back - maicon, even though he was exposed by bale everybody has a bad game and he has been influentale going forward aswell as defence
    R Centre back - Vidic (also Captain)! why is he not nominated? hes a no nonsense defender who can handle any centre forward, mabye not torres though
    L Centre back - puyol, won the world cup with spain and is a key part of the backbone to barcelona
    Left Back - Ashley Cole - He hardly ever makes an error and also overlaps nicely to join in attacks mabye coming up with a bit of winger magic from time to time.
    Defensive midfielder - Schweinstieger - very tough decision as there are many people who can fill in this role but his performnce at the world cup was brilliant with his playing the ball from the middle to every inch of the pithch.
    Left midfield - Iniesta - brilliant performances all year for spain and barcelona, and obviously the world cup final winning goal.
    Centre midfield - Xavi - his passing is second to none and he never gives the ball away. tight spaces are no problem as he just passes his way out of trouble. no extravagant tricks just brilliant build up play.
    Right midfield - christiano Ronaldo (Robben very close) - how much i hate to put him in as i am a manchester united fan. but he is one of the if not the most dangerous man with a football at the momment. 20 goals already this season for real madrid and can be deployed from Right midfield attacking midfield to anywhere in attack.
    Second Striker - Messi - no doubt in my mind on this one. Control is brilliant and the only way to stop him is either foul him or just not let him have the ball. sounds east but that ball is glued to his feet!
    Centre Forward - could not decide between - Deigo Forlan, David Villa, Tevez, Drogba or Rooney (yes, even after the world cup) but the i remembered the german striker who has equalled the alltime world cup goal scoring talley, (Klose) He is my striker because to be the world cups highest marksmen ever is something to be proud of! his goal scoring instinct is world class along with the the vision the be in the right place at the right time. he may be getting old but you can guarrantee him to get goals and thats all you want from a centre forward.

    And finally my manager in jose mourihnio basically because of the champions league. But if sir alex ferguson had won the league then he would be a no brainer! 24 years in charge of one of the biggest footballing clubs in the world. Not Bad

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  • 112. At 01:38am on 31 Dec 2010, foreverblue94 wrote:

    Why is no-one picking Drogba? he is undoubtably the greatest striker in the world, (messi and ronaldo are wingers!). I'm sorry but i would rather be in goal against 5 david villa's than 1 drogba, top scorer in the premier league last year, minus the past 4 weeks has been outstanding in the chelsea team, always passionate and scored in the world cup against brazil (many peoples 2nd favourites to win) with a broken arm! Drogba has to be there!
    anyway my team is-
    Cesar- best out of a relatively poor group
    Lahm- best full back in the world
    Cole- him or evra for the best lb but evra aint there
    Puyol- rock solid for barca and spain
    Pique- together him and puyol are quality (and i dilike the inter cb)
    Xavi- simply outstanding and doesnt get the recognition he deserves
    Ronaldo- no explanation required
    Malouda- i dont know why but i hate iniesta, and bale doesnt seem to excell in the premier league
    Sneijder- quality for inter, and holland
    Drogba(c)- see rant above
    Messi- no explanation required
    Mourinho- no explanation required

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  • 113. At 01:47am on 31 Dec 2010, theaggregator wrote:

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  • 114. At 02:30am on 31 Dec 2010, Crip_Cooke wrote:

    Gotta have Forlan in the side, What an incredible 12 months that long haired Uruguayan man has had, just phenomenal. World Cup 2010's player of the tournament and its not even close.

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  • 115. At 02:32am on 31 Dec 2010, drew wrote:

    Everyone is saying mourinho for manager. Are we forgetting he managed to get spanked 5 nil by barca and nobody is going for pep? Odd indeed

    At least a few people mentioned del bosque. He was the world cup winning manager, the first in spain's history!!!!

    If we excluded the world cup as it was dealt with by th fifa player pole and just went for best players in the different leagues and uefa competitions.

    I think van der vaart deserves a mention for his spurs form along with modric and bale. Im bored by everyone plumping for barca and inter players. Inter were a disgrace in the second leg at camp nou. Almost playing like rangers did throughout their uefa cup campaign when they got to the final. Anti football. It was annoying as Inter had quality players who could have played the proper way and still excelled and went through.

    ok heres my team

    Maicon Puyol Vidic Bale
    Robben Xavi Busquets Iniesta
    Messi Ronaldo

    And here's my tongue in cheek team

    Richard Kingson

    Glen Johnson Krygiakos Cahill Bridge

    Pennant P Nev Lucas Obertan

    Rooney Torres

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  • 116. At 02:36am on 31 Dec 2010, drew wrote:

    What has happened to michael essien recently? I thought he was the best in the world in his position and never got enough praise? He's in the same boat as Torres, Rooney, Terry, Gerrard, Van der Sar, Carragher. World beaters in 2009, and looking washed up/past it this year

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  • 117. At 02:39am on 31 Dec 2010, drew wrote:

    Guardiola as manager too! Noble mentions for Milans new manager,Owen Coyle, Ian Holloway. Manager of my joke team has to be Roy Hodgson. What a dummy. He needs to keep his mouth shut and stop gaffing

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  • 118. At 03:22am on 31 Dec 2010, cjewelz wrote:


    Your team is lame.

    Cesar has had a better year than Casillas.
    Where's Alves?
    Cole is easily the best left-back in the world. Where did you get Coentrão from? A player dosn't become world-class in months. It takes at least a few years of consistent performances.
    Forlan over Villa or the legendary Eto'o? You can't be serious.

    And you obviously chose the coach for reasons other than ability. Best cheekbones perhaps? Why didn't you make the title 'stuntman/coach'? It would have been more appropriate. Del Bosque and Van Gaal are winners without the histrionics or being divas.

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  • 119. At 03:38am on 31 Dec 2010, JazzaP wrote:

    GOAKEEPER - Julio Caesar
    DEFENDERS - Maicon, Nemanja Vidic, Gerard Pique Ashley Cole
    MIDFIELDERS - Wesley Sneijder, Xavi, Andreas Iniesta, Gareth Bale
    STRIKERS - Arjen Robben, Lionel Messi, Diego Forlan
    COACH - Jose Mourinho

    UNDERPERFORMERS OF THE YEAR: Wayne Rooney, Fernando Torres, Cristiano Ronaldo, ENGLAND NATIONAL FOOTBALL TEAM !

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  • 120. At 03:55am on 31 Dec 2010, cjewelz wrote:

    P.S. Ronaldo is a full time model/part-time footballer. He can't be chosen ahead of Robben or Zanetti (maybe for promotional purposes or if the voter is impressed by Portugese males' cheekbones).

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  • 121. At 08:42am on 31 Dec 2010, Ray Silvester wrote:

    I can understand Hangeland as Fulham did reach the final of the Europa League and UEFA would highlight that.Adam Johnson is patently ridiculous.
    The 'team' you get from picking the 11 players would probably be a bit naive in midfield with no ball winner and a bit one dimensional in attack with no 'proper' centre forward.For those reasons Schweinsteiger and Drogba are musts.

    My Team:Cesar;A.Cole,Lucio,Vidic,Maicon;Schweinsteiger,Schneider,C.Ronaldo,Iniesta;Drogba,Messi.

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  • 122. At 10:02am on 31 Dec 2010, BringBackFootie wrote:

    The omission of Evra is quite correct, terrible in the WC terrible for a good part of this season and at fault for some of MUs late draws this season, not even close to being nominated, such blinndness only comes from MU fans, Evra i having the worst year of his career

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  • 123. At 10:17am on 31 Dec 2010, 1950 wrote:

    @ 118 cjewelz

    How have you come up with "Where did you get Coentrão from? A player dosn't become world-class in months."

    He has been terrifyingly good in the whole of 2010, and for the past 18 months if you want to stretch it. On a personal level, he hardly ever has a bad game.

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  • 124. At 11:08am on 31 Dec 2010, AlanintheBalkans wrote:

    Why isn't Mick McCarthy shortlisted?

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  • 125. At 12:05pm on 31 Dec 2010, 1882lillywhite wrote:

    I'm amazed at the number of people on here who claim to know so much about European Club football. I personally have no interest whatsoever in trying to select players for a totally ficticious team and for what is a totally futile exercise.

    But I am interested in those that seem to think Ashley Cole is so good.
    I've seen him play on numerous occasions and I must be watching a different game to many of you. Cole began his career at Arsenal by kicking people, usually because he was caught out of position, and bad mouthing Referees and from what I've seen nothing has changed whilst playing for Chelsea and England. If this makes you a great full back then perhaps I need to review my understanding of the game. Or perhaps it shows how much the defensive aspect of a full back has been marginalised in the modern game , because a great tackler or defender he is not.

    On the second issue of Gareth Bale's inclusion in this list, it is about performance over 2010 isn't it ? If so then I would argue that Bale's inclusion is totally justified. He does more in one game than most do in a month's of games. There is no-one that I can think of currently, although I'm prepared to bow to all these European football experts, that can do what Bale does and on that alone I would say he merits consideration.

    Finally, for those that have suggested that Rooney should be included I would say that they need to actually watch football rather than than just reading all the hype. He must be one of the most overrated players in European football at the moment, and he certainly does not merit a place in the England team let alone a European one.

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  • 126. At 12:14pm on 31 Dec 2010, James Dunmore wrote:

    Whilst I think he is a good player, and would walk into any team in the prem.... is bale in the:
    - top 10 goal scorers this season?
    - top 50 goal assists this season?

    Double no I'm afraid. Granted it's league form, and he did hit some great goals in the champions league, but just saying, there are better players out there.....

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  • 127. At 12:21pm on 31 Dec 2010, zq51ccrr01 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 128. At 12:55pm on 31 Dec 2010, James Brook wrote:

    Whilst I think he is a good player, and would walk into any team in the prem.... is bale in the:
    - top 10 goal scorers this season?
    - top 50 goal assists this season?

    Double no I'm afraid. Granted it's league form, and he did hit some great goals in the champions league, but just saying, there are better players out there.....

    Goals and assists don't tell the whole story, without bale we wouldn't have scored the second goal against villa but he doesn't get an assist as he passed to lennon....that's what he brings to us more than simply assists/goals...

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  • 129. At 2:12pm on 31 Dec 2010, LeoMessiah wrote:

    Regarding the tactic, there should only be one center back, not two, and there should be a specific winger slot, particularly with a generation that includes Messi, Ronaldo, Ribery, Robben, Pedro, Arshavin, Lennon, Cazorla, Navas, Di Maria, etc.

    If you have not included Messi, you failed. Don't take part in footy chats to avoid self-embarrassment.

    Xavi-Iniesta-Messi were not hand-picked by FIFA, they were voted by journalists around Europe, and both captain and coach of each international squad. That's a lot of votes. Following on that...

    @ 55 you deserve a new coach for the team you support that will have the exact same taste for football as you have. 2 or 3 consecutive demotions guaranteed

    Evra and Cole are amongst the best LBs in Europe. Evra is not so clearly the best in the world, and Cole is not as bad as some want to make them.

    Bale deserves to be in because he can change games, and Rooney too, because he scored a bucketful of goals in a very strong league.

    Ronaldo will never play alongside Messi: the Barca squad as a whole wouldn't shake Ronaldo's hand to save themselves from falling off a cliff. They despise Ronaldo with everything they have.

    And please, no more friendly rubbish games like Europe vs XIs vs friends of Zidane/Ronaldo. European league is what we need, and if it is outside UEFA/FIFA, better.

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  • 130. At 2:36pm on 31 Dec 2010, Delixu wrote:

    Iker Casillas
    Philipp Lahm (C)
    David Luiz
    Gerard Piqué
    Fábio Coentrão
    Dirk Kuyt
    Sami Khedira
    Wesley Sneijder
    Gareth Bale
    Lionel Messi
    Romelu Lukaku

    Louis Van Gaal

    If I were to pick subs, they'd be
    David De Gea
    Gregory van der Wiel
    Carles Puyol
    Adam Johnson
    Bastian Schweinsteiger
    Andrés Iniesta
    Diego Forlan

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  • 131. At 3:08pm on 31 Dec 2010, Millsss wrote:

    I do not understand why so many people have Iker Casillas in their teams. Has anyone actually watched him over the last year, he has been way below par, making a lot of mistakes in the process and its not as if he ever has to do much in la liga. If they have him in their teams for the World Cup which would really be the only explanation as he barely gets to perform in the Champions League with Real Madrid getting knocked out in last 16 every year, then I don't understand that either, the game which Spain lost at the World Cup against Switzerland was due to some terrible goalkeeping from Casillas when he tried to slide tackle a Swiss player when he could have easily gone with his hands.
    People have him in their teams on reputation alone it seems

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  • 132. At 4:02pm on 31 Dec 2010, Patches79 wrote:

    Gordon, Onuoha, Bramble, Turner, Bardsley, Richardson, Xavi, Iniesta, Henderson, Messi, Gyan

    Happy New Year Y'allllllllllllllllllllll

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  • 133. At 5:26pm on 31 Dec 2010, Kevin wrote:

    Once again, the thickies have all turned out. Don't people understand, the point of Phil's team is based on THIS SEASON'S performances, not those of previous years. Some idiot earlier said Ronaldo shouldn't be in, as he's living off a reputation made in previous seasons. HOW many goals has he scored for Real in 2010? 50 in 52 or something daft like that? Some people shouldn't be allowed near a football, let alone talk about it.

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  • 134. At 5:28pm on 31 Dec 2010, speedgod wrote:

    Can't quite believe Vidic isn't in there, and Brede Hangeland is. It's a joke. I absolutely agree with you Someone Less Imaginative Stole My Username. A.C & D.V probably deserve positions in the line up (going on the 2nd half of Prem last season, W.C and La Liga respectively).

    Half of the Fifa nominees are quite average players, I think Fifa have a grudge Man Utd to be honest. Not one of our players was nominated. Ridiculous. Everything in that corporation is dodgy. Lugano had a poor World Cup. And including Dirk Kuyt?!?! That's ludicrous! I think Eto'o had a average season, with his standards. Cambiasso didn't do anything special either. Douglas, who is he? Davide Santon is better in my estimations.

    My Team Would Be this, regardless of the idiotic nominees

    Van Der Sar, Maicon, Vidic, Pique, A.Cole, A.Valencia, Xavi, Ozil, Bale, Messi, Villa.

    Coach: Del Bosque

    If it was the first half of the calendar year Rooney would be in there. It might surprise you I included Antonio Valencia in my team. In the premier League last season, he was truly amazing. Half of Rooney's goals were assists and crosses from this guy. Nani was excellent also, but just missed out on a place.

    Jose Mourinho's style is one similar to Blackpool. Smash and Grab. Get one goal then sit back. I hate it, and this is why Del Bosque was my choice.

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  • 135. At 5:59pm on 31 Dec 2010, Chelsea_King wrote:

    My team: Casillas, Ivanovic, Lucio, Puyol, A.Cole, Ronaldo, Xavi, Sneijder, Malouda, Drogba, Messi

    Coach : Jose Mourinho

    Yes. I am a Chelsea fan :)

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  • 136. At 7:10pm on 31 Dec 2010, FlappyBale wrote:

    I think it's a really poor voting system. Loads of players out of position and some very dubious decisions about who is included and who isn't. Personally I don't think Bastos is a left back and how messi is a striker and ronaldo isn't amazes me. Also the formation is not used by that many good teams.

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  • 137. At 7:22pm on 31 Dec 2010, FlappyBale wrote:

    GK - Casillas
    RB - Dani Alves
    CB - Pique
    CB - Lucio
    LB - Lahm
    CM - Sergio Busquets
    AM - Iniesta
    AM - Xavi
    LAW - Villa
    RAW - Messi
    CF - Eto'o

    Manager : Del Bosque

    Mostly Barcelona, I've opted to put the Barca three in midfield and Villa and Messi out wide up front. Dani Alves is easily the most attacking defender in the world and Pique is a solid center back who plays every game.

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  • 138. At 7:47pm on 31 Dec 2010, garythenotrashcougar wrote:


    Alves. Lucio. Pique. Cole.


    Sneijder. Xavi. Iniesta.



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  • 139. At 8:15pm on 31 Dec 2010, Isle of Manc wrote:

    Why is Pique so highly rated?

    The worst part about the current Barcelona side right now is their defense, and while they have at least 60-70% possession in every game, their defense still looks suspect. I don't see how anyone in their right mind can rate him over Vidic?

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  • 140. At 8:36pm on 31 Dec 2010, Leye wrote:

    Having the team of the year from UEFA and other continental bodies play a friendly tournamnet in real life either for charity or just because would be awesome, i would love that and i'm sure lots of other fans would!

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  • 141. At 11:55pm on 31 Dec 2010, All_Rafa_s_starlets wrote:

    Post140 Leye wrote: Having the team of the year from UEFA and other continental bodies play a friendly tournamnet in real life either for charity or just because would be awesome, i would love that and i'm sure lots of other fans would!
    fabulous idea. let's have some fun together. and yes, the Premier League should consider a winter break - if only to give England the chance of winning another World Cup!

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  • 142. At 01:49am on 01 Jan 2011, Komoria-United wrote:

    Who ever picked up those player should watch English teams before making that type of selection, Because the past 3 or 4 years till today The champion's league is dominated by English team , or maybe the selector is an anti united ?

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  • 143. At 05:05am on 01 Jan 2011, The1exile wrote:

    More people need to vote for David de Gea, I think. The man's only just turned 20 and he's already well on the way to becoming one of the best goalkeepers in the world. Atletico really are the team to watch in terms of seeing who Spain will field in goal if not in the next world cup, then I think almost certainly in Russia because of Sergio Asenjo as well (21). Like the expert video there says, he really has no ceiling in terms of his potential.

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  • 144. At 05:53am on 01 Jan 2011, Beberico_congolais wrote:

    I agree with the selection but i disagree with exclusion of SAMUEL ETO'O. Even though i'm not african i just admire the way this guy plays. If it is not racism then i don't understand why the world should watch such injustice done to this guy after proving to everyone what he is made of in all teams....striker: Messi + Samuel Eto'o.

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  • 145. At 08:39am on 01 Jan 2011, Hany wrote:

    I don't understand how or why Walter Samuel's contributions last year were missed by so many people? He was by far one of the best defenders last year.

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  • 146. At 09:07am on 01 Jan 2011, Komoria-United wrote:

    Van der sar
    Evra, Vidic best defenders in europe

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  • 147. At 09:12am on 01 Jan 2011, A wet windy night in Stoke wrote:

    Dream Team:

    Alves Puyol Pique Evra
    Iniesta Bosquets Xavi
    Pedritto Messi D.Sliva

    Coach: Bosque

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  • 148. At 10:15am on 01 Jan 2011, DownSouthBhoy wrote:

    I'm stunned that nobody has included the Bearded Messi, the Derry Pele, the one, the only: Patrick "Zinedine" McCourt. In South America they call Diego Maradonna "the Argentinian Paddy McCourt". I've not seen a player with such natural skill, an ability to create excitement and all-round entertainment value for a long time. Check him out, never scored an "ordinary" goal.

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  • 149. At 11:35am on 01 Jan 2011, gooner8 wrote:

    I haven't been on the website but if I was to pick my team it wud be Casillas in goals, alves right back coentrao left back, it wud hav been maxwell had he played more games 4 barca, pique and lucio centre backs, xavi, sneider and busquest in midfield, messi on the right iniesta on the left, just 2 get him into the team, and I am torn between drogba or villa up front, id probably go 4 villa due to his connection with the barca and spanish players ut drogba runs him extremely close.

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  • 150. At 1:56pm on 01 Jan 2011, cantona86 wrote:

    Anyone who doesn't have Ashley Cole at left back is either crazy or related to Cheryl Tweedy

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  • 151. At 2:01pm on 01 Jan 2011, cantona86 wrote:

    #134 "Jose Mourinho's style is one similar to Blackpool. Smash and Grab. Get one goal then sit back. I hate it, and this is why Del Bosque was my choice."

    What are you on about?! Blackpool have been one of the most attacking entertaining teams this season. they are like a poor mans arsenal they only know how to attack

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  • 152. At 2:18pm on 01 Jan 2011, DrCajetanCoelho wrote:

    Phil has put forward a formidable set of eleven top class footballers. Manchester City's young and well built central defender Vincent Kompany has had a great season. He looks good for a slot in the defence.

    Dr. Cajetan Coelho

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  • 153. At 3:45pm on 01 Jan 2011, Willsib wrote:

    As mentioned previously it is difficult to leave out Maicon purely because of Gareth Bale's performance against him, but isn't this testament to Bale? Turning possibly the world's best centre back inside out? On his day there is no doubt that Bale is the best left sided player in the world, no player in the world has an engine like him. He will be in the team of the year, if not this time round then probably next time.

    Out of interest, would it not have been better to put Bale in at left-back and Sneijder as left wing?

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  • 154. At 4:26pm on 01 Jan 2011, kavencleary wrote:

    MY TEAM my opinion
    goal: ben foster
    defence dani alves , roger johnson , scott dann , ashley cole
    mid : valencia , xavi , kaka , bale
    striker : messi, milto
    subs : joe hart , puyol , pique , snejider , c.ronaldo , robben , pedro
    manager: ian holloway

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  • 155. At 4:31pm on 01 Jan 2011, kavencleary wrote:

    NO SCOTT DANN OR ROGER JOHNSON they had a fantastic season and so did joe hart

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  • 156. At 5:45pm on 01 Jan 2011, cakedeath wrote:


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  • 157. At 8:34pm on 01 Jan 2011, gavingrewcock3 wrote:

    Ramos Puyol Lucio Cole
    Robben Xavi Sneijder Iniesta
    Messi Forlan

    Coach : Mourinho

    Subs :
    Casillas Lucio Coentrao Schweinstiger Ronaldo Bale Villa

    How people cant pick puyol is beyond me

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  • 158. At 10:34pm on 01 Jan 2011, Alan Devonshires my hero wrote:

    Hi Phil top blog as per the Norm and a happy new year,

    I agree with your team and think any of these players selected are very worthy but what i have noticed is some of the players are included on their efforts for the start of this season and not from the season before to be honest they just werent up to scratch ( in my eyes )

    I have selected a team of some outsiders but what they and there clubs/countries achived was top draw and what i have done is pull out those that just didnt do it at the world cup like we all anticipated i hope i have done the football system justice by choosing on merit of last season.

    GK - Julio Cesar - Was outstanding and grew better and better throughout.
    RB - Phillip Lahm (C) - Young lad who has matured so quickly and proving it by captaining Germany in a very impressive world cup.
    CB - Douglas - Underated by people that dont look past Spanish/Italian/PL teams was a revelation in my eyes for Twente
    CB - Pique - Really is showing Man U what they let go, Can tackle, Run with the ball and pass exceptionally.
    LB - Geo V.Bronkhorst - Still doing it season in season out and had a brilliant swansong at the WC.
    RM - Robben - Unlucky on the Champs Leaque and the World Cup but by far the best RM out of the lot.
    CM - Xavi - Do i really need to explain?
    AM - Sheisuke Honda - Been absolutely blinding for CSKA and was oustanding in the WC very underated and can see him on the move this month.
    LM - Andres Iniesta - Not even going to.....
    F - Diego Forlan - Been the stalwart for Athletico and then guided Uruguay to such an impressive WC if only he was younger!
    F - Diego Millito - Brilliant domestic, European, and WC campaigns really was brilliant.
    Manager - Quique Sanchez Flores - First ever season at Athletico and look at what he achieved they were 25-1 to win the Europa League! Top drawer and he didnt jump ship :p

    I love players like Messi, Bale and Cole but there was one factor that inched it for me what they ended up achieving Bale got to Europe with spurs THEN left his mark other than that was reletively quiet, Cole did nought but keep the injury bed warm in my eyes and Messi fot played out of the World Cup ( only because Maradona didnt want to become forgotten ) but also Barca only did the basics at home it might seem harsh but for me Puyol who is awesome just got pipped by Pique because of the world cup and euro campaigns i can remember Pique throwing himself at no less than 10 would have been goals at the WC alone.

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  • 159. At 10:44pm on 01 Jan 2011, Komoria-United wrote:

    --------------------------------Van der sar--------------------------------------




    Sub: Cesar, puyol , pique , snejider , c.ronaldo , robben , Benzema

    Coach: Alex Ferguson

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  • 160. At 00:22am on 02 Jan 2011, KAMI789 wrote:

    ---------------Hugo Lloris--------------
    Sergio ramos--Pique--Nemanja Vidic--Evra

    Jose Mourinho

    Casillas, david villa, pique, fabio coentrao, torres, fabregas, sneijder

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  • 161. At 01:58am on 02 Jan 2011, PabloPiatti wrote:

    upper90magazine's team of the year: Casillas, A Cole, Maicon, Lucio, Pique, Xavi, Iniesta, Schweinsteiger, Robben, Messi, Villa.

    Ronaldo, Sneijder and Lahm just miss out!

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  • 162. At 02:56am on 02 Jan 2011, lukenadal wrote:

    eboue senderos darren moore silvestre


    taarabt wagner

    hleb dj campbell

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  • 163. At 06:43am on 02 Jan 2011, zencla27 wrote:

    Casillas-F.Coentrao-N.Vidic-Puyol-D.Alves-G.Bale-Xavi-W.Sneijder-C.Ronaldo-L.Messi-S.Eto`o.Coach Sir Alex Fergusson. Subs:J.Cesar,Maicon,Fabregas,Pique,Iniesta,Dzeko,S.Nasri

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  • 164. At 09:35am on 02 Jan 2011, Messi is English wrote:

    -----------De Gea-----------

    Jose Mouriniho

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  • 165. At 09:56am on 02 Jan 2011, predator from caracas wrote:

    Thomas Mueller is too close to being one of the best either at right or just behind the central striker. Not to forget, he had a great Champions League and obviously the World Cup too.

    And it's always shocking to see how UEFA and FIFA personnel alike seem to so ridiculously not see what the general football fans all around the globe can see. Otherwise, Vidic, Pato,and Evra would not be excluded from the list. If Lukaku can be there why can't Pato,Pedro and Dzeko? And about the only available rigid formation? Just Laughable.

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  • 166. At 11:37am on 02 Jan 2011, Zabi wrote:

    -----------------------Iker Casillas-----------------------
    Maicon - Lucio - Gerard Pique - Giovanni van Bronckhorst
    Arjen Robben -Andres Iniesta - Steven Gerrard - Gareth Bale
    ----------------Lionel Messi - Diego Forlan----------------

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  • 167. At 12:01pm on 02 Jan 2011, footy_analysis - play beautifully - wrote:

    Casillas, Maicon, Pique, Lucio, Cole, Robben, Xavi, Iniesta, Sneijder, Messi, Villa. Coach, Del Bosque, who would create the most entertaining side.

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  • 168. At 5:10pm on 02 Jan 2011, World Cup Wally wrote:

    I see quite a few expressions of shock here at Adam Johnson being included as nominee in the UEFA Community Team of the Year.

    It looks like

    a)the European community can see the class talent that is Adam Johnson, whereas it seems in the UK most fans are very slow at catching on to the fact we've got a great young talent in our midst, that's to date being sorely undervalued and underused.

    b) The British fans don't seem to get the fact Johnson has been on the bench so much, has got little to do with his ability, and more to do with Mancini's irrational prejudice against him, and his adventurous style of play to date.

    But maybe Mancini is finally learning his lesson now, because he's started him the last 2 Premier League games, the 4-0 win over Villa, and the 1-0 win over Blackpool yesterday in which Johnson saved Mancini yet again.

    c) It looks like few or nobody here bothered to listen to Gary Lineker's comments on Johnson on the UEFA Community website - which were news to me incidentally - on the "Expert Video Verdict" on the page for Adam Johnson/Right Midfielders,which discusses the 5 right midfielders, with Lineker commenting on him at the very end of the video.

    I quote Gary Lineker verbatim: "he has all the attributes of being a proper player, a world class player".

    d) a number of European teams this year, both nationally and internationally have been on the wrong end of Adam Johnson's goals or match winning performances, and perhaps not enough fans in this county as yet have been. There's time.

    e) Unlike most other "top" Premier League footballers, including names like Rooney and Tevez, Adam Johnson is two footed, can play on either wing, and so he really had 2 cracks at being a nominee because he might just as well have been nominated as "left midfield".

    I've been pointing out for most of the last several months here and there how Mancini has been keeping Johnson down - e.g. didn't start him even after winning "Man of the Match" against Newcastle in October, so he's not been allowed to develop as quickly as he should have, and the same has been true of England, when although he was apparently "the star of the pre-world cup training camp" Capello left him behind, or it might have been a very different 2010 World Cup for England.

    Maybe that's why we haven't won it for so long, that we are very slow to appreciate and value our own English native born talent, and seem to think that a player can't really be brilliant nowadays unless he has a foreign name like Tevez, Messi, Ronaldo or whoever.

    But I genuinely fear he might never fulfil his potential at Man City, because even though Mancini's allowed him a couple of Premier League starts in the last two games, I don't think he's allowing him to play his natural entertaining, adventurous game, and having observed him carefully in every game he's played for City and England since last December, his all round performances this season, especially for City, are not as good as last year, despite more goals, though still good by anybody else's standards.

    I think the future of both Man City and England will depend very much on whether Adam Johnson fulfills his potential or not, which right now it appears is almost entirely in Roberto Mancini's hands, and to a lesser degree Fabio Cappello's.

    Will Mancini let AJ start against Arsenal, in what could be one of the most critical games of the season on Wednesday?

    Even if he does, will he order him not to dribble, not to do solo runs, and pass to other players like Tevez, who as we all know, missed a hatful of chances yesterday, while Johnson scored about the only shot he hit?

    Let's wait and see.

    What's for sure, is that if Mancini can't keep Johnson happy, an awful lot of clubs both home and abroad will be clamouring to sign him by summer, and probably would right now if he were available this January, which as far as I can see he almost certainly isn't, because Man City won't let him go, and can afford to keep him without wanting the no doubt considerable transfer fee he would bring.

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  • 169. At 01:37am on 03 Jan 2011, WoyWhyWontMyTacticsWorkHodg wrote:

    You missed Nedum Onouha

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  • 170. At 06:20am on 03 Jan 2011, RobbingHood wrote:

    Doesn't matter what team you pick, Barcalona will still outclass them.

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  • 171. At 1:30pm on 03 Jan 2011, Football11231 wrote:

    CASILAS------SERGIO RAMOS--------LUCIO--------VIDIC----------CLICHY---------------FRANCESC FABREGAS-----------RAFAEL VAN DER VART--------------GARETH BALE----------SAMIR NASRI--------TEVEZ---------------ANDY CARROL

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  • 172. At 1:44pm on 03 Jan 2011, LeoMessiah wrote:

    For those who say Vidic should be picked over Pique:

    First, Butragueno, Real Madrid legend, and Beckenbauer. Listen to them speaking about Pique.

    Also, allegedly, the two CBs in a team should include a physical CB (Puyol, Vidic, Terry,...) and a CB who can play the ball, like Pique or Ferdinand. The point is Vidic is never going to play the ball as well as Pique, but Pique has had games where he simply defended awesomely, to absolute perfection. True 10 out of 10 games, which is why he is called Piquenbauer, and Beckenbauer thinks he is the best CB in the planet.

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  • 173. At 02:53am on 04 Jan 2011, BBCLegend wrote:

    Casillas-J.Terry-N.Vidic-Pique-A Cole-Xavi-Iniesta- W.Sneijder-C.Ronaldo-L.Messi-W.Rooney. Jose Mourinho.

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  • 174. At 09:47am on 04 Jan 2011, WaveOfMutilation wrote:

    #74 Again, you give no reasons - just follow the well-entrenched social bandwagon...

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  • 175. At 2:09pm on 04 Jan 2011, Paulie Butler wrote:

    I agree very much so, this is a very good argument considering the team i picked from the uefa site which was:

    Lahm, Puyol, Pique, Cole
    Ronaldo, Xavi, Ozil, Iniesta(C)
    Messi, Tevez

    Coach: Mourinho

    when my 11 actually would be:

    Lahm, Puyol, Pique, Cole
    Ronaldo, Xavi, Iniesta, Bale
    Messi, Tevez

    Subs (Players who were so close to making my team): Cesar, Vidic, Lugano, van der Vaart, Fabregas, Villa, Forlan

    Iniesta can be a left midfielder, but he is best in the centre, it left me having to leave Bale out. While there was no way i was going to leave Iniesta out, even though it sounds more appropriate for Bale to be a left midfield, as Iniesta is my favourite player in the world at the moment. I know my teams are still very the same.

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  • 176. At 6:45pm on 04 Jan 2011, brian wrote:

    My Pick for the Fifa team :

    Iker Casillas

    Dani Alvez, Pique, Vidic, Evra

    Sneijder Xavi, Iniesta,Ronaldo

    Messi,David Villa(or Higguain)

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  • 177. At 6:50pm on 04 Jan 2011, brian wrote:

    @171. At 1:30pm on 03 Jan 2011, Football11231 wrote:

    I think your pick can be defeated by number of clubs in Europe any days(like Barcelona,Real Madrid, Manchester Utd,or even Bayern Munich)

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  • 178. At 6:58pm on 04 Jan 2011, brian wrote:

    @170. At 06:20am on 03 Jan 2011, Endersgame wrote:
    Doesn't matter what team you pick, Barcalona will still outclass them

    Just what i was thinking..I still think the currect Barcelona can beat any first 11 Fifa players..why ?

    Reason 1. Barcelona in its current form is terrific(not unbeatable but hard to beat)

    Reason 2.Barcelona has its own identity(tiki takka posession play),so even the FIFA 11 would not be able to outclashed them in term of posession.

    Reason 3.Team understanding..FIFA 11 will not automatically have a team understanding and i believe this is also another reaason why i believe the currecnt Barca will still beat FIFA 11. can either go for any best players you picked for FIFA 11 or take the easy way...JUST PICK CURRECT BARCELONA SQUAD as FIFA 11.

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  • 179. At 1:38pm on 05 Jan 2011, ahywc wrote:

    (4-2-3-1) Hart; Ramos, Pique, Chiellini, Bale; Xavi, Schweinstiger; Messi, Iniesta, Robben; Forlan. Subs: Casillas, Lucio, Maicon, Cambiasso, Ozil, Muller, Villa.

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  • 180. At 3:46pm on 08 Jan 2011, Football11231 wrote:

    @177 i think that ur team can also be beaten by the same clubs

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  • 181. At 2:33pm on 10 Jan 2011, lscarfe wrote:

    Here's my team:

    Casillas, Maicon, Ashley Cole, Lucio, Vidic, Cristiano Ronaldo, Xavi, Sneijder, Iniesta, Messi, David Villa. Coach: Mourinho

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