(Reuters) – European football body UEFA’s website announced their 2012 team of the year on Wednesday with, for the first time, no players from the English Premier League among the all-star line-up.
UEFA said a record 5.3 million votes had been cast by nearly half a million users of www.uefa.com, 20 percent more than a year ago, with eight players named from clubs in Spain’s La Liga.
The uefa.com team of the year, now in it’s 12th edition, does not bear the official UEFA imprimatur but is popular among fans.
Barcelona and Real Madrid had four players each and Barcelona’s Andres Iniesta was chosen by nearly near three out of every four voters. The two clubs also had eight players in last year’s list.
Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, who would line-up alongside Barcelona goal-machine and world player of the year Lionel Messi in the fantasy selection, and Iker Casillas made the team for the sixth year in a row.
Users were also asked for the first time to choose their favourite formation and came up with 4-4-2, the default system for the previous 11 editions.
FIFA’s team of the year, announced this month, was composed entirely of players from La Liga.
Team of the year:
Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Gerard Pique (Barcelona), Thiago Silva (AC Milan/Paris Saint-Germain), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Xavi Hernández (Barcelona), Andrea Pirlo (Juventus), Mesut Özil (Real Madrid), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid).
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Justin Palmer)
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