UEFA’s most selected Team of the Year revealed with former Arsenal and Manchester United stars included

UEFA’s most selected Team of the Year revealed with former Arsenal and Manchester United stars included

Team of the Year

The Ballon D’Or ceremony may not be set to take place in its typical form in 2020, but the UEFA Team of the Year will be coming back, and voting is already underway. Additionally, UEFA have revealed their ‘most selected’ TOTY, which features both surprise inclusions and omissions.

Here is the team:

Goalkeeper – Iker Casillas

Spain and Real Madrid icon, goalkeeper Casillas was selected on 6 occasions, beating Gianluigi Buffon by a single win. Having racked up a host of trophies at both club and international level, Casillas is considered by most to be one of the greatest keepers of all-time – with his frequent TOTY selections only further proof.

UEFA’s most selected Team of the Year revealed with former Arsenal and Manchester United stars included

PORTO, PORTUGAL – JULY 30: Iker Casillas of FC Porto in action during the Pre-Season Friendly match between FC Porto and RC Deportivo La Coruna at Estadio do Dragao on July 30, 2017 in Porto, Portugal. (Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images)

Defender – Sergio Ramos

Easily earning his place amongst the best, the divisive character has the third most selections of the whole team, with 8. Los Blancos’ captain has lifted countless trophies, and often taken on the match-winning mantle at the capital club since Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure.

UEFA’s most selected Team of the Year revealed with former Arsenal and Manchester United stars included

Real Madrid’s Spanish defender Sergio Ramos celebrates after scoring a penalty during the Spanish League football match between Barcelona and Real Madrid at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on October 24, 2020. (Photo by LLUIS GENE / AFP) (Photo by LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images)

Defender – Carles Puyol

The ex-Barcelona defender and captain represents the power a smaller player can have in such a deep role. Selected on 6 occasions for the Team of the Year, only Ramos. amongst stoppers, has been chosen more times.

UEFA’s most selected Team of the Year revealed with former Arsenal and Manchester United stars included

UNSPECIFIED – JULY 12: (L-R) Sergio Ramos, Xavi Hernandez, Pedro Rodriguez, Carles Puyol, Fernando Llorente and Fernando Torres celebrate with the World Cup trophy during the Spanish team’s flight home on board a plane from Johannesburg to Madrid following their victory in the 2010 FIFA World Cup on July 12, 2010 in flight, Unspecified. (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)

Defender – Gerard Pique

Puyol’s partner throughout Barca’s dominance under both Frank Rijkaard and Pep Guardiola, Pique added the aerial height and pace which Puyol didn’t quite possess, proving the perfect partner, and was therefore rightly selected on 5 occasions.

UEFA’s most selected Team of the Year revealed with former Arsenal and Manchester United stars included

BARCELONA, SPAIN – AUGUST 15: Gerard Pique of FC Barcelona reacts during the Joan Gamper Trophy match between FC Barcelona and Boca Juniors at Camp Nou on August 15, 2018 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Defender – Philipp Lahm

The German defender proved one of, if not the most consistent player of a generation for Bayern Munich and his nation. Lifting a World Cup with Germany in 2014, Lahm made the TOTY on 3 successive occasions, adding to two prior appearances. Dani Alves also matched Lahm and Pique on 5, but garnered 3 less nominations than the German, and 2 less than the Spaniard. Brazilian colleague Marcelo was only selected 3 times.

UEFA’s most selected Team of the Year revealed with former Arsenal and Manchester United stars included

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – JULY 13: Philipp Lahm of Germany raises the World Cup trophy with teammates after defeating Argentina 1-0 in the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Final match between Germany and Argentina at Maracana on July 13, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Midfielder – Steven Gerrard

The Liverpool legend was chosen for the TOTY on 3 occasions, level with a plethora of other players – Luka Modric, Kaka, Ronaldinho, Toni Kroos, Pavel Nedved and Zinedine Zidane. However, his 7 nominations outdo all others mentioned, with the former England international and current Rangers boss a worthy inclusion.

UEFA’s most selected Team of the Year revealed with former Arsenal and Manchester United stars included

LIVERPOOL, UNITED KINGDOM – OCTOBER 31: Steven Gerrard of Liverpool celebrates scoring his team’s second goal during the UEFA Champions League Group C match between Liverpool and Bordeaux at Anfield on October 31, 2006 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Midfielder – Xavi Hernandez

The Spain and Barcelona midfield talisman was selected on 5 occasions for the TOTY, and quite rightly. Xavi embodied the Tiki-Taka style for which his beloved Barca became so admired, and was the anchor and orchestrator from the middle of the park. An unrivalled passer and consistent figure for both club and country.

Xavi Barcelona

BARCELONA, SPAIN – JUNE 07: Xavi Hernandez of FC Barcelona waves during their victory parade after winning the UEFA Champions League Final at the Camp Nou Stadium on June 7, 2015 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Midfielder – Andres Iniesta

A heated debate could be had regarding who was the better midfielder between Xavi and Iniesta, but, if based on TOTY selections alone, the diminutive dribbler is the king. Chosen on 6 occasions, no other midfielder can yet match the Iniesta, who has actually yet to hang up his boots. He is of course remembered for scoring the winning goal in the 2010 World Cup final for Spain, handing La Roja their first-ever world champion status.

David Villa Andres Iniesta

PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA – JUNE 25: Andres Iniesta (L) of Spain celebrates scoring the second goal for his team with David Villa during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Group H match between Chile and Spain at Loftus Versfeld Stadium on June 25, 2010 in Tshwane/Pretoria, South Africa. (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)

Forward – Thierry Henry

The Arsenal icon makes the list as one of its earliest members. Starting in 2001, Henry was chosen for the TOTY on 5 of the first 6 selections, with only two very famous names opted for more frequently. Henry remains both France and Arsenal’s all-time top goalscorer, and won the Champions League under Pep Guardiola at Barca.

Henry Guardiola

Barcelona manager Josep Guardiola gives instructions to his player Thierry Henry during the La Liga match between Barcelona and Osasuna at the Camp Nou Stadium on March 24, 2010 in Barcelona, Spain. Barcelona won 2-0. (Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images)

Forward – Lionel Messi

Some would argue that he is the greatest player of all-time, yet despite a staggering 11 selections for the TOTY, he is not the team’s most chosen member. The Argentine has led Barcelona to countless titles under several coaches, but will be remembered most fondly for his time in Pep Guardiola’s dominant side which won a European treble. This was not his only treble, however, as Messi bagged another under Luis Enrique.

Lionel Messi Barcelona

LONDON, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 03: Lionel Messi of Barcelona celebrates after scoring his team’s third goal during the Group B match of the UEFA Champions League between Tottenham Hotspur and FC Barcelona at Wembley Stadium on October 3, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Forward – Cristiano Ronaldo

The Portuguese talisman and national treasure has been chosen for the TOTY on 14 of the 19 opportunities. He has of course clinched the Champions League with both Manchester United and Real Madrid, in addition to league titles with Juventus in Italy. Ronaldo has won a European Championship with Portugal, and despite being 35 years-of-age, does not look like slowing down any time soon.

Cristiano Ronaldo with the Champions League trophy

CARDIFF, WALES – JUNE 03: Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid celebrates after the UEFA Champions League Final between Juventus and Real Madrid at National Stadium of Wales on June 3, 2017 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Make sure to place your vote for this year’s team, with both Ronaldo and Messi still in the running for a 2020 berth.

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This article was edited by Conor Laird.

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