With UEFA set to announce their Team of the Year for 2017 in the coming days, they have compiled an ‘Ultimate Team’ to celebrate their most frequent inclusions.
UEFA have been running the competition for 16 seasons now, and in that time, a handful of players have been named on more than occasion (a lot more in some cases).
With that in mind, European football’s governing body have put together the eleven to celebrate those players. The usual predictable names are included, the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi – the most interesting name on the list, however, is probably that of Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard.
The former England international was included in the team of the year on three occasions, in the 2005-07 period in which Rafa Benitez’s side reached the final twice (winning one). Gerrard’s seven nominations for the team were key in his selection for this team, getting in ahead of Zinedine Zidane and Pavel Nedved (who were also picked three times), Kaka (five times) and Ronaldinho (four times).
Steven #Gerrard ✅
— UEFA.com deutsch (@UEFAcom_de) November 17, 2017
The remainder of the side is dominated by La Liga-based players. Ronaldo and Messi are joined by Thierry Henry in the forward line, with the Frenchman’s performances for Arsenal leading to Team of the Year selection in four of the first five instances of the competition’s existence.
Gerrard is joined, again to no great surprise, by Barcelona and Spain legends Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta in the midfield, while Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique are flanked by Sergio Ramos and Philipp Lahm in the defence.
Iker Caillas is included in goals, which works provided people only remember his strongest Real Madrid form and forget pretty much everything that has happened in his career since 2012.