In the latest in our series marking a decade of UEFA.com users' Teams of the Year, we look back at 2008 when Spain, the UEFA EURO 2008 winners, dominated the selection.
Luis Aragonés's side ended a 44-year wait for a trophy in Austria and Switzerland, Fernando Torres scoring the only goal against Germany in the Vienna final. The achievement did not go unnoticed by the 256,000 UEFA.com users who named their 2008 Team of the Year, with six members of that victorious side making the cut.
Iker Casillas was the goalkeeper, playing behind two international team-mates in right-back Sergio Ramos and central defender Carles Puyol. The continental champions strongly influenced the central sphere of operations, with Xavi Hernández being the pick in the middle of the park and Cesc Fàbregas handed the role of attacking midfielder. Torres lined up in attack.
The Spanish flavour continued with the deployment of FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi alongside Torres. Midway though what proved a historic 2008/09 campaign for the Catalan giants, Josep Guardiola's men were the best-represented club with three players. Together with Real Madrid CF, FC Bayern München had two representatives thanks to the inclusion of left-back Philipp Lahm – a EURO finalist with Germany – and winger Franck Ribéry.
English football could point to the nominations of centre-half John Terry and winger Cristiano Ronaldo, both protagonists in the UEFA Champions League final between Chelsea FC and Manchester United FC. Overseeing this talented XI was the manager whose side prevailed on penalties in Moscow, Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
UEFA.com users' Team of the Year 2008
GK: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid CF & Spain)
RB: Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid CF & Spain)
CB: John Terry (Chelsea FC & England)
CB: Carles Puyol (FC Barcelona & Spain)
LB: Philipp Lahm (FC Bayern München & Germany)
RM: Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United FC & Portugal)
CM: Xavi Hernández (FC Barcelona & Spain)
CM: Cesc Fàbregas (Arsenal FC & Spain)
LM: Franck Ribéry (FC Bayern München & France)
FOR: Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona)
FOR: Fernando Torres (Liverpool FC & Spain)
Coach: Sir Alex Ferguson (Manchester United FC)
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