UEFA.com users scoured the length and breadth of Europe to source the second Team of the Year in 2002, with nine nationalities represented in a cosmopolitan selection.
Having lifted the FIFA World Cup and UEFA Champions League in a glorious six-week spell at the start of the summer, Roberto Carlos capped a memorable year by bagging over half the votes for the left-back slot. Club-mate Zinédine Zidane was similarly popular in the attacking midfield bracket, as only he and Arsenal FC's Thierry Henry made the Team of the Year for the second year in succession.
For the most part change was the watchword, however, a reflection of the changing shape of football in Europe. Turkey's scintillating display in finishing third at the World Cup was acknowledged as goalkeeper Rüştü Reçber and coach Şenol Güneş both got the nod. They faced stiff competition from their German counterparts, Oliver Kahn and Rudi Völler, runners-up in Korea Republic/Japan.
That German side was represented in the Team of the Year by the one player whose absence from the final through suspension could have changed his side's fortunes, midfielder Michael Ballack. Ballack's last game for Bayer 04 Leverkusen before joining FC Bayern München in the summer also brought misery, as Zidane's stunning goal condemned them to defeat in the UEFA Champions League showpiece.
Other World Cup heroes given their just desserts were Republic of Ireland winger Damien Duff and Brazil's Ronaldo, whose eight goals at the finals won him the Golden Shoe. Domestic form proved just as important as several players absent from the World Cup made their way into the Team of the Year, including AC Milan duo Clarence Seedorf and Alessandro Nesta, and FC Barcelona's Carles Puyol.
A more unfamiliar name to many was AFC Ajax's Romanian defender Cristian Chivu, whose role in the Dutch side's league and cup double and burgeoning reputation as one of Europe's finest young players ensured his place.
UEFA.com users' Team of the Year 2002
GK: Rüştü Reçber (Fenerbahçe SK & Turkey)
RB: Carles Puyol (FC Barcelona & Spain)
CB: Alessandro Nesta (AC Milan & Italy)
CB: Cristian Chivu (AFC Ajax & Romania)
LB: Roberto Carlos (Real Madrid CF & Brazil)
RM: Clarence Seedorf (FC Internazionale Milano/AC Milan & Netherlands)
CM: Michael Ballack (Bayer 04 Leverkusen/FC Bayern München & Germany)
AM: Zinédine Zidane (Real Madrid CF & France)
LM: Damien Duff (Blackburn Rovers FC & Republic of Ireland)
FW: Thierry Henry (Arsenal FC & France)
FW: Ronaldo (Real Madrid CF & Brazil)
Coach: Şenol Güneş (Turkey)
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