Real Madrid CF and FC Barcelona players represent the spine of José Augusto's selection for the UEFA.com users' Team of 2012, but there is space for two of Juventus's crown jewels – goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon and midfielder Andrea Pirlo.
Now 75, José Augusto was one of the stars of SL Benfica's 1960s dream team, winning eight league titles and two European Champion Clubs' Cups with the Eagles – 1960/61 and 1961/62 – while his 45 appearances for Portugal included a lead role at the 1966 FIFA World Cup in England, where his side finished third. He later coached Benfica and – more unusually – also took charge of the Portugal men's and women's senior national teams.
View José Augusto's choices below and submit your own lineup before 12.00CET on Friday 4 January.
Goalkeeper: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus)
Buffon is one of the best goalkeepers of his generation but has had some bad luck with injuries. He returned to his best form in 2012.
Defender: Ashley Cole (Chelsea FC)
Cole's performances are always a mix of pace and stamina. He is very good technically and important not only in defence but in helping the team in attack.
Defender: Javier Mascherano (FC Barcelona)
Originally a midfielder, he has adapted very well to the role of centre-back. He is an intelligent player and his technique was crucial in the defensive line, offering stability and class.
Defender: Pepe (Real Madrid CF)
One of the world's best central defenders, he is a source of infinite strength and stamina. Impeccable on high balls and always concerned with the team as a whole, he was at his absolute best during UEFA EURO 2012.
Defender: Gerard Piqué (FC Barcelona)
Gives precious centimetres to Barcelona's defensive quartet. He is very consistent and personifies Barça's spirit on the field.
Midfielder: Andrés Iniesta (FC Barcelona)
A complete player. He supports the midfield, makes assists and scores. Outstanding with or without the ball, with great speed and agility.
Midfielder: Mesut Özil (Real Madrid CF)
With his intelligent reading of the game, he anticipates his colleagues' moves as well as his opponents'. Very good at passing and technically above the average.
Midfielder: Andrea Pirlo (Juventus)
He has great positional sense. Amazing with the ball with both feet, he is a top-class player from set pieces, with very accurate passing.
Midfielder: Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid CF)
He gives confidence to the rest of the team as he works like a pendulum in midfield. He is the first to disarm opponents and the first to organise the attack.
Forward: Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona)
He is unique as his control and technique are unbelievable. He has the perfect tempo in terms of passing, receiving the ball and shooting. The statistics say it all.
Forward: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid CF)
Ronaldo combines technical skill with incredible physical attributes. He often beats opponents through sheer speed and he can play in every position in attack, as he is very good in the air too. Impeccable from set pieces.
José Augusto was speaking to Hugo Pietra.
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