Players from FC Barcelona, Real Madrid CF and Juventus make up the majority of Sonny Anderson's selection for the UEFA.com users' Team of 2012.
The former Olympique de Marseille, AS Monaco FC, Barcelona and Olympique Lyonnais forward won titles in France, Spain, Switzerland and Brazil so is well qualified to assess all the candidates vying for a place in this season's team.
Anderson hung up his boots in Doha in 2006, since when he has had a spell coaching strikers at Lyon and as sporting director of Neuchâtel Xamax. Nowadays he can be spotted back in Lyon, where he lives, or Paris, where he works as a television pundit. He named a very offensive team as, in his own words: "the more you attack, the likelier you are to win."
View Anderson's choices below and submit your own lineup before 12.00CET on Friday 4 January.
Goalkeeper: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid CF)
In my opinion the best goalkeeper out there with Hugo Lloris. He is deservedly my No1 after everything he has achieved with Madrid and the Spanish national team in 2012.
Defender: Philipp Lahm (FC Bayern München)
It is very hard to find a better full-back at the minute. He has been performing at the very highest level with Bayern and the German national team this year. We were used to seeing him on the left but he has been playing mainly on the right this year, proving how versatile a player he is. He is also a great offensive asset and second to none when it comes to launching counterattacks.
Defender: Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid CF)
A good old-fashioned centre-back: strong in the air, tight to his man and a good passer of the ball. On top of that, he is a winner.
Defender: Thiago Silva (Paris Saint-Germain FC)
The best in the world in my opinion. He is everything a defender should be: he is comfortable with the ball, he can chip in with a goal or two and he is very calm and composed. He is a natural leader, a real captain.
Defender: Jordi Alba (FC Barcelona)
An obvious choice after his performances at UEFA EURO 2012. There are a lack of world class players in his position and Alba really stands out, as his first half of the season with Barcelona proved.
Midfielder: Claudio Marchisio (Juventus)
Not the most familiar of names before UEFA EURO 2012. He is an offensive midfielder, something the Azzurri have been missing for a while. A very technical player who never fails to put a shift in.
Midfielder: Andrea Pirlo (Juventus)
The playmaker. He can start an attack from the back, keep possession, ping a long ball or play the easy pass. Sitting just in front of his defence, he knows how to take a game by the scruff of its neck. He may be 33, but I think he is only just reaching his peak.
Midfielder: Andrés Iniesta (FC Barcelona)
He plays further up the pitch than Marchisio and Pirlo. His drive allows him to support his three forwards and his passes are immaculate. He is the best in the world in his position; he has been fantastic in 2012.
Forward: Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona)
Yes, he has just overtaken Gerd Müller's record of goals scored for club and country in a calendar year but I also think that his game has evolved a lot. He has learnt to pace himself, he does not run around all the time like he used to, he knows how to step up a gear and turn the screw when it really hurts his opponents. He is already a very mature player and it is easy to forget he is only 25.
Forward: Falcao (Club Atlético de Madrid)
He is the textbook No9, a real goal poacher, a fox in the box. It is actually scary to imagine how many goals he could score with the players alongside him in my team.
Forward: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid CF)
A choice made easy when you look at his statistics. And this year he has finally stepped up to the plate on the international scene, leading Portugal to a narrow semi-final defeat by Spain on penalties. He loves to cut inside from the left wing and have a crack at goal. Unfortunately for him, a certain Lionel Messi is around too.
Sonny Anderson spoke to Sylvain Lartaud in Lyon
©UEFA.com 1998-2017. All rights reserved.