The nominations for the uefa.com users' Team of the Year 2004 were announced on 16 December. The poll, now in its fourth year, gives users of uefa.com, the official UEFA website, the chance to have their say about the players who made their mark in European football over the last 12 months.
Sixty players and coaches have been nominated for 12 positions, including coach, and the final team will be revealed in mid-January. Of course, practicality decrees the choice has to be limited to a degree, and the nominees were chosen by the uefa.com staff writers, who cover football in all 52 UEFA member associations on a daily basis. The selection criteria is straightforward, with any player who plays club football in Europe or who has played in UEFA club competitions in 2004 considered.
Last summer's UEFA EURO 2004™ final round added a complication and effectively divided the year into three parts: the end of the 2003/04 season, EURO 2004™ and the start of the 2004/05 campaign. With only a select few having hit the heights in each period, voters will have to calculate whether a good EURO 2004™ compensates for poor domestic form and vice versa.
While uefa.com's writers have their say in deciding the nominees, the composition of the actual Team of the Year 2004 will be decided exclusively by the votes of the fans.
The uefa.com Team of the Year is not intended as a rival to more established awards, and does not bear the official UEFA imprimatur. Nevertheless, it has already proved hugely popular with fans, with some five million votes cast in the three previous polls since the Team of the Year was launched in 2001.
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