Just five clubs are represented in the uefa.com users' Team of the Year 2005, which reflects a dramatic year of European football.
More than 1.5 million votes, a record, were cast in the fifth edition by the users of uefa.com, and the resulting dream dozen includes five names who were in last year's selection as well as five players appearing in the team for the first time.
Two of those newcomers are Liverpool FC players. Steven Gerrard just pipped his England colleague Frank Lampard in a very competitive central midfield poll while Luis García, scorer of five goals in the knockout stage of Liverpool's successful UEFA Champions League campaign, is chosen at right midfield.
Beaten finalists AC Milan have three players in the selection - evergreen full-backs Cafu and Paolo Maldini and striker Andriy Shevchenko - as do FC Barcelona. Ronaldinho, the FIFA World Player of the Year and the winner of the Ballon d'Or, polled 90,295 votes, the highest total for any player as he took more than 72 per cent of the vote in the attacking midfielder category. He is joined by club colleagues Carles Puyol, back in the team at centre-back for the first time since 2002, and striker Samuel Eto'o.
José Mourinho was voted in as coach for the third successive year while Chelsea FC also have two players chosen, John Terry the runaway poll topper in the central defender category and Petr Čech as goalkeeper. His compatriot Pavel Nedvěd of Italian champions Juventus is chosen in the left midfield role for the third year in a row.
Henry run ends
While Nedved completed a notable treble, Thierry Henry narrowly missed out on maintaining his record of being in every team since the awards' inception in 2001. The Arsenal FC striker missed out by little more than 1,000 votes, or less than 0.4 per cent, of the total vote in the forward category.
Top teams rewarded
David Farrelly, uefa.com editor-in-chief, said: "The voting recognised both the two best teams in Europe last season by virtue of their appearance in the European Champion Clubs' Cup final, Liverpool and Milan, as well as the two clubs that have shone in their domestic leagues in the past 12 months, Chelsea and Barcelona.
"The final team seems to show the development of the next generation of top football stars and we are indebted to the users for their involvement in the process. It also comes as no surprise that the entire team selected will be involved in upcoming UEFA Champions League action next month, again showing the significance of that competition in delivering top quality football involving the best players in Europe."
uefa.com users' Team of 2005:
Petr Čech (Chelsea FC), Cafu (AC Milan), John Terry (Chelsea FC), Carles Puyol (FC Barcelona), Paolo Maldini (AC Milan), Luis García (Liverpool FC), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool FC), Ronaldinho (FC Barcelona), Pavel Nedvěd (Juventus), Samuel Eto'o (FC Barcelona), Andriy Shevchenko (AC Milan). José Mourinho (Chelsea FC).
uefa.com users' Team of 2004:
Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus FC and Italy), Cafu (AC Milan), Ricardo Carvalho (Chelsea FC and Portugal), Alessandro Nesta (AC Milan and Italy), Ashley Cole (Arsenal FC and England), Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United FC and Portugal), Maniche (FC Porto and Portugal), Ronaldinho (FC Barcelona), Pavel Nedved (Juventus FC and Czech Republic), Thierry Henry (Arsenal FC and France), Andriy Shevchenko (AC Milan and Ukraine). José Mourinho (Chelsea FC).
uefa.com users' Team of 2003:
Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus FC), Paulo Ferreira (FC Porto) Alessandro Nesta (AC Milan), Paolo Maldini (AC Milan), Roberto Carlos (Real Madrid CF), Luís Figo (Real Madrid CF), David Beckham (Real Madrid CF), Zinedine Zidane (Real Madrid CF), Pavel Nedved (Juventus FC), Thierry Henry (Arsenal FC), Ruud van Nistelrooij (Manchester United FC). José Mourinho (FC Porto).
uefa.com users' Team of 2002:
Rüstu Reçber (Fenerbahçe SK), Carles Puyol (FC Barcelona), Alessandro Nesta (AC Milan), Cristian Chivu (AFC Ajax), Roberto Carlos (Real Madrid CF), Clarence Seedorf (AC Milan), Michael Ballack (FC Bayern München), Zinedine Zidane (Real Madrid CF), Damien Duff (Blackburn Rovers FC), Thierry Henry (Arsenal FC), Ronaldo (Real Madrid CF). Senol Günes (Turkey).
uefa.com users' Team of 2001:
Santiago Cañizares (Valencia CF), Cosmin Contra (Deportivo Alavés), Sami Hyypiä (Liverpool FC), Patrik Andersson (FC Barcelona), Bixente Lizarazu (FC Bayern München), David Beckham (Manchester United FC), Patrick Vieira (Arsenal FC), Zinedine Zidane (Real Madrid CF), Kily González (Valencia CF), Thierry Henry (Arsenal FC), David Trezeguet (Juventus FC). Gérard Houllier (Liverpool FC).
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