The UEFA.com users' Team of the Year 2011 – the 11th such selection in all – contains some very familiar names.
UEFA.com users' Team of the Year 2011:
Iker Casillas (Real Madrid CF & Spain); Daniel Alves (FC Barcelona), Gerard Piqué (FC Barcelona & Spain), Thiago Silva (AC Milan), Marcelo (Real Madrid CF); Arjen Robben (FC Bayern München & Netherlands), Xavi Hernández (FC Barcelona & Spain), Andrés Iniesta (FC Barcelona & Spain), Gareth Bale (Tottenham Hotspur FC & Wales); Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid CF & Portugal).
Coach: Josep Guardiola (FC Barcelona)
Cristiano Ronaldo's appearance – his first as a forward after four straight years in right midfield, where he also appeared in 2004 – makes him only the second player to gain six nominations after Carles Puyol. Iker Casillas is in goal for the fifth year running, the first man to be picked in any position that many times in a row, and for the last four seasons he has now been accompanied by Xavi Hernández and Lionel Messi.
The team of teams
With 11 teams now having been assembled from millions of votes over the years, UEFA.com has put together an unofficial XI based around those past selections. While remaining true to the traditional 4-4-2 formation, we have shown flexibility towards certain positions – such as moving Puyol out to left-back (where no specialist has been chosen more than twice, and where the Barcelona centre-half has often turned out).
Team: Iker Casillas (5 times); Daniel Alves (3), Alessandro Nesta (4), John Terry (4), Carles Puyol (6); Cristiano Ronaldo (6), Andrés Iniesta (3), Xavi Hernández (4), Zinédine Zidane (3); Thierry Henry (5), Lionel Messi (4).
Bench: Gianluigi Buffon (3), Pavel Nedved (3), Kaká (3), Steven Gerrard (3), Ronaldinho (3)
Coach: José Mourinho (4)
Is this the strongest lineup from the last 11 years of European football (previous selections) – and if not, who has slipped under the radar?
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