Rather than impose our own “expert” selections of the top players of the year, uefa.com is asking the real experts, the site’s users, to vote for their Team of 2001. From now until 26 December, we will present the nominations for each of eleven playing positions and also for the coach of the year, with voting taking place until 30 December. The uefa.com users Team of 2001 will be announced on 3 January 2002.
Bixente Lizarazu (FC Bayern München and France)
The first player on the uefa.com Team of 2001 left-back shortlist, Bixente Lizarazu certainly had a successful season. Victories in the UEFA Champions League and the European/South American Cup allowed the French international to complete a clean sweep of major world and European titles. The archetypal modern full-back, Lizarazu scored one of the penalties as Bayern triumphed over Valencia CF in Milan in May.
Roberto Carlos (Real Madrid CF and Brazil)
Roberto Carlos is even more attack-minded than his 1998 World Cup final nemesis. The teak-thighed Brazilian possesses one of the most famous shots in the game and he has scored six Champions League goals in the past season and a half. He also played a pivotal role as Real Madrid won the Spanish league title for the first time in four years.
Amedeo Carboni (Valencia CF)
One of the few Italians to enjoy success in Spain, Amedeo Carboni experienced Champions League despair yet again in 2001, as he missed one of the penalties as Valencia lost their second successive final. But the veteran Carboni had been one of the main reasons Valencia were in another final in the first place, with his polished defensive play and trademarks runs down the left that continue to belie his 36 years.
Vicent Candela (AS Roma and France)
Carboni spent much of his career with AS Roma, where another nominee, Vincent Candela, currently plies his trade. The long-haired Frenchman, resigned to being Lizarazu’s understudy for Les Bleus, was one of the key players as Fabio Capello’s team won the Scudetto. He started more games than any other player and weighed in with three spectacular goals from his left wing-back position. Proof that world-class left-backs do not have to be left-footed.
Ian Harte (Leeds United AFC and Republic of Ireland)
After a disappointing 2000, Ian Harte bounced back spectacularly in 2001. Famed for his dead-ball skills, Harte scored four goals, including spectacular strikes against RSC Anderlecht and Deportivo La Coruña, as Leeds United AFC reached the Champions League semi-finals. In total, he has scored 12 goals for Leeds in 2001, while he was also top scorer for the Republic of Ireland as they reached the 2002 FIFA World Cup finals. As well as scoring penalties against Cyprus and Andorra, he netted the crucial spot-kick that sent Ireland on their way to victory against Iran in the play-off.
Many thanks for participating in the voting to find the uefa.com users' team of 2001. Voting has now closed, with the complete results to be announced on 3 January 2002.
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