uefa.com users have been voting in huge numbers for the uefa.com users' Team of 2001. Voting continues until 30 December and the focus now shifts to the star strikers. Such is the surfeit of attacking talent playing in Europe that there are twelve players to choose from. Read the profiles, view the video and have your say.
Michael Owen (Liverpool FC and England)
Voted European Footballer of the Year in December, Owen has had an unbelievable 12 months for Liverpool FC and England. His goals inspired Liverpool to a UEFA Cup, FA Cup and English League Cup treble in 2000/01, while in European competition, his finest moment was his double strike at the Olimpico stadium in the fourth round against AS Roma. The FA Cup final saw him score twice in the last eight minutes to seal a remarkable Liverpool fightback against Arsenal FC. Owen scored a hat-trick as Germany were sensationally beaten 5-1 in Munich to put England on course for the 2002 FIFA World Cup finals. Still only 22, Owen has scored nine goals in eleven FA Premiership matches this season.
Raúl González (Real Madrid CF and Spain)
After finishing 2000/01 as the UEFA Champions League top scorer with seven goals, the 24-year-old has excelled for Real Madrid CF again this season. Raúl González scored two goals in the first group stage but started the next in prolific form, netting a goal in each of the first two matches of the second stage. He was also top scorer in Spain last season, scoring 24 times in 35 games as Madrid marched to the Primera División title. A proven world-class player, Raúl has scored 21 times in 47 internationals. He was a major influence in Spain’s 2001 World Cup qualifiers, scoring four goals in this year’s matches as they progressed to Korea/Japan.
Henrik Larsson (Celtic FC and Sweden)
Celtic FC fans worship Larsson and it is not difficult to understand why. His 53 goals fired the Scottish side to a trophy treble in 2000/01. In particular, the Swede scored 35 times in 37 Scottish Premier League matches in the last campaign to win the European Golden Shoe. There was no let-up when it came to Champions League competition this season, with Larsson, 30, scoring three goals in six first group stage matches. Unfortunately Celtic were eliminated but Larsson still has the World Cup in his sights. He helped Sweden qualify in style for Korea/Japan and will be determined to shine in a group containing England and Argentina.
Diego Tristán (Deportivo La Coruña and Spain)
Two goals in his first three international matches have proved that Diego Tristán can be the lethal finisher Spain have been looking for to partner Raúl . He has been prolific in 2001, finishing the 2000/01 campaign with 19 goals in 29 league matches for RC Deportivo La Coruña. This season has seen him score eight goals in 15, but it is in Europe where Tristán has really proved his worth. His best performance came in October when he hit two goals as Manchester United FC were beaten 3-2 at home by a rampant Deportivo. At the winter break in the Champions League, Tristán had his eye on the top scorer award after a tally of four goals in six games.
Emmanuel Olisadebe (Panathinaikos FC and Poland)
A Nigerian-born Polish international, Emmanuel Olisadebe has hit six goals in the Greek league this season but it is in the Champions League and in World Cup qualifying where he has proved his predatory instincts. He scored two goals in four European matches to help Panathinaikos FC qualify for the second group stage, including a crucial strike in a match against FC Schalke 04. Only 22, he has hit ten goals in ten matches for Poland after being granted citizenship just before the 2002 qualifiers started. Six of those goals came in just seven matches in 2001 and Olisadebe looks a sure bet to continue that run in the Far East.
Thierry Henry (Arsenal FC and France)
Henry has emerged as the most potent of strikers, despite starting his footballing life as a winger. Five goals in five Champions League first group stage matches in 2001/02 were followed by one in two second group stage outings. The 24-year-old has been even more prolific for Arsenal FC in the Premiership during this campaign, hitting the back of the net 15 times in the first 14 matches. He was the club’s leading scorer last season with a record of 17 goals in 35 outings. A winner at the 1998 World Cup, where he was France’s top scorer, and at EURO 2000™, Henry’s blistering pace and skill on the ball have identified him as a player capable of scoring against any defence.
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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