Ultimate Team of the Year: the all-time XI

The UEFA.com fans' Team of the Year 2017 may not have caused any changes to the all-time XI, but there are players closing in on a place in our most prestigious of sides.


Which players have made the UEFA.com Team of the Year in each position more than any others? We do the maths to create an ultimate XI.



Iker Casillas – 6 (2007, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12)
Real Madrid/Porto & Spain
Spain's captain at UEFA EURO 2008 and 2012 also lifted the 2010 FIFA World Cup – three of the six times he made it into Team of the Year. Gianluigi Buffon is closing in following his fifth selection this time.


Puyol's all-time Barcelona five-a-side team
Puyol's all-time Barcelona five-a-side team

Carles Puyol – 6 (2002, 05, 06, 08, 09, 10)
Barcelona & Spain
Enjoyed a golden run from 2005 onwards, winning the UEFA Champions League with Barça in 2006, 2009 and 2011, as well as UEFA EURO 2008 and the 2010 World Cup as a cornerstone of his country's defence.

Philipp Lahm – 5 (2006, 08, 12, 13, 14)
Bayern München & Germany
One of Europe's most consistent performers of the past decade. Lahm's sequence of three successive Team of the Year appearances came to an end in 2015.

Sergio Ramos – 7 (2008, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17)
Real Madrid & Spain
Six selections in a row are a measure of the Madrid man's standing, the defender having earlier been rewarded for his role in helping Spain to UEFA EURO 2008 glory. This year he pulled clear as the most selected defender ever.

Piqué's first Champions League memory
Piqué's first Champions League memory

Gerard Piqué  – 5 (2010, 11, 12, 15, 16)
Barcelona & Spain
Nominated eight times in the last nine years – and picked on five of those occasions – Piqué continues to be a hugely consistent performer for club and country. Dani Alves drew level on five selections with his inclusion this year but is edged out on all-time nominations – he has seven, Piqué eight and Lahm ten.


Xavi Hernández – 5 (2008, 09, 10, 11, 12)
Barcelona & Spain
Though a contender in 2005, it was not until his second involvement in 2008 that Xavi actually made the cut – then there was no dislodging him as unprecedented success with club and country kept him in the side five years running.

Andrés Iniesta – 6 (2009, 10, 11, 12, 15, 16)
Barcelona & Spain
Like midfield partner Xavi, once he forced his way into Team of the Year Iniesta proved impossible to displace until 2013; he also returned in splendour in 2015, kept his spot last year but was overlooked for 2017.

2005 final highlights: The Miracle of Istanbul
2005 final highlights: The Miracle of Istanbul

Steven Gerrard – 3 (2005, 06, 07)
Liverpool & England
One of six midfielders selected three times, with Toni Kroos the latest to reach that tally this year. However, his seven nominations were key to taking Liverpool's talisman into the ultimate XI at the expense of Kaká (five nominations), Ronaldinho (four), Kroos (three), Pavel Nedvěd (three) and Zinédine Zidane (three).


Cristiano Ronaldo – 12 (2004, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17)
Manchester United/Real Madrid & Portugal
Nominated a record 14 times, the Portuguese phenomenon has been included in the Team of the Year on no fewer than 12 occasions, three more than anyone else. The 2017 line-up marked his 11th appearance on the spin.

Watch every one of Messi’s 100 European goals
Watch every one of Messi’s 100 European goals

Lionel Messi – 9 (2008, 09, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17)
Barcelona & Argentina
Like Ronaldo, Messi was initially categorised as a midfielder – collecting thus the first of 12 straight nominations in 2006. He has missed the Team of the Year cut just once, in 2013, since his 2008 debut.

Thierry Henry – 5 (2001, 02, 03, 04, 06)
Arsenal & France
A candidate in the first six editions of the vote. Henry's consistency was such that he got into the final selection five times, including the first four – the only player to achieve that.