Ultimate Team of the Year: the all-time XI

With voting for the UEFA.com fans' Team of the Year 2018 now open, we big up our all-time XI.

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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.

PICK YOUR 2018 TEAM

GOALKEEPER

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 has been selected on five occasions.

DEFENDERS

Check out the 2017 Team of the Year
Check out the 2017 Team of the Year

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 for a 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 straight selections are a measure of the Madrid man's standing, the centre-back having earlier been rewarded for his role in helping Spain to UEFA EURO 2008 glory. In 2017 he pulled clear as the most selected defender ever.

Gerard Piqué  – 5 (2010, 11, 12, 15, 16)
Barcelona & Spain
Nominated nine times in the last ten editions – 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 in 2017, but is edged out on all-time nominations – the Brazilian has seven, Piqué nine and Lahm ten.

MIDFIELDERS

Xavi: My dream five-a-side team
Xavi: My dream five-a-side team

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 – and 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 the Team of the Year Iniesta proved impossible to displace until 2013; he also returned in splendour in 2015 and 2016 but was overlooked for 2017.

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

FORWARDS

Watch Ronaldo's volley from EVERY angle
Watch Ronaldo's volley from EVERY angle

Cristiano Ronaldo – 12 (2004, 07, 08, 09, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17)
Manchester United/Real Madrid & Portugal
Nominated a record 15 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 consecutive appearance.

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 13 straight nominations in 2006. He has missed the Team of the Year cut only 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.

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