UEFA Team of the Year 2014: Cristiano Ronaldo Trumps Lionel Messi in Fan Vote

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistJanuary 9, 2015

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 18:  Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal shakes hands with Lionel Messi of Argentina prior to the International Friendly between Argentina and Portugal at Old Trafford on November 18, 2014 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

UEFA officially released the Team of the Year as voted by fans on Friday, and, unsurprisingly, Ballon d'Or nominees Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Manuel Neuer all found themselves in the XI.

The Times' Oliver Kay shared the complete squad:

Oliver Kay @OliverKayTimes

Uefa just announced their 2014 XI, voted for by fans: Neuer; Lahm, Godin, Ramos, Alaba; Kroos, Di Maria; Robben, Messi, Ibrahimovic, Ronaldo

UEFA also provided this image of all 11 players, via the Champions League official Twitter feed:

UEFA Champions League @ChampionsLeague

The 2014 @UEFAcom users' #TeamOfTheYear has been revealed! How did you vote? http://t.co/TMGphRTG7N http://t.co/1BVNNLLZBO

The final team has few surprises. Neuer, Philipp Lahm and Toni Kroos were all part of the Germany squad that won the 2014 World Cup, while Ronaldo, Sergio Ramos and Angel Di Maria were instrumental in Real Madrid's Champions League run.

Arjen Robben and David Alaba both had fantastic campaigns for Bayern Munich, Lionel Messi did exceptionally well at the World Cup, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic had a strong campaign and remains one of the world's most popular players.

KATWIJK, NETHERLANDS - NOVEMBER 11:  Arjen Robben runs during the Netherlands Training session held at the Quick Boys Sportpark Nieuw Zuid Stadium on November 11, 2014 in Katwijk, Netherlands.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Perhaps the biggest surprise is the inclusion of Atletico Madrid's Diego Godin, who had a fantastic season but isn't as well-known as some other centre-backs. Atletico's official Twitter feed rightfully pointed out the honour is well-deserved:

Atlético de Madrid @atletienglish

@DiegoGodin is a member of the #TeamoftheYear for http://t.co/LVcHi3TxMK! Congratulations! Well-deserved ;) #GoAtleti http://t.co/YS0z8Q5yVv

The team doesn't include any players from the Italian Serie A and includes just one from the British Premier League in Di Maria, who likely qualified thanks to his excellent run of performances to end the 2013-14 season for Real Madrid. Ibrahimovic made the squad as the only player from Ligue 1.

That shouldn't come as a huge surprise, however. Spanish clubs won both the Champions League and the Europa League, while Germany dominated the 2014 World Cup. As a result, all the other players in the team ply their trade in either La Liga or the Bundesliga. Bleacher Report UK provided this breakdown by team:

B/R Football @brfootball

UEFA #TeamOfTheYear line-up: 4x #Bayern 3x #RealMadrid 1x #Atleti 1x #FCB 1x #MUFC And Zlatan http://t.co/EX2P0UIQGM http://t.co/c92GvoG2oP

Ronaldo received more votes than any other player, per UEFA.com, and he was selected on 78 percent of all ballots. Eternal rival Messi was picked on 49 percent of ballots, while Ibrahimovic came closest to missing the cut, with just 28 percent of votes cast in his favour.


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