The UEFA.com users' Team of the Year 2009 has been announced, with players from all-conquering European champions FC Barcelona dominating the selection.
Four million votes
More than four million votes were cast by 320,000 users (a 30% increase on last year), and the resulting dream team features five members of the Barça side that conquered Europe last season, plus another who has joined since. Daniel Alves and Carles Puyol line up at the back, with Xavi Hernández and Andrés Iniesta in midfield behind a front pairing of Lionel Messi and summer signing Zlatan Ibrahimović. For good measure, the man who enjoyed such a memorable debut campaign at the Blaugrana helm, Josep Guardiola, oversees this talented blend.
The Spanish flavour continues with Iker Casillas named goalkeeper for the third successive season and Real Madrid CF team-mates Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaká are deployed in an attack-minded midfield. The Liga monopoly is broken by a pair of English-based players. Manchester United FC's Patrice Evra is at left-back and Team of the Year mainstay John Terry, of Chelsea FC, partners captain Puyol at the heart of the defence. UEFA will present a cheque for €100,000 to one member of the team, to be donated to the International Committee of the Red Cross.
UEFA.com users' Team of the Year 2009:
Iker Casillas (Real Madrid CF & Spain); Daniel Alves (FC Barcelona), John Terry (Chelsea FC & England), Carles Puyol (FC Barcelona & Spain), Patrice Evra (Manchester United FC & France); Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United FC/Real Madrid CF & Portugal), Xavi Hernández (FC Barcelona & Spain), Kaká (AC Milan/Real Madrid CF), Andrés Iniesta (FC Barcelona & Spain); Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona), Zlatan Ibrahimović (FC Internazionale Milano/FC Barcelona & Sweden). Josep Guardiola (FC Barcelona)