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Football Reporting


Bayern, Premier League stars dominate poll

The shortlists have been published and voting has started for the Women’s and Men’s Team of the Year for 2020.

Football fans around the world can select their favourite XI from the 50 elite players included on each shortlist, both assembled by UEFA’s expert technical panel.

UEFA’s Men’s Team of the Year award has been running since 2001, but this is the first time fans will be given the chance to select their Women’s Team of the Year too.

Both lists are composed of five goalkeepers, 15 defenders, 15 midfielders, and 15 forwards, all of whom are judged to have excelled at club level in any of the 55 UEFA-associated leagues between January and December 2020.

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The deadline for voting is Jan. 6, 2021. Here’s what the lists look like.


Premier League, Bundesliga dominate

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The Premier League has the joint-most representatives in the men’s shortlist, with 15 out of the 50 names having played in the English top flight at some point during 2020.

This is equal to the Bundesliga, with the likes of Kai Havertz and Thiago Alcantara dividing time between both countries.

Bayern Munich rule the roost

When it comes to individual clubs, Champions League winners Bayern Munich have more players shortlisted than anyone else, with 10 players on the Team of the Year shortlist representing them in 2020 — including UEFA Men’s Player of the Year Robert Lewandowski.

The total number of clubs represented is 21 (including cases where one player has played for multiple clubs).

The newcomers

Atalanta and RB Leipzig have players appearing on the UEFA Team of the Year shortlist for the very first time, with six shared equally between them: Hans Hateboer, Alejandro Gomez, Josip Ilicic (Atalanta); Dayot Upamecano, Angelino, and Marcel Sabitzer (Leipzig).

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All-time leaders

Up to and including 2019, two clubs are tied at the top of the all-time ranking when it comes to having players included in the UEFA Team of the Year: fierce rivals Barcelona and Real Madrid, who have both had 49 players featured in the final XI since 2001.

Next on the list is Bayern Munich with 21 players, followed swiftly by Juventus on 20.


There are a total of 19 different nationalities included on the men’s shortlist, with Germany (6) narrowly pipping France (5) to the majority share.

Ronaldo’s run goes on

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Cristiano Ronaldo has been nominated for the 17th consecutive year. The Juventus star has also made more total appearances (14) in the UEFA Team of the Year than any other player over the years, with Lionel Messi next on the list (11) and Sergio Ramos third (8).

Davies the star of the future

The youngest player on the 2020 Team of the Year shortlist is Alphonso Davies (20 years and 31 days) of Bayern Munich.

The old guard

The oldest player is Thiago Silva (36 years and 72 days), who left Paris Saint-Germain in the summer to sign for Chelsea.

The returning 10

As a mark of their collective continued form, 10 members of last year’s final UEFA Team of the Year XI have been nominated again in 2020.

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Alisson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Matthijs de Ligt, Virgil van Dijk, Andrew Robertson, Kevin De Bruyne, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Robert Lewandowski, and Sadio Mane all return in the poll.

The only member of the 2019 team to miss the cut for the 2020 shortlist is Frenkie de Jong of Barcelona.


Lyon’s champions

Perhaps it’s not overly surprising, but Women’s Champions League winners Lyon have the most players included on the inaugural UEFA Team of the Year shortlist with 13 out of the 50, including Lucy Bronze who has since departed for Man City.

France out in front

Again as a result of Lyon’s continental and domestic dominance, France have more international players nominated than any other teams (10).

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Division 1 Feminine is also the most represented league on show, with 19 players who plied their trades in the French top flight at some point during 2020.

First 11

The total number of club’s represented is just 11: Lyon, PSG, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Wolfsburg, Bayern Munich, Arsenal, Chelsea, Man City, Juventus, and PSV Eindhoven.

This is half the amount of different clubs represented (21) on the corresponding men’s shortlist.

Five of six FIFA’s world confederations are represented by at least one player, with Oceania (OFC) the only one missing.

Average age

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The 50 nominated women’s players have an average age of 27, which is exactly the same as the men’s shortlist.

The youngest player included is Lena Oberdorf of Wolfsburg, who doesn’t turn 19 until Dec. 19. She is the only teenager on the Team of the Year shortlist.

In contrast, the oldest player is Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Hedvig Lidahl, who is 37 and a veteran of 169 senior international caps for her native Sweden. Man City defender Steph Houghton (32) is the oldest outfield player included on the shortlist.

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