UEFA have unveiled the 40 players nominated to make their Team of the Year for 2013, with nine players from La Liga on the list.
The annual line-up, which last year listed eight La Liga players in its final selection, recognises the best possible first XI made up of players based on performances in European competition and for their national team, as voted for by users of UEFA’s official website.
The 40 candidates for 2013’s XI have been announced today and include four players from Real Madrid, including Cristiano Ronaldo, who is in line to make the final XI for a record seventh consecutive time.
The Portuguese is joined by teammates Gareth Bale, Sergio Ramos and Isco, whilst former Madrid man Mesut Ozil is also included.
Barcelona notably have only Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique nominated, with Xavi Hernandez and Andres Iniesta, who both made 2012’s Team of the Year, are excluded.
Atletico Madrid have three names up for consideration, including Thibaut Courtois, Filipe Luis and Diego Costa, whilst former Atleti man Radamel Falcao is also selected.
Spaniard David de Gea is also in contention for his performances for Manchester United, in a selection dominated this year by Bayern Munich players.
UEFA Team of the Year shortlist
Goalkeepers: Petr Cech, Thibaut Courtois, David de Gea, Manuel Neuer
Defenders: David Alaba, Giorgio Chiellini, Dante, Mats Hummels, Branislav Ivanovic, Philipp Lahm, Stephan Lichtsteiner, Filipe Luis, Vincent Kompany, Gerard Pique, Sergio Ramos, Thiago Silva
Midfielders: Gareth Bale, Ilkay Gundogan, Isco, Paul Pogba, Mesut Ozil, Menaja Matic, Blaise Matuidi, Marco Reus, Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Yaya Toure
Forwards: Sergio Aguero, Edinson Cavani, Diego Costa, Falcao, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Robert Lewandowski, Mario Mandzukic, Jackson Martinez, Lionel Messi, Thomas Muller, Cristiano Ronaldo, Robin van Persie