Ronaldo, Messi Henry make UEFA Greatest XI C/League History
An all-time Champions League XI based on players included in the most UEFA Team of the Year fan selections has been put together, with only one English player making the final cut.
In what is a formidable side capable of winning any title, former Real Madrid and Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas features between the sticks.
The Spaniard, who made over 500 appearances for Los Blancos during a trophy-laden spell with the club, deservedly finds himself in the XI alongside several former teammates.
He featured in the 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 fans’ Team of the Year after making a total of 177 Champions League appearances – the most in the competition’s history.
Another Real Madrid great, Sergio Ramos, who has featured in eight TOTY selections, lines up alongside fellow Spaniard’s Gerard Pique (5) and Carles Puyol (6), while World Cup winner Philipp Lahm (5) makes up a solid back four.
In terms of the midfield, Steven Gerrard is the only English player to feature in the side.
The former Liverpool captain played a huge part in the club’s famous 2005 Champions League comeback against AC Milan, where he scored ‘that’ looping header to get Rafael Benitez’s back in the game.
He, like Casillas, made over 500 appearances for his club and deservedly makes his way into the all-time X with three TOTY selections.
Barcelona pair Xavi (5) and Iniesta (6) predictably make up the three man midfield; a duo that helped the Catalan giants to dominate Europe for years in the 00’s.
To top things off, a front three of Thierry Henry (5), Lionel Messi (11) and Cristiano Ronaldo (14) speaks for itself.
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Ronaldo has been part of UEFA’s team of the year a record 14 times, while Messi has secured a spot 11 times. Former Arsenal and Barcelona striker Henry, meanwhile, was named in the team of the year five times in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2006.
In terms of other members of UEFA’s greatest team, Iker Casillas, Andres Iniesta, Carles Puyol and Sergio Ramos have featured in the TOTY six times.