Champions League - Bale named in UEFA team of the year
Wed, 18 Jan 14:28:00 2012
Players from Barcelona and Real Madrid took eight of the 11 places in a 2011 Team of the Year voted by subscribers to UEFA's official website.
Just as in 2010, Spain-based talent dominated with five of Barca's La Liga and Champions League winning side selected to three from their great rivals Real Madrid.
European football's governing body UEFA, which announced the results of the poll, said 4.5 million votes were cast.
Barca's goal machine Lionel Messi would line-up alongside Real's Cristiano Ronaldo up front in the fantasy selection while Barca's Xavi, who received the most individual votes, and Andreas Iniesta would pull the strings in midfield.
Real goalkeeper Iker Casillas gets the vote between the posts and like team mate Ronaldo was included in the selection for the fifth consecutive year.
Only one player from the English Premier League was included, Tottenham Hotspur's Welsh winger Gareth Bale rewarded for some stunning performances which have helped the north Londoners mount a title challenge this season.
Bale is the first Welshman to feature in the UEFA.com Team of the Year since it began 11 years ago.
UEFA.com users' Team of the Year 2011:
Goalkeeper: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid & Spain)
Right-back: Daniel Alves (Barcelona)
Centre-back: Gerard Piqué (Barcelona & Spain)
Centre-back: Thiago Silva (AC Milan)
Left-back: Marcelo (Real Madrid)
Right midfield: Arjen Robben (Bayern Munich & Netherlands)
Centre midfield: Xavi Hernández (Barcelona & Spain)
Attacking midfield: Andres Iniesta (Barcelona & Spain)
Left midfield: Gareth Bale (Tottenham Hotspur & Wales)
Forward: Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
Forward: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid CF & Portugal).
Coach: Josep Guardiola (Barcelona)