UEFA changed Team of the Year formation to accommodate Cristiano Ronaldo

Ross Houston
January 16, 2020

This year, however, it looks like the Juventus superstar might have received a little help from European soccer's governing body to make its top 11 for an unprecedented 14th year.

UEFA Player of the Year and Ballon d'Or runner-up Virgil van Dijk completes a defensive set-up alongside FIFA Goalkeeper of the Year Alisson Becker whilst full-backs Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson also feature.

El Clasico matches have always been huge but those involving Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo had an added edge, says the Barcelona star.

That account was backed up by Tariq Panja of the New York Times, who also reported that UEFA chose to not publish voter data, another departure from previous year.

"Competing head to head for so many years will be remembered forever". In fact, that UEFA officials delayed the unveiling of the side by a decade; As per the Daily Mail, to manoeuvre the Juventus star in the side. However, with the change of formation allowed UEFA to include the popular Ronaldo instead.

UEFA's chiefs are said to have been unhappy at Ronaldo's potential absence from the selection and ordered the change in formation, with Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante said to be the player who missed out as a result of the shift.

UEFA's decision to squeeze Ronaldo in their XI sent social media into overdrive with fans questioning their integrity.

Five Liverpool players have been voted into the UEFA.com Fans' Team of the Year for 2019.

"As a result, there are five UEFA Champions League winners and four UEFA Nations League finalists (including one winner)". It was a notable change from last year's team, which was a much more conventional 4-3-3 formation.

It was the latter of those names which caused the most consternation on Twitter, with fans claiming UEFA had manipulated the formation of the team purely as a sop to fit in the Portuguese star.

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