Messi, Ronaldo, Neymar all in UEFA TOTY as Van Dijk is also included

By Sports Desk January 20, 2021

Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar are three of the superstars who have been voted into UEFA's Men's Team of the Year by fans, with Virgil van Dijk also included despite missing a chunk of 2020 through injury.

Fans had from November 30 to January 6 to cast their votes, and a host of predictable names made the cut, though Champions League winners Bayern Munich dominate.

There are five players from Bayern's treble-winning 2019-20 in the team, including Robert Lewandowski – winner of The Best FIFA Men's Player of the Year award – and Thiago Alcantara, who has since joined Liverpool.

The other Reds player in the side is Van Dijk even though the Dutch centre-back has only played five Premier League games this season due to a serious knee injury.

However, earlier in the year he inspired Liverpool to their first league title since 1990.

Ronaldo was named in the side for a 15th time after helping Juventus to another Scudetto.

Messi earned his 12th inclusion despite failing to help Barcelona to LaLiga success in what was a largely difficult year for the Blaugrana and their captain.

UEFA confirmed the final selection for the women's team as well, with six players from Lyon's Women's Champions League-winning squad in the side.

 

Men's Team of the Year:

Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich and Germany); Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich and Germany), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid and Spain), Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool and Netherlands), Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munich and Canada); Thiago Alcantara (Bayern Munich/Liverpool and Spain), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City and Belgium); Lionel Messi (Barcelona and Argentina), Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus and Portugal), Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich and Poland), Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain and Brazil).

Women's Team of the Year:

Sarah Bouhaddi (Lyon and France); Lucy Bronze (Lyon/Manchester City and England), Kadeisha Buchanan (Lyon and Canada), Wendie Renard (Lyon and France), Magdalena Eriksson (Chelsea and Sweden); Kheira Hamraoui (Barcelona and France), Amandine Henry (Lyon and France), Delphine Cascarino (Lyon and France), Sara Bjork Gunnarsdottir (Wolfsburg/Lyon and Iceland); Danielle van de Donk (Arsenal and Netherlands), Pernille Harder (Wolfsburg/Chelsea and Denmark).

Related items

  • Jim Ratcliffe echoes Alex Ferguson vow to knock rivals ‘off their perch’ Jim Ratcliffe echoes Alex Ferguson vow to knock rivals ‘off their perch’

    Sir Jim Ratcliffe has echoed two of Sir Alex Ferguson’s famous lines by vowing to knock “noisy neighbours” Manchester City and Liverpool “off their perch” within three years as he set out his vision to rebuild the Red Devils.

    Ratcliffe, 71, is now co-owner of the club he has supported since the age of six after completing the purchase of a 27.7 per cent stake which delegates control of football operations to his company Ineos.

    He set out his ambition to challenge City and Liverpool for domestic and European silverware, using the famous sentiment of United’s great former manager, but called on fans to be patient, insisting it will take two or three seasons at least for Ineos to get the club to where he wants them to be.

    In 2002, Ferguson said his “greatest challenge was knocking Liverpool right off their f*****g perch”, going on to surpass their rivals’ league title tally, while he branded City as the “noisy neighbours” in 2010.

    In the longer term, he is looking to work with the public sector on either building a new £2billion stadium to regenerate the area around the Old Trafford, which he envisages hosting England games and FA Cup finals, or redevelop the existing site at a cost of £1billion.

    “We have a lot to learn from our noisy neighbour and the other neighbour (Liverpool). They are the enemy at the end of the day,” Ratcliffe said.

    “There is nothing I would like better than to knock both of them off their perch. Equally, we are the three great northern clubs who are very close to one another.

    “They have been in a good place for a while and there are things we can learn from both of them. They have sensible organisations, great people within the organisations, a good, driven and elite environment that they work in.

    “I am very respectful of them but they are still the enemy.”

    Asked about the timeframe to make United truly competitive, Ratcliffe added: “It’s not a light switch. It’s not an overnight change – it’s going to take two or three seasons.

    “You have to ask the fans for some patience. I know the world these days likes instant gratification but that’s not the case with football really.

    “It’s not a 10-year plan. The fans would run out of patience if it was a 10-year plan. But it’s certainly a three-year plan to get there.”

    Ratcliffe, whose stake in United will rise to 28.9 per cent by the end of the year by virtue of his investment in club infrastructure, acknowledges that having a modern fit-for-purpose stadium is vital.

    He said the focus will be on either a stadium in the north to rival Wembley as the go-to venue in England for major matches, or to redevelop Old Trafford.

    “There is a really good case to refurbish Old Trafford, probably about £1billion in cost, or something like that,” he said.

    “You finish up with a great stadium, it’s probably an 80 or 90,000-seater. But it’s not perfect because you’re modifying a stadium that is slap bang up against a railway line and all that type of stuff, so it’s not an ideal world. But you finish up with a very good answer.

    “There’s this wider conversation with the community as to whether you could use a more ambitious project on site as a catalyst to regenerate that Old Trafford area. There’s a strong case for using a stadium to regenerate that area, like with the Olympics, like Seb Coe did with that part of East London quite successfully. City have done it and they’ve done quite a good job (of regenerating Eastlands).”

    Both of those projects had state support, and Ratcliffe saw no issue with the same happening at United to achieve that.

    “The people in the north pay their taxes like the people in the south pay their taxes,” he said.

    “But where’s the national stadium for football? It’s in the south. Where’s the national stadium for rugby? It’s in the south. Where’s the national stadium for tennis? It’s in the south. Where’s the national concert stadium? It’s the O2, it’s in the south. Where’s the Olympic Village? It’s in the south.

    “All of this talk about levelling up and the Northern Powerhouse… where is the stadium in the north? How many Champions Leagues has the north-west won and how many Champions Leagues has London won? The answer to that is the north-west has won 10 – Liverpool have won more than us – and London has won two.

    “Where do you have to go if you get to the semi-final of the FA Cup and you’re a northern club? You have to schlep down to London, don’t you? People in the north pay their taxes and there is an argument that you could think about a more ambitious project in the north which would be fitting for England, for the Champions League final or the FA Cup final and act as a catalyst to regenerate southern Manchester, which has got quite significant history in the UK.”

  • I want to knock Manchester City and Liverpool off their perch – Jim Ratcliffe I want to knock Manchester City and Liverpool off their perch – Jim Ratcliffe

    Sir Jim Ratcliffe accepts Manchester United have a lot to learn from their “noisy neighbours” Manchester City and Liverpool but is determined to “knock both of them off their perch” within three years as he set out his vision to rebuild the Red Devils.

    Ratcliffe, 71, is now co-owner of the club he has supported since the age of six after completing the purchase of a 27.7 per cent stake which delegates control of football operations to his company Ineos.

    He set out his ambition to challenge City and Liverpool for domestic and European silverware but called on United fans to be patient, insisting it will take two or three seasons at least for Ineos to get the club to where he wants them to be.

    In the longer term, he is looking to work with the public sector on either building a new £2billion stadium to regenerate the area around the Old Trafford, which he envisages hosting England games and FA Cup finals, or redevelop the existing site at a cost of £1billion.

    “We have a lot to learn from our noisy neighbour and the other neighbour (Liverpool). They are the enemy at the end of the day,” Ratcliffe said.

    “There is nothing I would like better than to knock both of them off their perch. Equally, we are the three great northern clubs who are very close to one another.

    “They have been in a good place for a while and there are things we can learn from both of them. They have sensible organisations, great people within the organisations, a good, driven and elite environment that they work in.

    “I am very respectful of them but they are still the enemy.”

    Asked about the timeframe to make United truly competitive, Ratcliffe added: “It’s not a light switch. It’s not an overnight change – it’s going to take two or three seasons.

    “You have to ask the fans for some patience. I know the world these days likes instant gratification but that’s not the case with football really.

    “It’s not a 10-year plan. The fans would run out of patience if it was a 10-year plan. But it’s certainly a three-year plan to get there.”

  • Thomas Tuchel to leave role as Bayern Munich head coach at end of season Thomas Tuchel to leave role as Bayern Munich head coach at end of season

    Bayern Munich have announced that head coach Thomas Tuchel will leave the club at the end of the season.

    Tuchel’s position has come under scrutiny following a woeful run of results that has left the Bundesliga champions facing the prospect of a first season without winning a trophy since 2011-12.

    Bayern chief executive Jan-Christian Dreesen told the club website: “In an open, good conversation we came to the decision to mutually end our collaboration in the summer. Our goal is to carry out a sporting realignment with a new coach for the 2024/25 season.

    Former Chelsea boss Tuchel, who took over in March 2023, said: “We have agreed that we will end our collaboration after this season. Until then, I and my coaching team will of course continue to do everything we can to ensure maximum success.”

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.