No English, Irish or Scottish players are among the 40 nominations for UEFA’s Team of the Year poll but three Welshman make the cut: Joe Allen, Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey.
Now in its 16th year, the online poll asks fans to pick their formation and team from a list of four goalkeepers, 12 defenders, 12 midfielders and 12 forwards.
As well as the usual suspects from La Liga, there are 12 Premier League players on the list, including Riyad Mahrez and N’Golo Kante from last season’s champions Leicester City, although Kante is now at table-topping Chelsea.
Arsenal are the best represented Premier League side with Ramsey, Laurent Koscielny and Alexis Sanchez among those considered by UEFA.com’s editorial staff to have had great years for a European club or national team, which explains the presence of Allen and Ramsey.
Real Madrid, however, lead the way with eight nominations, including Cristiano Ronaldo who was named for a record 13th time. Spanish rivals Atletico and Barca have five nominations each.
In terms of the 18 different nationalities represented, France and Spain both have five players nominated, while there are four from European champions Portugal.
The absence of Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy might disappoint some English fans but it is hard to pick fault with a list that can only find room for one Brazilian, Neymar, and no space for Germany’s Manuel Neuer, widely considered to be the best goalkeeper in the world.
Fans can vote for their choices at en.toty.uefa.com until January 3, with the final line-up announced on January 5.
GOALKEEPERS: Gigi Buffon (Juventus), Keylor Navas (Real Madrid), Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid), Rui Patricio (Sporting).
DEFENDERS: Toby Alderweireld (Tottenham), Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Dani Carvajal (Real Madrid), Diego Godin (Atletico Madrid), Raphael Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund), Juanfran (Atletico Madrid), Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich), Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal), Pepe (Real Madrid), Gerard Pique (Barcelona), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid).
MIDFIELDERS: Joe Allen (Stoke), Yannick Carrasco (Atletico Madrid), Kevin De Bruyne (Man City), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), N’Golo Kante (Chelsea), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), Grzegorz Krychowiak (PSG), Riyad Mahrez (Leicester), Luka Modric (Real Madrid), Dimitri Payet (West Ham), Paul Pogba (Manchester United), Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal).
FORWARDS: Sergio Aguero (Man City), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund), Gareth Bale (Real Madrid), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Gonzalo Higuain (Juventus), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Man United), Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Neymar (Barcelona), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal), Luis Suarez (Barcelona).