The best league in the world?

The Barclays Premier League certainly isn’t, at least not according to people who’ve registered to make comments at

The governing body’s team of the year contains just two players from the EPL this go around – John Terry (fairly reasonable I’d say), and Patrice Evra (less reasonably I’d say).

Spain’s La Liga (or more exactly, Real Madrid and Barcelona) claimed the remaining nine spots, and since 4 million votes were cast by 320,000 registered users, there was obviously a lot of ballot stuffing going on. That said, can we really argue that the likes of Iniesta, Xavi, Messi and Ronaldo should lose out to anyone currently playing in England?

I suppose a case could be made for one of Drogba, Torres or Rooney beating out Zlatan Ibrahimović for a forward spot, but it would be a tough case.

Check out a list of past teams of the year.

Barca and Real Madrid also shafted the EPL last December when the five finalists for FIFA’s 2009 player of the year came in as follows: Messi, Ronaldo, Xavi, Kaka and Iniesta.

But look on the bright side England, when it comes to luring top Italian coaching talent and insanely tight races at all the important spots in the table, there’s no one better in Europe.

Here is the player pool the UEFA readers voted on for each position:

Edwin van der Sar
Iker Casillas
Víctor Valdés
Júlio César
Manuel Neuer (FC Schalke 04)

Javier Zanetti
Darijo Srna (Shakthar Donetsk)
Daniel Alves
Philipp Lahm

Ashley Cole
Marcel Schäfer (VfL Wolfsburg)
Aly Cissokho (Olympique Lyonnais)
Patrice Evra
Eric Abidal

Central defenders
John Terry
Carles Puyol

Thomas Vermaelen
Gerard Piqué
Dmytro Chygrynskiy (Barcelona)

Right midfield
Cristiano Ronaldo
Miloš Krasić (CSKA Moscow)
Marek Hamšík (Napoli)
Jesús Navas (Sevilla)
Dejan Stanković

Left midfield
Mesut Özil (Werder Bremen)
Franck Ribéry
Andrei Arshavin
Andrés Iniesta
Ryan Giggs

Central midfield
Xavi Hernández
Xabi Alonso
Yaya Touré
Sergei Semak (Rubin Kazan)
Frank Lampard

Attacking midfield
Steven Gerrard
Diego (Juventus)
Zvjezdan Misimović (VfL Wolfsburg)
Yoann Gourcuff

Fernando Torres
Lionel Messi
Zlatan Ibrahimović

Samuel Eto’o
Grafite (VfL Wolfsburg)
Edin Džeko
Diego Forlán
David Villa
Wayne Rooney
Marcus Berg (Hamburger SV)

Josep Guardiola
Mircea Lucescu (Shakhtar Donetsk)
Sir Alex Ferguson
Laurent Blanc
Horst Hrubesch (Germany’s Under-21)


3 Responses to “The best league in the world?”

  1. Puyol at centre back is ridiculous – Carvalho or Vidic are better shouts, while Drogba or Torres should certainly be in ahead of Ibrahimovic. Iniesta is surely better in a more central role than out wide too, so that’s another contestable decision, and Fabregas is a much better midfielder than Lampard. I imagine a lot of fans were from Spain who voted, English supporters don’t regard UEFA very highly so it’s hardly surprising if not as many voted. The EPL has more depth than La Liga, although more superstars might play in Spain. I bet when the UK top tax rate is reduced from 50%, more top footballers migrate to England, but I’ll be in a minority there!

  2. What?! No Cesc Fabregas, even in the voting?! That’s a huge omission, in my (Arsenal-loving) mind.

  3. Renegade Gooner Says:

    Seriously, Semak and yaya make it for central mid and Cesc does not…

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