UEFA has named its 2019 Team of the Year, with European champions Liverpool dominating the list alongside FC Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo.
Meanwile Virgil van Dijk was a colossus at the back for Jurgen Klopp’s side, full-backs Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andrew Robertson excelled. Sadio Mane is among the forwards selected, while Goalkeeper Alisson Becker is at the base.
Elsewhere, Barcelona and Juventus have two representatives each.
Unsurprisingly, Messi and Ronaldo make the cut after successful years, while Matthijs de Light and Frenkie de Jong are also included; they both shone for Ajax last term before joining Juve and Barca, respectively.
The remaining two footballers have enjoyed exceptional starts to the 2019-20 season, with Manchester City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne arguably the Premier League‘s standout player and Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski one of the game’s best goalscorers this year.
Last June, Liverpool won the Champions League beating Tottenham Hotspur in the final. They’ve backed up that success by dominating England’s top flight this term and sit 14 points clear of City in the race for the prize.
With their dominance in the Premier League and progression into the Champions League knockout stages, it wouldn’t be a surprise if next year’s team was dominated by Liverpool again.
There aren’t a lot of signs that Messi or Ronaldo would slow down on an individual level, though.
Only Lewandowski found the back of the net more often than Messi in European football’s top 5 leagues in the previous year.
Meanwhile, Ronaldo was crucial to Juventus winning the Serie A title in his debut season at the club. Champions League glory will be on his radar, as will succedd in the summer, when Portugal look to defend their European Championship title successfully.
In spite of winning a domestic treble last year, City only have one representative in De Bruyne.
De Jong and De Ligt were both sensational for Ajax in the last season, though they have each had mixed starts to life at their new clubs.
They will both be hoped to make more strides in the next months, having inspired the Dutch giants to an unlikely Champions League semi-final appearance in the last campaign.