Players from European champions Barcelona made up nearly half of UEFA’s Team of the Year which was revealed on Friday, while Cristiano Ronaldo made the lineup for a record 10th time.
Eight players from La Liga were included in the final XI, voted for by 7.2 million UEFA.com users from a 40-strong shortlist.
Lionel Messi, Dani Alves, Gerard Pique, Andres Iniesta and Neymar were the Barcelona players included, while Real Madrid provided Ronaldo, Sergio Ramos and James Rodriguez.
Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich had goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and David Alaba while the only player to make the cut from Italy’s Serie A was Juventus’s Paul Pogba, one of three players selected for the first time along with Neymar and Rodriguez.
England’s Premier League was not represented, despite its enormous financial clout and stellar names such as Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero and Yaya Toure, Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez and Chelsea’s Eden Hazard and Diego Costa.
Full team: Goalkeeper: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich and Germany).
Defenders: David Alaba (Bayern Munich and Austria), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid and Spain), Dani Alves (Barcelona and Brazil), Gerard Pique (Barcelona and Spain).
Midfielders: Andres Iniesta (Barcelona and Spain), Paul Pogba (Juventus and France), James Rodriguez (Real Madrid and Colombia).
Forwards: Lionel Messi (Barcelona and Argentina), Neymar (Barcelona and Brazil) and Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid and Portugal).
As this happens, Barcelona striker Luis Suarez has been given a two-match cup ban for using provocative language after their King’s Cup last-16 first-leg clash against Espanyol, the Spanish federation said on Friday.
At the end of a bad-tempered derby on Wednesday which Barca won 4-1, insults were exchanged by both sets of players in the tunnel after leaving the pitch.
“I am waiting for you, come here. You are a waste of space,” Suarez said, according to the referee’s report following the game.
The Uruguayan will be suspended for the return leg at Espanyol on Wednesday and Barca’s next cup match.
Barcelona will appeal against the verdict, they said in a statement.