November 21, 2016 22:24
Nominee, thirty-six-year-old Zlatan Ibrahimovic recently won Sweden’s Golden Ball award for the 10th consecutive year. Zlatan is now retired from international football after 114 games and 62 goals for his nation, and this was his record 11th Golden Ball.
UEFA TEAM OF THE YEAR 2016 NOMINEES: FULL 40-MAN SHORTLIST
Of the 40 football superstars nominated for the UEFA Team of the Year, there are 12 Premier League football stars with Arsenal taking the lion's share with 3 separate nominations. Now in its 15th year, the UEFA Team of the Year will ultimately be decided by 7 million fans and supporters who are expected to contribute to the online vote.
Stoke's Joe Allen was the surprising wildcard nominee on the list, while German playmaker Mesuit Ozil was a surprising omission on the 40-man shortlist. Arsenal’s “king of assists” did not make the shortlist that included the Wales international Allen. Real Madrid superstar Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey join their Wales team-mate on the list
Allen was named in the Euro 2016 Team of the Tournament before becoming a key player for Mark Hughes' Potters. Wales went through to the semi-finals of Europe's premier football competition before being knocked out by eventual winners Portugal.
Arsenal nominees include Aaron Ramsey, Laurent Koscielny and forward Alexis Sanchez.7
Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic have are included from Manchester United mainly due to their efforts at Juventus and PSG respectively before moving to Old Trafford.
PFA Player of the Year and Leicester City star Riyad Mahrez is the Foxes’ only nomination.
Manchester City's Sergio Aguero, Kevin De Bruyne and N'Golo Kante are nominated.
Tottenham defender Toby Alderweireld and West Ham's Dimitri Payet complete the Premier League nominees.
The rest of the nominees come from the top flights in Spanish La Liga (18), German Bundesliga (5), Italy Serie A (3), France Ligue 1 (1) and Portugal (1).
Champions League winners Real Madrid have the most nominees with eight players names. Real Madrid’s Ballon d'Or favorite Cristiano Ronaldo is joined by Portugal and club team-mate Pepe, Sporting Lisbon's Rui Patrico, and Borussia Dortmund defender Raphael Guerreiro - four Portugal players included after their Euro 2016 victory.
All 18 of La Liga's nominated players are from three titan Spanish clubs Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid. Barca’s Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar have been included with Andres Iniesta and Gerard Pique. Atletico Madrid's Euro 2016 Golden Boot winner Antoine Griezmann is joined by his team-mates Jan Oblak, Diego Godin, Juanfran and Yannick Carrasco. From Real Madrid, Keylor Navas, Sergio Ramos, Dani Carvajal, Toni Kroos, Pepe, Luka Modric, and the amazing duo Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale are nominated.
Who do you vote for?
Here is the UEFA Team of the Year 2016 shortlist. Buy Premier League tickets for Arsenal, Manchester United, Manchester City, Tottenham HotspurWest Ham, Stoke City, Chelsea; French Ligue 1 tickets for Paris Saint Germain; Spain Primera League tickets for Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid; Serie A tickets for Juventus; and Bundesliga tickets for Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund; for all matches to watch the world's greatest football players in live action!
Keylor Navas - Real Madrid (Spain Primera League)
Gianluigi Buffon – Juventus (Serie A)
Rui Patricio - Sporting Lisbon
Jan Oblak - Atletico Madrid (Spain Primera League)
Gerard Pique – Barcelona (Spain Primera League)
Joshua Kimmich - Bayern Munich (Bundesliga)
Toby Alderweireld - Tottenham Hotsupur (Premier League)
Sergio Ramos - Real Madrid (Spain Primera League)
Raphael Guerreiro - Borussia Dortmund (Bundesliga)
Leonardo Bonucci – Juventus (Serie A)
Laurent Koscielny - Arsenal (Premier League)
Diego Godin - Atletico Madrid (Spain Primera League)
Pepe - Real Madrid (Spain Primera League)
Juanfran - Atletico Madrid (Spain Primera League)
Dani Carvajal - Real Madrid (Spain Primera League)
Jerome Boateng - Bayern Munich (Bundesliga)
Dimitri Payet - West Ham United (Premier League)
Yannick Carrasco - Atletico Madrid (Spain Primera League)
Paul Pogba - Manchester United (Premier League)
Riyad Mahrez - Leicester City (Premier League)
Kevin De Bruyne - Manchester City (Premier League)
Joe Allen - Stoke City (Premier League)
Luka Modric - Real Madrid (Spain Primera League)
Aaron Ramsey - Arsenal (Premier League)
Toni Kroos - Real Madrid (Spain Primera League)
Andres Iniesta – Barcelona (Spain Primera League)
N’Golo Kante - Chelsea (Premier League)
Grzegorz Krychowiak – PSG (French Ligue 1)
Lionel Messi – Barcelona (Spain Primera League)
Luis Suarez – Barcelona (Spain Primera League)
Cristiano Ronaldo - Real Madrid (Spain Primera League)
Robert Lewandowski - Bayern Munich (Bundesliga)
Zlatan Ibrahimovic - Manchester United (Premier League)
Gonzalo Higuain – Juventus (Serie A)
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang - Borussia Dortmund (Bundesliga)
Neymar – Barcelona (Spain Primera League)
Gareth Bale - Real Madrid (Spain Primera League)
Alexis Sanchez - Arsenal (Premier League)
Sergio Aguero - Manchester City (Premier League)
Antoine Griezmann - Atletico Madrid (Spain Primera League)
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Swedish nominee, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Manchester United who has won the Dutch, Italian, Spanish, and French leagues.
Ibrahimovic may make a move to MLS looking ahead.
'It's a huge option for me. For the football and everything else. I can see myself conquering the U.S. as I have with Europe, said Ibra. 'Lots of people stay in one place throughout their career, but I've travelled around like Napoleon, and conquered every new country where I've sat foot. So perhaps I should do what Napoleon didn't and cross the Atlantic and conquer the States as well.'
At Manchester United, Ibrahimovic, 35, scored five goals in his first five games, and netted twice against Swansea, getting a booking in that match which saw him suspended from playing against Arsenal in the Premier League.
'The team I signed for this summer is not as strong as the one I left, but when Mourinho called the decision was easy,” continued Ibrahimovic. 'When he calls I have no problem coming, all we had to decide was when I was to be presented as a Manchester United player. The rest, the financial deal, was not the difficult part. It was about the challenge really, and I will never say no to a challenge. This is what I wanted; coming to one of the world's biggest clubs, that has had troubles and not won much of late, and try the Premier League. That is the challenge.'
Ibrahimovic won Sweden's Golden Ball award for the country's best player for the 10th time - no other player has won it more than twice. It has been announced he will be immortalised in a 2.7m high statue outside the national stadium in Stockholm, after scoring 62 goals in 116 appearances.
Clubs: Malmo, Ajax, Juventus, Inter, Barcelona, AC Milan, PSG, Manchester United
Club Games: 646; Goals: 381
International caps: 116; Goals: 62
Major Trophies: 2009-10 La Liga, 4x Serie A (Three with Inter, One with AC Milan), 4x Ligue 1, 2x Eredivisie, 2010 FIFA Club World Cup, 2010 UEFA Supercup
Ibrahimovic scores for Manchester United