Cologne - FC Bayern München’s dominance in European football has once again stretched to the polling stations as no less than four current squad members have been named in UEFA.com users' Team of the Year for 2014.
Lahm in esteemed company
Over 8.6 million votes were cast online or via Twitter, with FIFA Ballon d’Or nominee
, defensive duo
making the cut, ensuring that the German record titleholders were the best represented club in the final XI. The candidates, who had to be playing for a European club in 2014, were chosen by UEFA.com staff writers, with users casting their votes based on player performances for their club or national side.
For club captain Lahm, this represents the fifth time the 31-year-old has been named in the UEFA.com users' Team of the Year in a storied career - only Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Carlos Puyol and Iker Casillas have featured more often. Meanwhile, Neuer and Alaba also retained their place in the users’ star-studded line-up, while flying Dutchman Robben features for the first time since 2011 following a calendar year that has seen him produce some scintillating form for both club and country last year. Former FC Bayern midfielder Toni Kroos also earned a spot in the best eleven. A total of 8,601,543 votes were cast by users from around the world and, while only six per cent of the votes cast came from FC Bayern fans, Neuer (65), Lahm (66) and Robben (61) all featured in over 60 per cent of the teams selected by UEFA.com's online community.
UEFA.com users’ Team of the Year 2014 in full:
Manuel Neuer (FC Bayern München & Germany)
Philipp Lahm (FC Bayern München & Germany)
, Diego Godin (Club Atletico de Madrid & Uruguay), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid CF & Spain),
David Alaba (FC Bayern München & Austria)
- Angel Di Maria (Real Madrid CF/Manchester United FC & Argentina), Toni Kroos (FC Bayern München/Real Madrid CF & Germany),
Arjen Robben (FC Bayern München & Netherlands)
- Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Paris Saint-Germain FC & Sweden), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid CF & Portugal), Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona & Argentina)