It’s silly season in a few weeks and with that comes team of the year and top 10 this and top 5 that on every blog and website you can think of, and of course, we’re no exception! We’ve carefully selected the cream of the crop from the UEFA list of candidates and challenge you to pick a better line-up than we have.
First of all we’ve gone with a 4 3 3 formation which limits us to only 6 superstars, one legend and 4 defenders but you can choose your own formation when making your own UEFA TOTY, the link is lower down the page.
With only 4 choices the obvious pick is Gianluigi Buffon, the least amount of goals conceded (24), the highest win ratio (77%) and, well Buffon is a legend of the game even if Italy is a bit of a soft league these days. Two of the other candidates play in Spain and that’s also a soft league so apples with apples friends!
We decided to go with Toby Alderweireld. The Spurs man is easily on par with any other defender in European football at the moment. A class act and the offers will probably be flooding in for him. Next in our line-up is Sergio Ramos. A hard man who scores regularly from corners and has the mettle to captain a star-studded team. Our second Italian is also a defender. One of the Euro’s best players and perennial overachiever for Juventus, Leonardo Bonucci. The fourth spot in our back-line is taken by Atletico’s Juanfran. The Spaniard could easily have lost his place to Arsenal’s Koscielny or even Bayern’s Boateng but we’re quite fond of Atletico.
We’ve gone with Andres Iniesta of Barcelona as our creator although he only has one goal to his name in the eligible season, his passing and general play have always been excellent. Defensive midfield sees the German Toni Kroos of Real Madrid line-up as a starter with 14 assists and 3 goals. The free role in our 4-3-3 goes to Paul Pogba for his 13 goals and 10 assists in the review period. Strength, skill, speed and a tireless work rate make him a must have next to the other two generals. We could just as easily have picked Dimitri Payet in place of Iniesta though, the Frenchman had an exceptional season with 14 goals and 19 assists but can he repeat that form again this season?
When the best in the business are at your disposal it’s really difficult to pick a team but you could just line up the statistically best players and sign off, but we want a team who could function and win not just the best on paper.
Our front man would be Louis Suarez. The biter has found inner peace and calm in Spain and the back of the net an astonishing 47 times with a shots to goal ratio of well above one in four (28%). Our two wide frontmen are Atletico’s French speedster, Antoine Griezmann, and Dortmund’s hot property, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Both have great pace and a fantastic record with 20% & 21% shot to goal ratios respectively. Only Christiano Ronaldo has more but the legendary Portugal striker has lost a lot of pace in the last few seasons.
You could make an argument for Messi instead of Suarez but his goal conversion rate is lower, his retiring then not retiring fiasco for Argentina and his nations general failure to succeed count against him. Argentina’s other talent, Sergio Aguero could be considered but he seems to be injured all the time and not better than Suarez.
So that’s our TOTY eleven, make your own on the UEFA website. Oh, and in case you were wondering, our selection has 510 appearances, 140 goals and won an impressive 345 of those matches between them!