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De Bryune and Hazard debut in UEFA fans’ team of 2017. No slot for Kane

January 11 – Forget the often over-contrived confederation year end awards, surely a real vote is one cast by the people? If so, then the UEFA.com Fans’ Team of the Year 2017 is what really counts with a record (and remarkable) 8.77 million votes cast, an increase of 1.6 million over 2016.

The initial shortlist of 50 players were nominated by the UEFA.com editorial team based on  performances for a European club or national team in UEFA competitions during the 2017 calendar year. The voting floodgates were then opened.

The most popular formation for voters was 4-4-2 with 459,797 selections in this line-up.

In terms of players, the Spanish league dominated the final selection with six making the final team. Cristiano Ronaldo made his 12th appearance in the team, alongside five other Real Madrid players. Sergio Ramos received the most votes with 588,315.

Kevin De Bruyne and Eden Hazard were new entrants this year as well as being the first Belgians to be represented in the final team. De Bruyne is the first Manchester City player to make the XI, while Hazard, perhaps a surprise selection considering his sometimes patchy form for Chelsea, was in sensational form for Belgium during the European Qualifiers scoring six goals in eight games as well as recording five assists.

39-year-old Gianluigi Buffon extends his record as the oldest ever player to make the team. He was picked for a fifth time and is just one appearance behind leading keeper Iker Casillas.

UEFA has set aside €100,000 to support the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) rehabilitation programme for landmine victims in Afghanistan. Representatives of the UEFA.com  Fans’ Team of the Year will present the donation to the ICRC at an upcoming UEFA Champions League match.

UEFA.com Fans’ Team of the Year 2017

Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus & Italy); Dani Alves (Juventus/Paris Saint-Germain & Brazil), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid CF & Spain), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus & Italy), Marcelo (Real Madrid CF & Brazil); Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City FC & Belgium, Toni Kroos (Real Madrid CF & Germany), Luka Modrić (Real Madrid CF & Croatia); Eden Hazard (Chelsea FC & Belgium); Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona & Argentina), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid CF & Portugal)

Full voting results go to en.toty.uefa.com

Contact the writer of this story at moc.l1539899496labto1539899496ofdlr1539899496owedi1539899496sni@n1539899496osloh1539899496cin.l1539899496uap1539899496