UEFA - Union of European Football Associ

uefa.com Team of the Year 2006 - Fans can vote online until 4 January 2007

    Nyon (ots) - Voting opens today for the uefa.com users' Team of the Year 2006. The poll, now in its sixth year, gives the users of uefa.com, Europe's football website, the chance to select a team of players who made their mark in European football over the last 12 months.

    Sixty players and managers have been nominated for 12 positions, including coach, and the final team will be announced on 19 January 2007 on uefa.com and in the January issue of Champions magazine. The nominees were chosen by uefa.com staff writers on the basis of their coverage of football throughout Europe on a daily basis. The players were selected for their overall performances either for a European club or national team, or in a UEFA club competition in 2006.

    The uefa.com Team of the Year is not intended as a rival to more established awards, and does not bear the official UEFA imprimatur. Nevertheless, it has already proved hugely popular with fans, and over eight million votes have been cast in previous polls.

    European champions FC Barcelona have the most nominees with eleven, while UEFA Champions League runners-up Arsenal have seven. English champions Chelsea FC have received six nominations and French champions Olympique Lyonnais and UEFA Cup holders Sevilla FC have five apiece. In total, 19 clubs have players nominated. Eight members of Italy's FIFA World Cup-winning squad plus coach Marcello Lippi have been nominated.

    uefa.com Site Manager Adrian Harte said: "It was particularly challenging to select a group of nominees this year with performances in UEFA club and national team competitions in the latter stages of the 2005/06 season and the start of the 2006/07 campaign, domestic leagues and, of course, the FIFA World Cup coming under scrutiny. While there will always be some debate over players included and omitted, we are confident that this list highlights the best players and coaches over the past year and we can't wait to see who our users consider worthy for inclusion in the Team of the Year."

    Users can vote by accessing www.uefa.com/teamoftheyear. Voting continues until 4 January 2007.

The full list of nominees, over the page, is as follows:

Goalkeepers Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus) Jens Lehmann (Arsenal FC) Petr _ech (Chelsea FC) Grégory Coupet (Olympique Lyonnais) Andrés Palop (Sevilla FC)

Right backs Gianluca Zambrotta (FC Barcelona) Willy Sagnol (FC Bayern München) Emmanuel Eboué (Arsenal FC) Daniel Alves (Sevilla FC) Juliano Belletti (FC Barcelona)

Left Backs Fabio Grosso (FC Internazionale Milano) Philipp Lahm (FC Bayern München) Eric Abidal (Olympique Lyonnais) Giovanni van Bronckhurst (FC Barcelona) Rodolfo Arrubarrena (Villarreal CF)

Central Defenders Fabio Cannavaro (Real Madrid CF) Carles Puyol (FC Barcelona) Kolo Touré (Arsenal FC) John Terry (Chelsea) William Gallas (Arsenal) Lilian Thuram (FC Barcelona) Rafael Márquez (FC Barcelona) Cris (Olympique Lyonnais) Marco Materazzi (FC Internazionale Milano) Roberto Ayala (Valencia CF)

Central Midfielders Andrea Pirlo (AC Milan) Mahamadou Diarra (Real Madrid CF) Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal FC) Claude Makelele (Chelsea FC) Torsten Frings (Werder Bremen)

Right Midfielders Gennaro Gattuso (AC Milan) Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United FC) Franck Ribéry (Olympique de Marseille) Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona) Steven Gerrard (Liverpool FC)

Left Midfielders Adriano Correia (Sevilla FC) Florent Malouda (Olympique Lyonnais) Juan Pablo Sorín (Hamburger SV) Bastian Schweinsteiger (FC Bayern München) Ronaldinho (FC Barcelona)

Attacking Midfielders Kaká (AC Milan) Juninho Pernambucano (Olympique Lyonnais) Deco (FC Barcelona) Juan Román Riquelme (Villarreal CF) Michael Ballack (Chelsea FC)

Forwarders Samuel Eto'o (FC Barcelona) Thierry Henry (Arsenal FC) Miroslav Klose (Werder Bremen) Luca Toni (ACF Fiorentina) Didier Drogba (Chelsea FC) Andriy Shevchenko (Chelsea FC) David Villa (Valencia CF) Klaas Jan Huntelaar (AFC Ajax) Frédéric Kanouté (Sevilla FC) Henrik Larsson (Helsingborgs IF)

Coaches Arsène Wenger (Arsenal FC) Frank Rijkaard (FC Barcelona) Marcello Lippi (Italy) Juande Ramos (Sevilla FC) Jürgen Klinsmann (Germany)

Issued by Fast Web Media on behalf of UEFA Media Technologies

ots Originaltext: UEFA Media Technologies AG
Internet: www.presseportal.ch

Rachel Pearse at Fast Web Media:
Tel.:    +44(0)161/831'0415
E-Mail: rachel.pearse@fastwebmedia.com

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