N’Golo Kante was reportedly taken out of Uefa’s team of the year so Cristiano Ronaldo could be accommodated despite the Juventus striker earning fewer votes than three other forwards.
European football’s governing body decided to change formation from a 4-3-3 to 4-2-4 so the Portugal captain could be included and, as a result, Kante dropped out.
Ronaldo had fewer votes than the original front three of Lionel Messi, Robert Lewandowski and Sadio Mane, according to a report in the Daily Mail.
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“The formation for this year’s team of the year was chosen to reflect the votes of the fans in parallel with the players’ achievements in Uefa competitions,” a spokesman said.
A 4-3-3 formation had been used in five of the past six seasons, with the exception being a 4-4-2 in 2017.
There are five Liverpool players in the XI, including three of the back four that led the Merseysiders to the Champions League along with goalkeeper Alisson.
Matthijs De Ligt and Frenkie De Jong, the stars of Ajax’s team that lost their semi-final to Tottenham before moving to Juventus and Barcelona, in the summer are also included.
Kante missed last weekend’s 3-0 win at home to Burnley due to a minor hamstring injury but it is not yet known if he will be fit for Saturday evening’s trip to face Newcastle United at St James’ Park.
Uefa’s team of the year Alisson; Trent Alexander-Arnold, Matthijs De Ligt, Virgil Van Dijk, Andy Robertson; Frenkie De Jong, Kevin De Bruyne; Lionel Messi, Robert Lewandowski, Cristiano Ronaldo, Sadio Mane.