Luka Modrić Included in UEFA Team of the Year for 2016

Daniela Rogulj

Croatian national team captain Luka Modrić has received yet another great recognition for his stellar performances last year, and was included in the European Football Federation (UEFA) Team of the Year for 2016. 

It was the 16. UEFA’s choice for the best players and Modrić is the first Croatian footballer to be included in the team of the year, reports Vecernji List on January 5, 2017. 

On UEFA’s website, 40 football candidates were listed where fans could vote to ultimately choose the 11 best. In total, 7,100,000 votes were collected, and with great honor, Modrić won fourth place with 381,234 votes. In front of him were only his teammates from Real Madrid Sergio Ramos (488,908) and Cristiano Ronaldo (450,220), and Barcelona’s Lionel Messi (418,449). 

For the fourth time, the team is led by goalkeeper of Juventus and the Italian national team, Gianluigi Buffon, who with 38 years of age has become the oldest player to be selected for the best 11. 

For defenders, the people have chosen Leonardo Bonucci of Juventus, Spaniards Gerard Pique (Barcelona) and Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), and Germany’s Jerome Boateng (Bayern). This is Ramos’ sixth time being included in the team of defenders, succeeded only by Carlos Puyol. This is Pique’s fifth time in the team, and the first time for both Boateng and Bonucci. 

The midfield is held by Croatia’s Luka Modrić who first entered the team this year after three failed attempts in 2008, 2011, and 2014. Together with Luka is teammate Toni Kroos, and Barcelona’s ‘fantasista’ Andres Iniesta. 

The most votes among the attackers were given to Ronaldo, Messi and Atletico Madrid’s gunner Antoine Griezmann. This is Ronaldo’s 11th selection in the team, Messi’s eighth and Griezmann’s first.

Most voters were from Europe (48%), followed by Asia (25%) and South America (9%). Most voters were between 18-24 years (62%), and overall the most votes were given to the players of Real Madrid (24%) and Barcelona (16%).

Team of the Year (4-3-3): Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus / Ita) – Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus / Ita), Gerard Pique (Barcelona / Spain), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid / Spa), Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich / Ger) – Andres Iniesta (Barcelona / Spain), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid / Ger), Luka Modric (Real Madrid / Cro) – Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid / Portugal), Antoine Griezmann (Real Madrid / Fra), Lionel Messi (Barcelona / Arg).


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