Spanish daily newspaper Marca have published their readers’ team of the year, based on votes for players by the public in the Uefa 40-man shortlist.
The team in full:
Thibaut Courtois (Atletico) Philipp Lahm (Bayern), Sergio Ramos (Madrid), Thiago Silva (PSG), David Alaba (Bayern); Franck Ribery (Bayern), Mesut Ozil (Arsenal), Gareth Bale (Real Madrid); Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Robert Lewandowski (Dortmund), Cristiano Ronaldo (Madrid).
Given Marca’s bias towards Real Madrid, a number of things can be ascertained by the readers’ selection.
Firstly it appears that the Santiago Bernabeu crowd are warming up to Bale, who was initially heavily criticised following his move to the Spanish capital. However, strong performances of late have clearly got the partisan crowd back on the Welsh attacker’s side.
Many Madristas were surprised by Carlo Ancelotti’s decision to sell Ozil, and that is reflected in the selection of the German playmaker in the team.
With Madrid reportedly interested in both Luis Suarez and Robert Lewandowski, the Polish striker’s selection shows that the club’s fans would probably prefer the Borussia Dortmund man over the Liverpool one.
Sergio Ramos has been linked with a move away from the Santiago Bernabeu, but the dominant defender is clearly a fans favourite as he takes his place in the side.
Real Madrid players outnumber Barcelona stars three-to-one, not surprisingly, while Ramos is the only Spanish player selected.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald