The Team of the Year for 2019 was revealed.
But it wasn’t what everyone expected.
UEFA unveiled their Team of the Year 2019, voted for by the fans, on Wednesday. The revelation however, left the fans a little surprised. The European governing body had changed their formation from the usual 4-3-3 to 4-2-4.
The line-up, saw Cristiano Ronaldo pair with Robert Lewandowski on the front. It also features Sadio Mane and Lionel Messi on the flanks. Kevin De Bruyne and Frenkie De Jong were fielded behind them while Liverpool trio, Virgil Van Dijk and the fullback pairing of Andrew Robertson were joined by Matthijs De Ligt in defence with Alison on goal.
However, what raised eyebrows per the Daily Mail, is that UEFA altered the formation at the last minute to fit in Ronaldo. The Portuguese received less votes than Messi, Mane and Lewandowski in the forwards category and was set to miss out from the team altogether. This angered UEFA officials – such is Ronaldo’s popularity – so the original release date of the team was delayed by a week to manoeuvre the 35-year-old into the XI.
UEFA changed their Team of the Year formation to a 4-2-4 in order to include Cristiano Ronaldo, after the Portuguese finished fourth amongst forwards, behind Lionel Messi, Robert Lewandowski and Sadio Mané.— Zach Lowy (@ZachLowy) January 15, 2020
In order to squeeze him in, they dropped Kanté.https://t.co/iH1TR4H0p9
The unlucky man to miss out? N’Golo Kante, with the Frenchman just behind De Jong and De Bruyne in he voting. However, a spokesperson for UEFA attempted to explain the scandalous decision. They claimed that Portugal’s success in the UEFA Nations League was the catalyst for the formation change.
“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,” they said. “As a result, there are five UEFA Champions League winners and four UEFA Nations League finalists. The formation changes on a regular basis and this year is no exception.”
Not exactly an appropriate explanation, is it? Kante, Chelsea and France have every right to make an official complaint over the issue.