Ronaldo, Messi and de Bruyne named in UEFA Team of the Year 2017

Sport360 staff 11/01/2018

Kevin de Bruyne and Eden Hazard are the only two Premier League players named in the UEFA Team of the Year.

The team was named by UEFA on Thursday – with a record 8.8 million votes cast to decide the XI – and it did raise a few eyebrows after some big names missed out.

There was no place for Europe’s top scorer for club and country Harry Kane, or Neymar, the world’s most expensive player at £200 million.

Sergio Ramos received the most votes with 588,315, and is one of five Real Madrid players named in the side.

Other Real Madrid stars included are Marcelo (LB), Toni Kroos (CM), Luka Modric (RCM) and Cristiano Ronaldo (RW).

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi (CF) also features alongside the Portuguese star in the team.

At 39, Juventus legend Gianluigi Buffon was chosen as the goalkeeper to extend his record as the oldest player to make the team, while the other Serie A player named is teammate Giorgio Chiellini.

Ligue 1’s sole representative is Dani Alves of PSG.

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Neymar pips Lionel Messi as Cristiano Ronaldo is ranked 49th in Europe's most valuable player list

Neymar‘s world-record switch to Paris Saint-Germain last summer was the main instigator behind his rise to becoming football’s most valuable player.

The brilliant Brazilian pipped former Barcelona team-mate Lionel Messi in CIES Football Observatory’s charts which rank players from the top five European leagues, on how much they are worth and factoring in age, position, contract duration, performance and international status.

Those figures, totted up, see Neymar hold top spot at €213m while Messi is second (€202.2m).

Tottenham and England striker Harry Kane, who has been shattering records of late, is third with a value of €194.7m.

Neymar’s PSG club colleague, Kylian Mbappe, pulls rank in fourth and is worth €192.1m, and is followed by Juventus forward Paulo Dybala at fifth (€174m).

Kane’s Spurs team-mate Dele Alli (€171.3m) is sixth, Manchester City‘s Kevin de Bruyne occupies seventh spot, followed by Romelu Lukaku, Antoine Griezmann and Paul Pogba at eighth, ninth and tenth respectively.

Surprisingly, Real Madrid legend and Ballon D’or holder Cristiano Ronaldo (€80.4m) is ranked 49th.

Liverpool‘s Egyptian ace Mohamed Salah, who has been one of the stars of the season in the Premier League, is worth €140.5m, and ranked 12th.

Chelsea winger Eden Hazard is 18th on the list, valued at €119.6m.

Meanwhile, Monaco star Thomas Lemar who has been a transfer target for a few Premier League clubs, sits at 57th spot, valued at €72.5m.

AC Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma (€51m) too features in the list but is placed in 95th.

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Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson praises VAR after Brighton's winning goal confusion

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Palace boss Hodgson.

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson praised the video assistant referee (VAR) system after its debut in English competitive football following initial confusion around Brighton’s winning goal.

Brighton’s Glenn Murray scored a late winner in the home side’s 2-1 FA Cup third-round defeat of Palace on Monday but, with suggestions of handball, there was confusion among players, fans at the ground and TV viewers over whether VAR had had any influence on the decision.

According to Hodgson and Brighton manager Chris Hughton, match referee Andre Marriner had been in contact with fellow official Neil Swarbrick, working with VAR from a London studio, about the goal.

That Marriner did not indicate as such or use the pitchside VAR monitors contributed to the confusion, and Hodgson said: “We had suspicions. The people close to it seemed to be incensed, and from our angle it looks as if he’s guided the ball in with his arm.

Glenn Murray

“You’ve got to congratulate the system: when you watch it lots of times like they’ve been able to do, from different angles, it would have been very harsh (to disallow it).

“It was a genuine goal, and the referee was helped by the fact he had Swarbrick in the VAR studio making a judgement that’d help him out, so I have no complaints.”

Hughton said he was “under the impression that VAR was used. That’s what I am led to believe: that it was used and there was not a decision to be made. At the time I wasn’t aware some thought it was handball.”

The VAR system is currently being trialled in Italy and Germany and was employed for the first time in an official game in Britain during the international friendly between England and Germany in November, when it was not called on.

Criticised by some fans for slowing the game down, it is used for “clear and obvious errors” relating to goals, penalty decisions, straight red cards or mistaken identity for red or yellow cards.

The VAR automatically checks every relevant incident and informs the referee if necessary. The referee has the power to change the original decision based on new information provided by the VAR or watch a replay on the side of the pitch.

Marriner did not feel the need to consult the pitchside monitor after Murray’s goal as he felt it was legitimate. The system allows for dialogue between the on-pitch referee and the VAR without a formal review.

Former England striker Gary Lineker tweeted: “So VAR so good.” 

But former Palace forward Mark Bright said the referee should have looked into the incident more carefully.

“The debate in the boardroom is did the ball or did it not touch Glenn Murray’s arm before it went into the net?” he tweeted.

“Clearly & Obviously missed? Should have been viewed #VAR.”

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