054 - Forty players nominated for the 15th edition of the annual vote
Voting is open for the UEFA.com users' Team of the Year 2015 poll, with ten first-time nominees vying for selection alongside regulars including Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Andrés Iniesta.
In all, 40 players have been nominated for the 15th edition of the annual vote, with users asked to pick their team in their preferred formation from four goalkeepers, 12 defenders, 12 midfielders and 12 forwards. The nominees were chosen by UEFA.com staff writers on the basis of their performances for a European club or national team in 2015. Voting (http://en.toty.uefa.com/) runs until Tuesday 5 January (13.00CET), with the final line-up to be announced on Friday 8 January on UEFA.com.
UEFA Champions League winners Barcelona provide eight #TOTY nominees including current UEFA Best Player in Europe Lionel Messi. In total, 14 players involved in the 2015 UEFA Champions League final are in contention. Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba, 22, is the youngest of this year’s field, while club-mate Gianluigi Buffon, 37, is the oldest.
Some 13 clubs figure on the shortlist, from six different leagues, with 19 nationalities represented. In all, 12 of the 40 nominees have featured in a Team of the Year before.
Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo is nominated for a record 12th successive year, having topped the polling with 623,046 individual votes last season as he secured a place in the illustrious XI for an unprecedented eighth time in a row. Ronaldo and club-mate Toni Kroos subsequently handed a €100,000 cheque on behalf of UEFA to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
The UEFA.com users’ Team of the Year donation supports ICRC's rehabilitation programme for landmine victims in Afghanistan. Through treatments, prosthetics and football, patients get back into shape and back to life. Being part of the centre’s football team especially helps players to reconnect with the community, make friends and rebuild their identity and self-esteem. UEFA’s partnership with the ICRC dates back to 1997, when the European football’s governing body pledged its support for the ICRC’s anti-landmine campaign. In early 2016, a player from this year’s XI will continue the tradition of handing over a cheque for €100,000. Find out more about the Afghan players defeating landmines with football (http://en.toty.uefa.com/icrc.html).
The UEFA.com Team of the Year is not intended to rival more established awards and does not bear the official UEFA imprimatur. However, it has proved hugely popular with fans since its inception, with more than 8 million votes cast last year alone.
For full details of the nominees and to place your vote, visit http://en.toty.uefa.com/
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