In a sensational exclusive article shared by the Daily Mail, it has been claimed that UEFA made a last-minute change to the ‘team of the year’ formation.
The change of tact was, as per the same report, to make sure Cristiano Ronaldo still had a spot in the lineup, even though Sadio Mane, Robert Lewandowski and Lionel Messi all won more votes than the Portugal international.
None of the aforementioned trio missed out on the honour, however – but Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante did pick up enough votes to make the XI, until the change of formation.
3️⃣ from the Netherlands 🇳🇱
5️⃣ from Liverpool 🔴
7️⃣ Newcomers 🆕
1️⃣1️⃣ stars 🌟
Your 2019 UEFA #TeamOfTheYear!
— UEFA (@UEFA) January 15, 2020
The decision to include Mane and Messi as wingers, and have Lewandowksi and Ronaldo up top, meant that a central midfield spot had to be given up.
Frenkie de Jong and Kevin De Bruyne both received more votes than the World Cup winner, and were included over the Chelsea star.
If true, this is a disgrace – Ronaldo wasn’t really in the running for the Ballon d’Or last year after years of dominance, and that’s fair enough for a footballer who will turn 35 next month.
UEFA’s ‘team of the year’ for 2019 is a farce, if this report is to be believed, and that’s a shame for the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold and de Jong who have made the cut for the first time.