Chelsea and England star Ashley Cole has been named to the 2010 UEFA team of the year following online voting by the fans. Cole, who slots in at left-back in a 4-4-2 diamond, is the only Chelsea player to take the honour, and, indeed, the only player outside of La Liga or Serie A to make it onto the team, which was dominated by members of Spain's World Cup winning side. The team in full is as follows:
GK: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid, Spain)
LB: Ashley Cole (Chelsea FC, England)
LCB: Carlos Puyol, captain (Barcelona, Spain)
RCB: Gerard Pique (Barcelona, Spain)
RB: Maicon (Inter Milan, Brazil)
CDM: Xavi Hernandez (Barcelona, Spain)
LCM: Andrés Iniesta (Barcelona, Spain)
RCM: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid, Portugal)
CAM: Wesley Sneijder (Inter Milan, Netherlands)
F: David Villa (Barcelona, Spain)
F: Lionel Messi (Barcelona, Argentina).
Cole beat out both Gio van Bronckhorst and young Portuguese star Fabio Coentrao to take the left-back position. Three other Chelsea players were nominated for the award, but Didier Drogba fell to Villa and Messi, Iniesta beat Florent Malouda, and Maicon triumphed over Branislav Ivanovic at right back.
The team is, unsurprisingly, amazingly one-sided, with eight primarily attacking players and only three who are competent in a defensive role. That's what you get when the fans vote for a team - but in reality there's no reasonable way to fit each of Xavi, Ronaldo, Iniesta, Villa, Messi, and Sneijder on one side without absolutely leaking goals. They'd score a lot though!
PS: Where are you, Bastian Schweinsteiger?