UEFA have named their Team of the Century, boasting some of the most decorated players in football history.
The XI was determined by the number of times a player had been voted in the annual UEFA Team of the Year.
Without further ado, here is UEFA’s official Team of the Century.
UEFA Team of the Year: 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
A three-time UEFA Champions League winner (2000, 2002, 2014), World Cup winner and two-time European Champion with Spain, Iker Casillas has been singled out as the most decorated goalkeeper of the 21st century.
UEFA Team of the Year: 2002, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010
A fearless leader for Barcelona, Carles Puyol won three UEFA Champions League titles within six years (2006, 2009, 2011) on top of guiding Spain to a EURO 2008 and 2010 World Cup triumph.
UEFA Team of the Year: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016
Barcelona teammate Gerard Pique picks up where Carles Puyol left off, winning a multitude of titles with club and country, including three UEFA Champions League crowns (2009, 2011, 2015) and two major honours with La Roja (2010 World Cup and EURO 2012).
UEFA Team of the Year: 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
Sergio Ramos maintains the all-Spanish UEFA Team of the Century contingent thus far, and deservedly so after leading Real Madrid to UEFA Champions League glory in three of the past four seasons (2014, 2016, 2017) and contributing to three major honours with Spain (EURO 2008, World Cup 2010 and EURO 2012).
UEFA Team of the Year: 2006, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014
The German holds a reputation as one of the most consistent players of the past decade, lifting honours with club and country, including the UEFA Champions League in 2013 with Bayern Munich and the World Cup with Germany in 2014.
UEFA Team of the Year: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
Xavi was central to the dominance of Barcelona and Spain throughout his illustrious career, lifting four UEFA Champions League crowns (2006, 2009, 2011, 2015), two European Championships (2008, 2012) and the World Cup (2010).
UEFA Team of the Year: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016
Wherever Xavi is found, Iniesta is usually not too far away. The metronomic duo sparkled together for Barcelona and Spain, winning a plethora of titles and earning plaudits for showing just how beautiful the ‘beautiful game’ can be.
UEFA Team of the Year: 2005, 2006, 2007
Liverpool heartbeat Steven Gerrard is one of five midfielders to make the UEFA Team of the Year three times alongside Kaka, Ronaldinho, Pavel Nedved and Zinedine Zidane. He earned more nominations than all of them, narrowly granting him a spot in the side, but it is justified considering the Englishman’s contribution to one of the most magical moments in UEFA Champions League history: Istanbul.
UEFA Team of the Year: 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo holds an unprecedented 11 entries in the UEFA Team of the Year, and adds four UEFA Champions League crowns to his CV (2008 with Manchester United – 2014, 2016, 2017 with Real Madrid) as well as the previously elusive international honour with Portugal, winning EURO 2016.
UEFA Team of the Year: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016
Argentine icon Lionel Messi has the second-most entries into the UEFA Team of the Year, with eight. He’s enjoyed immense success with Barcelona in Europe, winning four UEFA Champions League titles (2006, 2009, 2011, 2015). He is easily one of the greatest players of his generation – arguably ever – and has a list of personal accolades that would leave me here typing all day.
UEFA Team of the Year: 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006
Thierry Henry burst onto the scene with Monaco and France in the late 90’s, winning numerous individual honours and lifting the World Cup in 1998. He had already settled into life at Arsenal by the time he won EURO 2000, earning four consecutive UEFA Team of the Year places. However, he would not taste UEFA Champions League success until moving to Barcelona, where he would go on to lift the trophy in 2009.