Friday, 19 January 2007

Italian trio in UEFA XI

Three members of Italy's World-Cup winning squad have been included in the UEFA 2006 Team of the Year.

Gianluca Zambrotta, Fabio Cannavaro and Gianluigi Buffon feature in the line-up which was voted for by users of UEFA’s official website.

Buffon was selected for the third time in four years, whereas Cannavaro was again recognised as one of the best defenders in the world after winning both the Ballon d'Or and the FIFA World Player of the Year awards.

Milan star Kaka was also included in the dream team, which was voted for by a record 390,000 individuals.

Barcelona were the dominant club with Carles Puyol, Ronaldinho, Samuel Eto’o and Zambrotta appearing on the team sheet.

Barca coach Frank Rijkaard was voted as the best tactician among the five nominees, which also included former Azzurri boss Marcello Lippi.

Ronaldinho – who was one of the four players surviving from the 2005 team along with Puyol, Eto’o and Steven Gerrard – was the most nominated player with almost 292,000 votes.

Team of 2006: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus); Gianluca Zambrotta (Barcelona), Fabio Cannavaro (Real Madrid), Carles Puyol (Barcelona), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich); Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal); Kaka (Milan); Ronaldinho (Barcelona), Thierry Henry (Arsenal), Samuel Eto’o (Barcelona)

Coach: Frank Rijkaard (Barcelona)

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