Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante was taken out the UEFA fans’ Team of the Year just so Cristiano Ronaldo could be included, reports claim.
European football’s governing body decided to change the team’s formation from 4-3-3 to 4-2-4 so the Juventus forward featured, as he earned fewer votes than three other attackers.
UEFA made room for Ronaldo in the fans’ Team of the Year
The Portugal captain ranked behind Lionel Messi, Robert Lewandowski and Sadio Mane, according to the Mail, so he would have missed out on selection in a traditional 4-3-3.
But UEFA switched up the formation to include a fourth attacker – Ronaldo – at the expense of one of the midfielders.
The player who missed out on a place in the team as a result of UEFA’s decision turned out to be 2018 World Cup winner Kante, who was voted third in the midfielder ranking behind Frenkie de Jong of Barcelona and Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne.
“The formation for this year’s team of the year was chosen to reflect the votes of the fans in parallel with the players’ achievements in UEFA competitions,” a spokesperson said.
Kante has a right to feel aggrieved over UEFA’s alleged decision
The traditional 4-3-3 formation was used for the UEFA Team of the Year for five of the past six seasons, with the exception being a 4-4-2 in 2017.
Five Liverpool players were selected in the XI, including three of the back four that beat Tottenham 2-0 to win the Champions League, along with goalkeeper Alisson.
Also, Matthijs De Ligt joined former Ajax team-mate De Jong in the XI, as the duo played instrumental roles in Ajaxs run to the European Cup semi-finals where they were eventually beaten by Spurs.
Chelsea midfielder Kante missed last weekend’s 3-0 win at home to Burnley due to a minor hamstring injury, and it is not yet known if he will be fit for Saturday evening’s trip to Newcastle – which you can listen to LIVE on talkSPORT.