Messi, Suarez and Neymar head-up Barca-dominated Team of the Year shortlist

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Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez are among eight Barcelona players have been named in the 40-man shortlist for UEFA's Team of the Year.

The fearsome attacking trio scored an unprecedented total of 122 goals between them across all competitions last season, and have been in sparkling form again this campaign, netting 39 so far, despite Messi missing almost two months of action with a knee injury.

Fellow Barcelona stars Dani Alves, Javier Mascherano, Gerard Pique, Ivan Rakitic and Andres Iniesta are also on the shortlist, with Bayern Munich the next best represented club with six players.

 Real Madrid - heavily beaten by Barcelona in their most recent La Liga outing - have four nominations, including Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale.

Former Tottenham winger Bale, whose five qualifying goals in 2015 propelled Wales into their maiden European Championships, is one of just two British players to be named - Manchester City and England goalkeeper Joe Hart being the other.

Another City player to join the list is Kevin De Bruyne, the Belgium midfielder having carried over immense form from last season - when he amassed 16 goals and 28 assists in 51 appearances for Wolfsburg.

Sergio Aguero, Alexis Sanchez and Eden Hazard are the only other Premier League players present on the shortlist, which is comprised of four goalkeepers, 12 defenders, 12 midfielders and 12 forwards, and is based on the performances of players throughout 2015.

 

UEFA Team of the Year shortlist in full.

Goalkeepers:  Denys Boyko (Dnipro), Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Joe Hart (Manchester City), Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich).

Defenders: David Alaba (Bayern Munich), Dani Alves (Barcelona), Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich), Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Diego Godin (Atletico Madrid), David Luiz (Paris Saint-Germain), Javier Mascherano (Barcelona), Gerard Pique (Barcelona), Ricardo Rodriguez (Wolfsburg), Thiago Silva (Paris Saint-Germain),Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid).

Midfielders: Hakan Calhanoglu (Bayer Leverkusen), Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City), Eden Hazard (Chelsea), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Yevhen Konoplyanka (Sevilla), Grzegorz Krychowiak (Sevilla), Claudio Marchisio (Juventus), Paul Pogba (Juventus), Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona), James Rodriguez (Real Madrid), Marco Verratti (Paris Saint-Germain), Arturo Vidal (Bayern Munich).

Forwards: Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Gareth Bale (Real Madrid), Antoine Griezmann (Atletico Madrid), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Paris Saint-Germain), Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich), Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Alvaro Morata (Juventus), Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich), Neymar (Barcelona), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid), Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal), Luis Suarez (Barcelona).