UEFA big wigs have denied changing their team of the year formation to make room for Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Portuguese superstar received less fan votes in the ‘forwards’ category than Sadio Mane, Robert Lewandowski and bitter rival Lionel Messi which angered the governing body.
So in order to squeeze the 34-year-old in, Uefa reportedly changed from the commonly used 4-3-3 to a 4-2-4 with Chelsea’s N’Golo Kante getting canned to make way.
A Daily Mail source said: “This is really not good, it is effectively vote rigging.
“Such is Ronaldo’s popularity at a senior level within the organisation, alarm bells sounded when he did not make the cut and, as a result, the formation was changed.
But a Uefa spokesperson refuted the claim and said: “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.
“As a result, there are five Uefa Champions League winners and four Uefa Nations League finalists (including one winner). The formation changes on a regular basis and this year is no exception.”
Liverpool’s Alisson was voted in as best keeper.
Uefa Team of the Year 2019 (4-2-4)
GK: Alisson Becker (Liverpool)
RB: Trent Alexander-Arnold
CB: Matthijs de Ligt (Ajax/Juventus)
CB: Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool)
LB: Andrew Robertson (Liverpool)
CM: Frenkie de Jong (Ajax/Barcelona)
CM: Kevin de Bruyne (Man City)
RW: Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
LW: Sadio Mane (Liverpool)
ST: Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)
ST: Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus)
While the Reds’ Trent Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk and Andy Robertson made it into the backline alongside Juventus’ Matthijs De Ligt.
Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong and Man City’s Kevin De Bruyne were the two midfielders.
And Ronaldo slipped in alongside Lewandowski, Messi and Mane in a very gung-ho attacking quartet.