European Team of the Year: Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi cut off but only one Liverpool player is in

A turbulent 2020 still spawned a lot of football despite the COVID-19 pandemic. It also showed some unpredictable results and surprising individual displays.

Over the course of the year, we selected 22 of the top performing players in the five best leagues in Europe and, with your help, narrowed them down to the best XI.

Using polls in our Instagram Stories, we pit players in each position against each other and let you decide who deserves the cut.

Follow our Instagram page to get involved.

This is what our European team of the year looks like:

GK: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich)

He seemed to be in decline in recent years and was threatened by Marc-Andre ter Stegen in Germany, but now he’s back to his best. His great heroics in the final of the Champions League secured Bayern three times as much.

RB: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool)

He’s revolutionized the way we think about the role of a full-back on the team. He stands out with excellent technology and vision. He was a real goal threat and playmaker even from right-backs. He was the key to Liverpool’s long-awaited league win.

CB: Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid)

Everyone looked at the attackers and wondered who would follow in Cristiano Ronaldo’s footsteps, but it is Sergio Ramos who emerged as the talisman of Real Madrid. He sets a good example with his uncompromising defense and eye for goals.

CB: David Alaba (Bayern Munich)

Seamlessly adapted to reinvent himself as a center-back after becoming known as one of the best left-backs in the game. His pace, his elegance and his serenity on the ball make Bayern’s development easier and have helped them dominate in 2020.

LB: Alphonso Davies (Bayern Munich)

One of the breakout stars of the year. He complements an already stacked Bayern attack with his outstanding attacking game. His exciting forward runs with speed and strength are an unforgettable sight.

CM: Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City)

Nobody creates more opportunities or offers more templates than Kevin De Bruyne. His overall game with his energy, his eye for goal and his defensive contributions make him the best midfielder in the world.

CAM: Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United)

Bruno Fernandes, who has all the qualities to be the ultimate playmaker, breathes down the neck of the Belgian. He had a massive impact on Manchester United with 33 goals in 30 games and went from being a top six team to a potential title challenger.

CM: Joshua Kimmich (Bayern Munich)

Flawless in every role he plays. Joshua Kimmich is exemplary, whether in midfield or right-back. He pulls the strings for Bayern and sets the pace, but is also more directly involved in creating opportunities. He had the most chances in the 19/20 Champions League season.

FW: Lionel Messi (Barcelona)

This wasn’t his year but things could get a lot worse for Barcelona without him. His genius and sheer numbers are undeniable even in a turbulent year. An excellent playmaker and game changer.

FW: Robert Lewandowski (Bayern Munich)

He won everything in 2020 and should really have a Ballon d’Or next to his FIFA Best award. His 47 goals in 44 games this year for club and country speak volumes. Simply the best player of 2020.

FW: Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus)

Defying his age with remarkable efficiency, Cristiano Ronaldo continues to stumble after scoring 33 Serie A goals this year. He’s a well-known goalscorer, but he’s grown more at Juventus and he’s also committed to the development game.

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