Six FC Barcelona players are in contention for places in the uefa.com Team of the Year. Defenders Alba, Mascherano and Piqué, midfielders Xavi and Iniesta and striker Leo Messi are the FCB players in the shortlist of 40 to be selected for the best team of 2012. One year ago, Alves, Piqué, Xavi, Iniesta and Messi were all in the uefa.com all star XI.

Most represented club

FC Barcelona, has the most candidates, six, along with European champions Chelsea and Liga champions Real Madrid. Barça are particularly prominent in the defensive categories, with three players (Alba, Mascherano and Piqué) nominated.

The 40 finalists, by positions

The following are the 40 candidates named by uefa.com, ordered by positions and alphabetically:

Goalkeepers: Buffon, Casillas, Cech and Neuer

Defenders: Barzagli, Cole, Hummels, Ivanovic, Jordi Alba, Kompany, Lahm, Mascherano, Pepe, Piqué, Sergio Ramos and Thiago Silva

Midfielders: Alonso, Blaszczykowski, Hazard, Iniesta, Juan Mata, Marchisio, Özil, Pirlo, Reus, Silva, Touré and Xavi

Forwards: Agüero, Burak Yilmaz, Cavani, Drogba, Falcao, Mario Gómez, Huntelaar, Ibrahimovic, Lewandowski, Messi, Ronaldo and Van Persie


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