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UEFA TOTY 2012

Tonight I picked my UEFA Team of the Year out of the nominees and that is the team that I decided on. Some of the keen eyed of you out there may have noticed that I haven’t picked some of the big names. Yes, your eyes don’t deceive you but there is no Xavi, Iniesta or Cristiano Ronaldo. You must all think I have gone out of my mind. Well I haven’t. We all have our minds and I am still fully in control of mine.

So let me Explain why I have chosen some of who I have chosen, and why I have decided to not pick some of the more obvious ones.

Starting with the goalkeeper I decided on Germany & Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer. There were three other contenders. Italy & Juventus’ Gianluigi Buffon; Spain & Real Madrid’s Iker Casillas and the Czech Republic and Chelsea’s Petr Cech. Aside from winner the Champions League I don’t know why Cech is in this list. He didn’t have the best of seasons with Chelsea and Manchester City’s Joe Hart did a lot more to deserve a nomination. It was really down to Neuer, Casillas and Buffon for me to choose from. Looking at the stats, Buffon conceded the least and had the best percentage of goals conceded per game, while Neuer has the most clean sheets.

Buffon topped two out of the three categories but I still decided to go for Neuer mainly because of his performances for Bayern and Germany.

Goals Conceded

Gianluigi Buffon – 35 Goals conceded

Manuel Neuer – 47 Goals conceded

Iker Casillas –54 Goals conceded

Petr Cech – 70 Goals conceded

Percentage of goals conceded per game

Gianluigi Buffon – 0.69% goals conceded per game

Iker Casillas – 0.79% goals conceded per game

Manuel Neuer – 0.8 goals conceded per game

Petr Cech – 1.15% goals conceded per game

Clean Sheets

Manuel Neuer – 28 clean sheets

Iker Casillas – 24 clean sheets

Gianluigi Buffon – 23 clean sheets

Petr Cech – 21 clean sheet 

In defence I have chosen Vincent Kompany and Mats Hummels. Kompany led Manchester City to their fist Championship in over forty years. Hummels also helped to his Borussia Dortmund to yet another Bundesliga. In the fullback positions there is Philip Lahm and the sensation of last season Jordi Alba. For a left back I could have gone for Ashley Cole, but even though he is good, Alba had a better season and a much better Euro’s.

Now to the nitty-gritty. I had decided to go for a 4-4-2 so what four midfielders should I go for.  Looking at the nominees and the stats available if it where just based on possession then it would be Barcelona duo Xavi and Iniesta with Manchester City’s David Silva and Yaya Toure. If it was just based goals then Marco Reus, Eden Hazard and Juan Mata along with Jakub Blaszczykowski. If it were a midfield all about assists then I could have gone for Ozil, Hazard, Pirlo and Juan Mata. The midfield I picked was Pirlo and Ozil, with Juan Mata and Marco Reus. The season Reus had was quite remarkable just as was Juan Mata’s. But out of everyone the way Andrea Pirlo played for Juventus when Milan thought it best to let him go along with the campaign he had at the Euro’s it is clear why I picked him.

Pass Completion 

Xavi – 94% pass completion

Andres Iniesta – 91% pass completion

David Silva – 86% pass completion

Yaya Toure – 88% pass completion

Andrea Pirlo – 86%pass completion

Xabi Alonso – 86% pass completion

Juan Mata – 86% pass completion

Mesut Ozil – 86% pass completion

Claudio Marchisio – 85% pass completion

Eden Hazard – 83% pass completion

Jakub Blaszczykowski – 80% pass completion

Marco Reus – 76% pass completion

Goals Scored 

Marco Reus – 22 goals

Eden Hazard – 17 goals

Juan Mata – 16 goals

Jakub Blaszczykowski – 15 goals

Mesut Ozil – 14 goals

Xavi – 11 goals

Yaya Toure – 9 goals

Andrea Pirlo – 8 goals

Andres Iniesta – 7 goals

David Silva – 7 goals

Claudio Marchisio – 7 goals

Xabi Alonso – 3 goals

Assits

Mesut Ozil – 19 assists

Eden Hazard – 16 assists

Andrea Pirlo – 15 assists

Juan Mata – 14 assists

Marco Reus – 13 assists,

Andres Iniesta – 13 assists

Jakub Blaszczykowski – 11 assists

David Silva – 9 assists

Xavi – 8 assists

Yaya Toure – 8 assists

Xabi Alonso – 8 assists

Claudio Marchisio – 5 assists

Now for the strikers.

Let me get straight to the question you are all asking. Why no Cristiano Ronaldo. Well quite simply, he wasn’t good enough. Not when you compare him to Messi and Falcao.  Messi was the most obvious choice. Just for the sheer amount of goals he scored, but when you look at the percentage of chances he converted, compared to Cristiano Ronaldo, it is amazing how many gals he scored. Ronaldo may have scored 60 goals, but with a conversion rate of 19%, nearly 1 in 5. Compare that to Falcao’s 40 goals but conversion rate of 31% it is clear who the deadlier finisher is. There is no doubting Ronaldo is a great footballer, and he did well for Portugal at the Euro’s, but what Falcao has achieved with Atlético Madrid, for me, tops that.

It was interesting to see the conversion rates. Just the amount of chances Ibrahimovic must have had to only have a percentage of 18% but still score 45 goals. Take a look.

Chance Conversion Rate 

Lionel Messi – 33% Chance conversion

Falcao – 31% Chance conversion

Sergio Agüero – 26% Chance conversion

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar – 26% Chance conversion

Mario Gomez – 25% Chance conversion

Burak Yilmaz – 24% Chance conversion

Edinson Cavani – 24% Chance conversion

Robin van Persie – 23% Chance conversion

Robert Lewandowski – 22% Chance conversion

Cristiano Ronaldo – 19% Chance conversion

Didier Drogba – 18% Chance conversion

Zlatan Ibrahimovic – 18% Chance conversion

 

Goals Scored

Lionel Messi – 84 goals

Cristiano Ronaldo – 60 goals

Zlatan Ibrahimovic – 45 goals

Edinson Cavani – 40 goals

Falcao – 40 goals

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar – 36 goals

Burak Yilmaz – 35 goals

Robin van Persie – 35 goals

Robert Lewandowski – 30 goals

Sergio Agüero – 24 goals

Mario Gomez – 22 goals

Didier Drogba – 20 goals 

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