Hazard, De Bruyne only Premier League players in UEFA XI

Eden Hazard and Kevin de Bruyne were named in UEFA Team of the Year

Eden Hazard and Kevin de Bruyne have both been named in the UEFA Team of the Year for 2017 after 8.8 million votes were collected by the European governing body.

According to a statement on UEFA.com, “a host of stellar names feature in a star-studded UEFA.com Fans’ Team of the Year 2017.

“A grand total of 8,779,639 million votes were cast by supporters around the world, an increase of over 1.6 million on the previous year’s tally of 7.15 million.”

Players from the Spanish league dominated the final XI, with a total of six making the team.

There was a record 12th appearance for Cristiano Ronaldo, with the Portuguese ace one of five players to be chosen from European champions Real Madrid CF.

His team-mate Sergio Ramos received the most votes with 588,315.

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The line-up is based on a 4-4-2 formation, which was by far the most popular system chosen by fans during the voting process with 459,797 selections.

Reacting to the news Hazard said: ‘I’m delighted, it’s a big honour for me because it’s not every year you get in this team, the best 11 in the world.

“I’m happy and because of the job we did last year I think I deserve it. I want to keep going and hopefully get in the team again next season.

“The fact it’s voted for by fans all around the world is special and I don’t want to stop here, I want to achieve more. When I look at the other players who are in the team around me it’s a fantastic feeling.’

The Belgian joins an illustrious list of former Blues who have featured previously in this annual selection while Chelsea players.

John Terry was voted in four times, in 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009, Petr Cech joined him in 2005 and Didier Drogba in 2007.

Ashley Cole was the most recent prior to Hazard, in 2010, with Ricardo Carvalho the first Chelsea player with enough votes, in 2004, the year he switched from Porto to Stamford Bridge.

UEFA.com Fans’ Team of the Year 2017
Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus & Italy); Dani Alves (Juventus/Paris Saint-Germain & Brazil), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid CF & Spain), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus & Italy), Marcelo (Real Madrid CF & Brazil); Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City FC & Belgium, Toni Kroos(Real Madrid CF & Germany), Luka Modrić (Real Madrid CF & Croatia); Eden Hazard (Chelsea FC & Belgium; Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona & Argentina), Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid CF & Portugal)

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