Uefa have announced the shortlist for their 2015 Team of the Year award, including just five Premier League players in the 40-man selection.
The relatively poor showings from English clubs in this calendar year’s Champions League is reflected in the governing body’s shortlist, while La Liga can lay claim to 16 candidates.
Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart is included, having impressed despite his side’s knockout phase exit to Barcelona. His teammate Sergio Aguero, who scored in the home leg of City’s tie against the eventual champions, is also named on the list.
Kevin De Bruyne is the club’s third player to be nominated but, having only arrived at the Etihad Stadium in the summer, his inclusion is likely down to performances for former club Wolfsburg in the latter stages of last season’s Europa League.
Chelsea progressed to the quarter-finals last season, further than any other Premier League club, but only winger Eden Hazard has been named among European football’s elite players from last term.
Alexis Sanchez, who saw his Arsenal side ignominiously eliminated by AS Monaco last February, is the other player based in England to be named on the list.
Unsurprisingly, champions Barcelona boast the highest number of players on the list, with Gerard Pique, Dani Alves, Javier Mascherano, Andres Iniesta, Ivan Rakitic, Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez all selected, bringing their total to eight.
As for notable absentees, many will be surprised not to see Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben among the names. The Dutch winger has, however, only made three appearances in European football’s premier competition during 2015, scoring one against Arsenal in the Bundesliga champions’ last group game.