Chelsea stars N’Golo Kante and Eden Hazard have been voted into UEFA Fans’ Team of the Year 2018.
Kante is making his debut in the prestigious team, while Hazard is selected for the second successive season. Fans were able to vote online for their favourite players to be selected for the team from a 50-man shortlist.
Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen makes the cut for the best goalkeeper ahead of the likes of Liverpool’s Alisson and Real Madrid’s Keylor Navas.
Liverpool centre-back Virgil van Dijk was named in the back four alongside Real Madrid trio, with Sergio Ramos, Raphael Varane and left-back Marcelo also named.
Kante, with 53% of votes, is joined in a midfield three by Ballon D’Or winner Luka Modric of Real Madrid and Chelsea star Eden Hazard.
Usual contenders Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo slot into the front three with Paris Saint-Germain wonderkid Kylian Mbappe.
The award has been running since 2001, with 1.8million people voting to decide the 2018 team.
World Cup finalist Modric earned more votes than any other player in the team, with 115,440 votes.
Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri has used N’Golo Kante further forward this season and Sarri has been criticised for not using Kante as a defensive midfielder but the France international has spoken of the pleasure he is taking from his new role under Sarri after scoring Chelsea’s only goal in Saturday’s 1-0 win at Crystal Palace.
Kante told Chelsea’s official website: “(This role) is something I am enjoying and in a game I try to make that run sometimes.
“David (Luiz) gave me a good ball and I am happy to score with my left foot and give something to the team.
“Crystal Palace had a great game defensively, but we kept the pressure on, kept the ball and were happy to score in the second half. It was very difficult at the end of the game but we were able to fight and get the win.”
For Eden Hazard, the Belgian has been linked with Real Madrid for many years now, and it seems the 28-year-old might move during the summer with his contract coming to an end in the summer of 2020.
Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri has urged the Chelsea board to sort out Eden Hazard’s future once and for all.
Sarri believes the uncertainty surrounding Hazard’s future is disrupting the club’s future planning and thinks it’s time for Hazard to make a decision on his future.
Asked if he will sit down with Hazard to thrash out his future, Sarri said: “I don’t know but I think it is time to decide.
“I have not the power to do this. I am the coach. I am not the president and not in charge of the market. I only speak to him about the position on the pitch. I think we have to solve the problem if we want to programme the future.”