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Barca and Real players hog votes in team of year poll

By Reuters

Players from Barcelona and Real Madrid took eight of the 11 places in a 2011 Team of the Year voted by subscribers to UEFA's official website. 

Just as in 2010, Spain-based talent dominated with five of Barca's La Liga and Champions League winning side selected to three from their great rivals Real Madrid. 

European soccer's governing body UEFA, which announced the results of the poll on its website (www.uefa.com) on Wednesday, said 4.5 million votes were cast. 

Barca's goal machine Lionel Messi would line-up alongside Real's Cristiano Ronaldo up front in the fantasy selection while Barca's Xavi, who received the most individual votes, and Andreas Iniesta would pull the strings in midfield. 

Right back Daniel Alves and centre back Gerard Pique complete Barca's representation in the back four where they are joined by Real's left back Marcelo. 

Real goalkeeper Iker Casillas gets the vote between the posts and like team mate Ronaldo was included in the selection for the fifth consecutive year. 

Only one player from the English Premier League was included, Tottenham Hotspur's Welsh winger Gareth Bale rewarded for some stunning performances which have helped the north Londoners mount a title challenge this season. 

Bale is the first Welshman to feature in the UEFA.com Team of the Year since it began 11 years ago. 

AC Milan centre back Thiago Silva and Bayern Munich's right-sided Dutch playmaker Arjen Robben completed the side with Barca's Pep Guardiola voted as the year's top coach.