After Cristiano Ronaldo was named in the 2019 UEFA Team of the Year, remarkable allegations have emerged suggesting that European football's governing body "rigged" the voting process to include the Portugal superstar.
Click through the gallery below to see who was included in the 2019 UEFA Team of the Year!
On Tuesday, UEFA announced the 2019 Team of the Year, in which Ronaldo featured alongside Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski, Liverpool's Sadio Mane and FC Barcelona captain Lionel Messi at the tip of an attack-heavy 4-2-4 formation.
According to the Daily Mail, that formation is rarely used for the selection, with a 4-3-3 generall favoured, and the English publication has alleged that it was purposefully changed in order to include the Juventus star.
This followed after Ronaldo ended fourth in the forwards' category, behind Lewandowski, Mane and Messi, with the latter pair being shifted to the wings in the Team of the Year.
UEFA's chiefs are said to have been unhappy at Ronaldo's potential absence from the selection and ordered the change in formation, with Chelsea midfielder N'Golo Kante said to be the player who missed out as a result of the shift.
UEFA have defended the Team of the Year, however, and explained that it is reflective of the voting polls and the players' achievements throughout the year.
"The formation for this year's Team of the Year was chosen to reflect the votes of the fans in parallel with the players' achievements in UEFA competitions," a UEFA spokesman is reported to have said.
"As a result, there are five UEFA Champions League winners and four UEFA Nations League finalists (including one winner). The formation changes on a regular basis and this year is no exception."
It is worth noting that, in five of the past six years, the formation used was that of the 4-3-3, with the exception coming in 2017, when 4-4-2 was used.
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