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Ranking the 10 Best PFA Teams of the Year of the Premier League Era

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Every season since 1973/74, the PFA has held its award ceremony, dishing out individual accolades to the best player and best young player of the campaign, as voted for by the players themselves.

Team of the Year has been an integral part of the celebration since the very beginning.

These are the 10 best PFA Teams of the Year of the Premier League era - ranked...

#10 - 2008/09

Fernando Torres (L) , Steven Gerrard (R)

GK: Edwin van der Sar (Man Utd)

DF: Glen Johnson (Portsmouth), Rio Ferdinand (Man Utd), Nemanja Vidic (Man Utd), Patrice Evra (Man Utd)

MF: Cristiano Ronaldo (Man Utd), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Ryan Giggs (Man Utd), Ashley Young (Aston Villa)

FW: Nicolas Anelka (Chelsea), Fernando Torres (Liverpool)

Steven Gerrard was a serial inclusion in PFA Team of the Year during his distinguished career and 2008/09 was perhaps when the Liverpool legend was at his very best.

Then you consider Liverpool-era Fernando Torres, Cristiano Ronaldo in his final year at Manchester United, that United defence and even a Golden Boot-winning Nicolas Anelka.

#9 - 1993/94

Eric Cantona Manchester United

GK: Tim Flowers (Blackburn)

DF: Gary Kelly (Leeds), Gary Pallister (Man Utd), Tony Adams (Arsenal), Denis Irwin (Man Utd)

MF: Paul Ince (Man Utd), Gary McAllister (Leeds), David Batty (Blackburn)

FW: Alan Shearer (Blackburn), Eric Cantona (Man Utd), Peter Beardsley (Newcastle)

Alan Shearer recovered from injury to score more than 30 Premier League goals for the first time in 1993/94, which was also the year that Eric Cantona was at his brilliant best.

This was the third season in a row that Gary Pallister had been chosen for the PFA team and a first for Arsenal captain Tony Adams. That midfield would have taken no prisoners at all.

#8 - 1994/95

COVENTRY V BLACKBURN

GK: Tim Flowers (Blackburn)

DF: Rob Jones (Liverpool), Gary Pallister (Man Utd), Colin Hendry (Blackburn), Graeme Le Saux (Blackburn)

MF: Tim Sherwood (Blackburn), Matt Le Tissier (Southampton), Paul Ince (Man Utd)

FW: Jurgen Klinsmann (Tottenham), Alan Shearer (Blackburn), Chris Sutton (Blackburn)

Blackburn players dominated the 1994/95 PFA Team of the Year, which featured the famous SAS (Shearer and Sutton) strike partnership alongside Premier League cult hero Jurgen Klinsmann.

This was the only PFA XI that Matt Le Tissier made it into during his career, while Tim Flowers arguably doesn’t get he credit he deserves because of a lack of international caps.

#7 - 2012/13

FBL-ENG-PR-TOTTENHAM-MAN CITY

GK: David de Gea (Man Utd)

DF: Pablo Zabaleta (Man City), Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham), Rio Ferdinand (Man Utd), Leighton Baines (Everton)

MF: Gareth Bale (Tottenham), Juan Mata (Chelsea), Michael Carrick (Man Utd), Eden Hazard (Chelsea)

FW: Robin van Persie (Man Utd), Luis Suarez (Liverpool)

Gareth Bale’s next level form for Tottenham in 2012/13 was what prompted Real Madrid to pay a world record fee for him at the end of the campaign.

This was also the season that Robin van Persie fired Manchester United to the Premier League title, Eden Hazard’s fine first year in England and Luis Suarez’s first full season with Liverpool.

#6 - 2007/08

Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester Unit

GK: David James (Portsmouth)

DF: Bacary Sagna (Arsenal), Rio Ferdinand (Man Utd), Nemanja Vidic (Man Utd), Patrice Evra (Man Utd)

MF: Cristiano Ronaldo (Man Utd), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Cesc Fabregas (Arsenal), Ashley Young (Aston Villa)

FW: Emmanuel Adebayor (Arsenal), Fernando Torres (Liverpool)

Emmanuel Adebayor and Fernando Torres were both pretty much unplayable during the 2007/08 campaign and each scored 24 Premier League goals. The only reason neither won the Golden Boot was because Cristiano Ronaldo was on another level and scored 31.

The presence of three Arsenal players highlights this as the Gunners’ last serious title challenge.

#5 - 1998/99

David Ginola

GK: Nigel Martyn (Leeds)

DF: Gary Neville (Man Utd), Sol Campbell (Tottenham), Jaap Stam (Man Utd), Denis Irwin (Man Utd)

MF: David Beckham (Man Utd), Emmanuel Petit (Arsenal), Patrick Vieira (Arsenal), David Ginola (Tottenham)

FW: Dwight Yorke (Man Utd), Nicolas Anelka (Arsenal)

The midfield of the 1998/99 PFA Team of the Year really stands out. David Beckham finished second in the 1999 Ballon d’Or vote, while David Ginola was named PFA Players’ Player of the Year ahead of any of Manchester United’s treble winner – that tells you how much he was shining.

Gary Neville was probably the best right-back in the world at this stage of his career.

#4 - 2006/07

Chelsea v Fulham

GK: Edwin van der Sar (Man Utd)

DF: Gary Neville (Man Utd), Rio Ferdinand (Man Utd), Nemanja Vidic (Man Utd), Patrice Evra (Man Utd)

MF: Cristiano Ronaldo (Man Utd), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Paul Scholes (Man Utd), Ryan Giggs (Man Utd)

FW: Didier Drogba (Chelsea), Dimitar Berbatov (Tottenham)

It is sometimes easy to forget that Manchester United’s dominance at the end of the 2000s was built on quite possibly the best defensive unit Premier League football has ever seen.

The 2006/07 campaign was Cristiano Ronaldo’s explosive breakout season, a new chapter for Paul Scholes as a deep lying play-maker and a fine year for Chelsea’s Didier Drogba.

#3 - 2017/18

West Ham United v Manchester City - Premier League

GK: David de Gea (Man Utd)

DF: Kyle Walker (Man City), Nicolas Otamendi (Man City), Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham), Marcos Alonso (Chelsea)

MF: David Silva (Man City), Christian Eriksen (Tottenham), Kevin De Bruyne (Man City)

FW: Mohamed Salah (Liverpool), Harry Kane (Tottenham), Sergio Aguero (Man City)

The front six in the 2017/18 XI are up there with the best the Premier League has seen. This was a particularly sensational season for Kevin De Bruyne, Mohamed Salah and Harry Kane.

Remarkably, it was the first time that Sergio Aguero had ever been included in any PFA Team of the Year. David Silva was still in top form despite family worries surrounding his premature son.

#2 - 2003/04

Arsenal's French forward Thierry Henry

GK: Tim Howard (Man Utd)

DF: Lauren (Arsenal), Sol Campbell (Arsenal), John Terry (Chelsea), Ashley Cole (Arsenal)

MF: Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Patrick Vieira (Arsenal), Robert Pires (Arsenal)

FW: Thierry Henry (Arsenal), Ruud van Nistelrooy (Man Utd)

Members of England’s golden generation combined with some of the best foreign imports the Premier League has ever seen is a way to sum up the 2003/04 PFA Team of the Year.

There have been few, if any, more clinical goalscorers than Thierry Henry and Ruud van Nistelrooy, who were both at the peak of their powers around this time.

#1 - 2018/19

Liverpool FC v Arsenal FC - Premier League

GK: Ederson (Man City)

DF: Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool) Aymeric Laporte (Man City), Andrew Robertson (Liverpool)

MF: Bernardo Silva (Man City), Fernandinho (Man City), Paul Pogba (Man Utd)

FW: Raheem Sterling (Man City), Sergio Aguero (Man City), Sadio Mane (Liverpool)

On one level it seems wrong that the best PFA Team of the Year of the Premier League era should be the most recent, but on another it can’t not be when all but one of this XI came from two teams who amassed an unbelievable 195 points between them.

Neither Manchester City nor Liverpool blinked in the second half of the campaign as both just kept winning games at an incredible rate.

It is possible to make a case for every player in the 2018/19 team being world class at the time of their selection, which isn’t necessarily true for the other years.

For more from Jamie Spencer, follow him on Twitter and Facebook!


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