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Monday 14 May 2012

Man Utd dominate 20 Seasons Fantasy Teams

Public and panel pick their best teams in the Premier League's 20 Seasons Awards

The public and experts disagreed over whether to pick Roy Keane (right) or Steven Gerrard

Manchester United players dominate the Fantasy Teams as voted for by both the public and experts as part of the Premier League's 20 Seasons Awards.

The public team was decided by 300,000 football fans from around the world, while the panel team was decided by 11 football experts, commentators and administrators to celebrate two decades of the world's most watched and supported football league.

There were only two differences in the two teams with nine players making it into both sides - Peter Schmeichel, Gary Neville, Ashley Cole, Tony Adams, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Cristiano Ronaldo, Thierry Henry and Alan Shearer.

The public chose Nemanja Vidic in central defence, while the experts went for his team-mate Rio Ferdinand. The other difference in opinion was in central midfield where the public chose Liverpool's Steven Gerrard and the experts went for Manchester United's Roy Keane.

The public Fantasy Team of the 20 Seasons features six players who made their name at Old Trafford, while the panel team consists of seven current or former Manchester United players.

Fantasy Team - Public

Goalkeeper - Peter Schmeichel
Left-back - Ashley Cole
Centre-back - Tony Adams
Centre-back - Nemanja Vidic
Right-back - Gary Neville
Left midfield - Ryan Giggs
Centre midfield - Paul Scholes
Centre midfield - Steven Gerrard
Right midfield - Cristiano Ronaldo
Forward - Thierry Henry
Forward - Alan Shearer

Fantasy Team - Experts

Goalkeeper - Peter Schmeichel
Left-back - Ashley Cole
Centre-back - Tony Adams
Centre-back - Rio Ferdinand
Right-back - Gary Neville
Left midfield - Ryan Giggs
Centre midfield - Paul Scholes
Centre midfield - Roy Keane
Right midfield - Cristiano Ronaldo
Forward - Thierry Henry
Forward - Alan Shearer

The Fantasy Teams were announced as part of the Premier League’s 20 Seasons celebrations, which are designed to honour the players, managers and football that has taken place over the two decades of the Premier League.

The goalkeeper position proved to be straightforward with Peter Schmeichel taking a whopping 57% of the public vote, but his former Manchester United team-mate Gary Neville outdid him in the right-back category, polling 58%.

There was also a clear winner at left-back with Chelsea’s Ashley Cole taking 40% of the vote.

The competition for centre-back was tight; Arsenal’s title-winning captain Tony Adams getting 19% and current Manchester United captain Nemanja Vidic receiving 18% of the vote. The Serbian international was just 1% ahead of Chelsea's John Terry.

There were two foregone conclusions in midfield. Receiving the biggest percentage for any position was Manchester United veteran Ryan Giggs, who got a massive 62% of the public vote for left midfield.

On the other flank is his former Old Trafford colleague Cristiano Ronaldo, who got 55% of the vote for right midfield.

In central midfield Paul Scholes helped to make it a Manchester United hat-trick, receiving a 26% share.

The other central midfield position in the public vote went to Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, who edged out Roy Keane 19% to 16%.

Forward agreement

The public and panel both agreed on forwards as Thierry Henry and Alan Shearer were first-choice strikers, respectively taking 30% and 18%.

It was a close run for the second forward, with Shearer just edging out Eric Cantona's 17% of the vote.

In terms of numbers of votes cast, Henry was second only to Giggs, with the Welshman polling 4,293 votes more.

The Premier League 20 Seasons Awards has seen 300,000 fans casting over 4.4m votes in five categories: Goal, Match, Save, Goal Celebration and Fantasy Team of the 20 Seasons.

In addition, there are also six panel categories: Player, Manager, Team, Season, Most Memorable Quote and Fantasy Team of the 20 Seasons. 

The remaining awards will be revealed at a made-for-media event on Tuesday 15 May, when the Player and Manager of the 20 Seasons Awards will be announced.

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Key Points

  • Nine players made it into both public and panel Fantasy Teams
  • Manchester United had the most players in both teams
  • Ryan Giggs got the most votes from public, with Thierry Henry second