Spain's Iniesta wins Euro12 player award

by AFP on Jul 02, 2012

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Spanish left wing Andres Iniesta has been named player of Euro 2012 by European football governing body UEFA.

The 28-year-old - who was man of the match in Spain's historic 4-0 win over Italy in Sunday's final - was selected by a technical committee comprising 11 people.

Iniesta failed to score and set up just one of Spain's goals through the tournament but won the award for his overall influence and effect on the Spanish attacking play.

However, his one assist was a crucial one as it set up Jesus Navas for the only goal in the final group game against Croatia while his pass to Cesc Fabregas led to the first goal in the final - Fabregas's cross being headed home by David Silva.

UEFA technical director Andy Roxburgh said Iniesta deserved the award because he "symbolised the tournament - the creative, incisive runner, with and without the ball."

Roxburgh says UEFA's panel also considered Spain midfielders Xavi Hernandez and Xabi Alonso, and Italy midfielder Andrea Pirlo, for the honour.

Iniesta, who was also Spain's goalscoring hero in the 1-0 win over the Dutch in the 2010 World Cup final, was one of 10 Spaniards to figure in the 23-man squad of the tournament.

Spain's victory saw them become the first national side to win an unprecedented three successive major titles, having also won Euro 2008.