Euro 2012: Andres Iniesta named player of the tournament

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Euro 2012: Andres Iniesta named player of the tournament
Kiev, Jul 2: Andres Iniesta, who helped Spain retain their Euro crown after beating Italy 4-0 at the Euro 2012 finals, was named the  player of the tournament by UEFA on Monday.

The Barcelona play-maker, who had scored the winning goal at the World Cup finals in 2010, yet again proved to be the key in Spain's third successful major tournament wins. With consistent performances throughout the tournament, Iniesta pipped Andrea Pirlo who was tipped favourite to win the best player award.

"Picking Iniesta as the best player of Euro 2012 sends a message about creativity, incisive football and humility," UEFA technical director Andy Roxburgh said.

Apart from Iniesta and Pirlo, England skipper Steven Gerrard, pass maestro Xavi Hernandez, who won the best player award in Euro 2008, and Xabi Alonso made it to the list of top players. However, Iniesta was one of 10 players to figure in the 23-man team of the tournament selected by UEFA.

"Gerrard played really, really well and showed great leadership qualities", Roxburgh said.

"Pirlo was magnificent, Xavi could easily have won again (as at Euro 2008) and Xabi Alonso was excellent, he added.

Prior to the finals, Iniesta stressed on the fact that he was happy if Spain wins the title and was not concerned about personal success.

The UEFA Euro 2012 Squad of the tournament

Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Italy), Iker Casillas (Spain), Manuel Neuer (Germany)

Defenders: Gerard Pique (Spain), Fabio Coentrao (Portugal), Philipp Lahm (Germany), Pepe (Portugal), Sergio Ramos (Spain), Jordi Alba (Spain).

Midfielders: Daniele De Rossi (Italy), Steven Gerrard (England), Xavi (Spain), Andres Iniesta (Spain), Sami Khedira (Germany), Sergio Busquets (Spain), Mesut Ozil (Germany), Andrea Pirlo (Italy), Xabi Alonso (Spain).

Forwards: Mario Balotelli (Italy), Cesc Fabregas (Spain), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Zlatan Ibrahimovoic (Sweden), David Silva (Spain).

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