FC Barcelona and Spain midfielder Andrés Iniesta (28) has been named the Best Player of UEFA Euro 2012 by the UEFA technical team, as Spain went on to be crowned Champions and complete a historic double. UEFA Technical Director Andy Roxburgh says the Spain midfielder “symbolised the tournament”.
Iniesta becomes the second consecutive Barcelona player to be named MVP of the European Championships, after midfielder Xavi Hernandez won the award in 2008. Both have been instrumental in the doublet of Spain, the first team in history to achieve two consecutive continental titles.
The FC Barcelona man was once again one of the stand-out performers in Sunday’s 4-0 final victory against Italy, whose Andrea Pirlo was also considered as one of the stars of the finals in Poland and Ukraine. Iniesta’s record in six games at the finals was one assist and no goals, but that says little about the 28-year-old’s overall contribution to Vicente del Bosque’s side.
“Pirlo was magnificent and obviously circumstances didn’t help him in the final,” said UEFA technical director Andy Roxbuirgh. “Xavi Hernández, Xabi Alonso, and Iniesta were all superb. In the case of Xavi, he won the award last time, and he could easily have won the award again, but we felt that Iniesta deserved it. In many ways, he symbolised the tournament – the creative, incisive runner, with and without the ball. We felt that he epitomised a lot of what we saw.”
Along with Roxburgh, the UEFA Technical Team comprised Fabio Capello (Italy), Jerzy Engel (Poland), Dušan Fitzel (Czech Republic), Gérard Houllier (France), Lars Lagerbäck (Sweden), György Mezey (Hungary) and Holger Osieck (Australia coach). Jean-Paul Brigger and Walter Gagg provided FIFA input, with Mordechai Shpigler acting as link-man to UEFA’s Development and Technical Assistance Committee.