KIEV: Spanish midfielder Andres Iniesta was named player of Euro 2012 Monday 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 made up of 11 people.
While the Barcelona star failed to score and set up just one of the Spaniards goals through the tournament, he 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’ cross being headed home by David Silva.
Iniesta, who prior to the final was battling out the player of the tournament award with Andrea Pirlo, succeeds compatriot and Barcelona teammate Xavi, who won the award at the 2008 edition.
Iniesta – who was also their goalscoring hero 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.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on July 03, 2012, on page 15.