EURO 2012

Iniesta named player of tournament

Andres Iniesta (far right) gets away from Andrea Pirlo and Andrea Barzagli (bottom).
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Andres Iniesta has been named the player of the tournament at Euro 2012 after inspiring Spain to successfully defend their title in Poland and Ukraine.

The Barcelona midfielder played a starring role in Spain's success with consistent performances throughout the competition.

He produced another scintillating display in Sunday's final as Vicente del Bosque's men beat Italy 4-0 to be crowned European champions once again.

Italy's Andrea Pirlo had been regarded as the favourite to take the player prize before the Kiev showpiece but Iniesta has been given the nod by a technical committee made up of 11 people.

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

Iniesta stressed before the final that he was more concerned with Spanish success than individual accolades, but has received praise from team-mate Cesc Fabregas.

"He's a source of immense confidence for us," Fabregas said. "During matches you can see him taking on more and more responsibility.

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Click here to see FOX Soccer's most memorable moments from the 2012 European Championship.

"He's creative, he runs with the ball, he's got a brilliant final pass and with each passing year he's become more of a goalscorer as well as a provider."

Iniesta, who also scored the winning goal against Holland in the 2010 World Cup final, is one of 10 Spaniards to figure in the 23-man squad of the tournament.

Steven Gerrard is the only England player to make the list after leading the Three Lions to the quarter-finals, where they lost to Italy on penalties.

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

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

UEFA Team of Euro 2012 - 23-man squad

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

Defenders: Gerard Pique (Spain), Fabio Coentrao (Portugal), Philipp Lahm (Germany), Sergio Ramos (Spain), Pepe (Portugal), 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), David Silva (Spain), Cesc Fabregas (Spain)

Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Mario Balotelli (Italy), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden)

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