UEFA Names Andrés Iniesta Best Player In Europe
Andrés Iniesta has been crowned European player of the year following a sparkling campaign for both Barcelona and Spain, thesportreview.com reported.
The Spanish midfielder, who was named player of the tournament at this summer’s European championship as La Roja lifted the trophy in Poland and Ukraine, beat off stiff competition from 2011 winner Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Iniesta, 28, scored eight goals in 47 appearances for Barcelona last season as the Catalan club finished as runners-up to Real Madrid in the race for the Spanish league title.
The award, which was introduced in 2011, was created in partnership with European Sports Media and is an initiative of Uefa president Michel Platini.
The prize is voted for by a 53-man panel of journalists, one from each European football association. The winner was decided by a live vote at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco, as the journalists selected one of the three short-listed nominees.
Messi won the inaugural 2011 crown, claiming 39 votes – 28 more than his Barcelona team-mate Xavi. Ronaldo was third with three votes.