Andres Iniesta was award the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award, beating Barcelona teammate Lionel Messi and Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo after the draw of the Champions League Group Stage was concluded.
The award of UEFA Best Player in Europe Award came from current UEFA President Michel Platini who wanted to revive the spirit of the old European Footballer of the Year award. The judging for the award comprises of the players performances during the 2011/12 campaign for club and country in all competitions.
53 journalists had the vote, one representative from each country with UEFA and this year Andres Iniesta piped Messi and Ronaldo by 2 votes with Messi and Ronaldo tied on 17 and Iniesta receiving 19 votes.
Iniesta may not have won La Liga or Champions League with Barcelona last season, but his performances, along with Messi, Xavi and co didn’t go unnoticed. In fact it was his participation with Spain during the European Championships that most likely gave him the edge over Cristiano Ronaldo. Iniesta help Spain win their Third major Trophy and was named Best Player of the Tournament as well as being included in the Team of the Tournament.
With many thinking that it was going to either Cristiano Ronaldo or Messi, this comes as a pleasant surprise. So often the goal scorer gets the headlines that the hard work of the creative side gets lost. But with Messi and Ronaldo they don’t just score goals, they create them too. So for Andres Iniesta to get this accolade of Best Player in Europe is one that he will not soon forget. To win personal awards is much more a sign of your own success than a medal that the team has one.
Iniesta does not have a boastful personality nor is he one to claim glory for himself and when he was handed his award he said he took the time to praise his team mates“Without my team-mates at the Spanish national team and Barcelona, I wouldn’t have won this individual trophy.”
Iniesta is the embodiment of what a real footballer is. He does his job, he works for the team, and when he is praised, he shares it with the ones that helped make it possible.
Here is video of Iniesta at Euro 2012.
How Italy tried to stop Iniesta!