Skip to main content

Iniesta pips Messi and Ronaldo to UEFA Best Player in Europe award

August 30, 2012 -- Updated 1850 GMT (0250 HKT)
Barcelona's midfield star Andres Iniesta has been named UEFA's Best Player in Europe for 2011/12.
Barcelona's midfield star Andres Iniesta has been named UEFA's Best Player in Europe for 2011/12.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Andres Iniesta claims UEFA's Best Player in Europe award
  • Barcelona midfielder pips Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo to honor
  • Iniesta was best player of the tournament in Spain's Euro 2012 triumph
  • Poll of sports journalists decides the winner

(CNN) -- Andres Iniesta pipped Barcelona teammate Lionel Messi and Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo to win the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award Thursday.

The 28-year-old midfielder was named Player of the Tournament as Spain won Euro 2012 and was in brilliant form for the Catalan giants all season.

Iniesta received his trophy from UEFA president Michel Platini at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco where earlier the Champions League draw had been made.

"I am very honored and I dedicate this award to my Barcelona and Spain teammates," said Iniesta. "I am privileged to be here with two such great footballers as Leo and Cristiano."

I am privileged to be here with two such great footballers as Leo and Cristiano.
Andres Iniesta

Iniesta received 19 votes in a poll of sports journalists representing each of UEFA's member associations.

Goal scoring machines Messi and Ronaldo were tied for second on 17 votes apiece after the three had formed a final shortlist following an initial round of voting.

Iniesta broke Emilio Butragueno's record of 50 La Liga matches without defeat during the course of last season but he was on the losing side in game 56 as Ronaldo's Real won 1-0 at the Camp Nou in April to clinch the La Liga crown.

He has won every honor in the game in a glittering career, scoring the extra time goal as Spain beat the Netherlands 1-0 in the 2010 World Cup final in South Africa.

Argentina ace Messi won the first edition of the new award which is the brainchild of former French international star Platini.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
The U.S. government recognizes Kosovo, as do most European states, but getting football's ruling bodies to play ball has proved harder.
June 4, 2014 -- Updated 1504 GMT (2304 HKT)
National heroes don't always belong to one country. Ask France's World Cup hero Patrick Vieira, who is rediscovering his roots.
CNN's John Sinnott on the quiet Cambridge graduate behind Liverpool's resurgent campaign.
May 30, 2014 -- Updated 1519 GMT (2319 HKT)
They are the dispossessed -- stateless, and unrecognized by football's ruling body. But these teams will still play at their own World Cup.
Louis van Gaal will be a perfect fit for Manchester United the club, business and brand, says CNN's Patrick Snell.
May 19, 2014 -- Updated 1924 GMT (0324 HKT)
There's a new force in Spanish football -- and Atletico Madrid's ascendance is sharply contrasted by the fall from power of Barcelona.
May 13, 2014 -- Updated 1206 GMT (2006 HKT)
Rubber bullets, drones and FBI-trained riot police. Welcome to Brazil's 2014 World Cup -- will protests overshadow football's showpiece event?
May 9, 2014 -- Updated 1318 GMT (2118 HKT)
The former England international, who famously kicked a banana off the pitch 27 years ago, says education is the key to tackling racism.
May 7, 2014 -- Updated 1200 GMT (2000 HKT)
Of course not. But former Fulham owner Mohamed Al Fayed seems to think the removal of Michael Jackson's statue was a very "bad" idea.
May 7, 2014 -- Updated 1603 GMT (0003 HKT)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - APRIL 01: Neymar of Barcelona celebrates his goal during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final first leg match between FC Barcelona and Club Atletico de Madrid at Camp Nou on April 1, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
The Brazilian star's first season in Spain may have spluttered along, but the 22-year-old says he'll be firing on all cylinders at the World Cup.
April 30, 2014 -- Updated 1715 GMT (0115 HKT)
Former Soviet footballer Sergei Baltacha traveled from the land of the hammer and sickle to join The Tractor Boys and in doing so broke new ground.
April 29, 2014 -- Updated 0931 GMT (1731 HKT)
Brazil's Dani Alves arrived at Barcelona from Sevilla in 2008 and he has gone on to make over 180 appearances for the club.
Villarreal football supporter who threw a banana at Barcelona's Dani Alves during league match handed a life ban by the La Liga club.
ADVERTISEMENT