Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Iniesta 'symbolized Euro 2012 success'

updated 4:10 PM EDT, Mon July 2, 2012
Spain's soccer team celebrates with the Euro 2012 trophy on a double-decker bus during the victory parade in Madrid on Monday. Spain defeated Italy 4-0 in the final match on Sunday. Euro 2012, bringing together 16 of Europe's best national soccer teams, began June 8 in Poland and Ukraine. Look back at the action and atmosphere. Spain's soccer team celebrates with the Euro 2012 trophy on a double-decker bus during the victory parade in Madrid on Monday. Spain defeated Italy 4-0 in the final match on Sunday. Euro 2012, bringing together 16 of Europe's best national soccer teams, began June 8 in Poland and Ukraine. Look back at the action and atmosphere.
HIDE CAPTION
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
euro 2012 tues 06
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
euro 2012 sat 33
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The best photos
Euro 2012: The Best Photos
Euro 2012: The Best Photos
Euro 2012: The Best Photos
Euro 2012: The Best Photos
Euro 2012: The Best Photos
Euro 2012: The Best Photos
Euro 2012: The Best Photos
Euro 2012: The Best Photos
Euro 2012: The Best Photos
Euro 2012: The Best Photos
Euro 2012: The Best Photos
Euro 2012: The Best Photos
Euro 2012: The Best Photos
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52
53
54
55
56
57
58
59
60
61
62
63
64
65
66
67
68
69
70
71
72
73
74
75
76
77
78
79
80
81
82
83
84
85
86
87
88
89
90
91
92
93
94
95
96
97
98
99
100
101
102
103
104
105
106
107
108
109
110
111
112
113
114
115
116
117
118
119
120
121
122
123
124
125
126
127
128
129
130
131
132
133
134
135
136
137
138
139
140
141
142
143
144
145
146
147
148
149
150
151
152
153
154
155
156
157
158
159
160
161
162
163
164
165
166
167
168
169
170
171
172
173
174
175
176
177
178
179
180
181
182
183
184
185
186
187
188
189
190
191
192
193
194
195
196
197
198
199
200
201
202
203
204
205
206
207
208
209
210
211
212
213
214
215
216
217
218
219
220
221
222
223
224
225
226
227
228
229
230
231
232
233
234
235
236
237
238
239
240
241
242
243
244
245
246
247
248
249
250
251
252
253
254
255
256
257
258
259
260
261
262
263
264
265
266
267
268
269
270
271
272
273
274
275
276
277
278
279
280
281
282
283
284
285
286
287
288
289
290
291
292
293
294
295
296
297
298
299
300
301
302
303
304
305
306
307
308
309
310
311
312
313
314
315
316
317
318
319
320
321
322
323
324
325
326
327
328
329
330
331
332
333
334
335
336
337
338
339
340
341
342
343
344
345
346
347
348
349
350
351
352
353
354
355
356
357
358
359
360
361
362
363
364
365
366
367
368
369
370
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Spain midfielder Andres Iniesta named best player of Euro 2012
  • Iniesta is one of 10 Spain players in 23-man squad named by UEFA
  • UEFA president hails tournament in Poland and Ukraine as big success
  • Sunday's final registered a record amount of tweets for a sporting event

(CNN) -- Andres Iniesta did not feature in the contenders for the best player of the 2010 World Cup despite scoring Spain's winning goal in the final, but the midfielder has been recognized for his country's historic triumph at Euro 2012.

The 28-year-old Barcelona star is one of 10 Spanish players in UEFA's 23-man squad, which features four from losing finalists Italy.

Iniesta, clubmates Xavi Hernandez and Sergio Buesquets plus Real Madrid's Xabi Alonso were included in a nine-strong midfield contingent, while David Silva and Cesc Fabregas were named among five forwards despite playing in Spain's so-called "no striker" formation.

The Spaniards completely nullified Italy's midfield general Andrea Pirlo in Sunday's final, winning 4-0 in Kiev to clinch a third successive major title.

Iniesta did not score and had just one assist, but was rewarded for his overall contribution to the merciless Spanish passing machine. At the 2010 World Cup, David Villa was Spain's only entry in the top three as Uruguay's Diego Forlan was named best player.

Euro 2012: Goodbye, Adiós and Ciao
Spain celebrates historic Euro 2012 win
Spain crowned Euro 2012 champions

"Pirlo was magnificent and obviously circumstances didn't help him in the final," UEFA technical director Andy Roxburgh said.

"Xabi Alonso, Xavi Hernandez and Iniesta were all superb. In the case of Xavi, he won the award last time, and he could easily have won the award again, but we felt that Iniesta deserved it.

Is this Spain team the best in football history?

"In many ways, he symbolized the tournament -- the creative, incisive runner, with and without the ball. We felt that he epitomized a lot of what we saw."

The squad included only two players not present in the semifinal matches: England captain Steven Gerrard and Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

"The players in the squad are those who have contributed in a significant way over the entire tournament," said Roxburgh, a former coach of Scotland's national team.

"Inevitably, the squad is dominated by players from the teams who had the most success -- first of all the team which won the title, Spain, then those players who were in the other top three teams.

"There are other players who could easily have been in the squad, but we restricted ourselves to a set number. The line was drawn at 23 because this was the squad size for the tournament."

UEFA president Michel Platini hailed the tournament in Poland and Ukraine as a big success, despite earlier fears of problems with racism which -- despite several incidents inside stadiums -- did not escalate as predicted.

"This Euro, the first in the East, has been a resounding success, a real triumph," the Frenchman said on UEFA's website.

Spain have become the first country to win three major tournaments in a row. A 4-0 thrashing of Italy at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev on Sunday confirmed Vicente Del Bosque's team as undisputed kings of world football. Spain have become the first country to win three major tournaments in a row. A 4-0 thrashing of Italy at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev on Sunday confirmed Vicente Del Bosque's team as undisputed kings of world football.
Spain celebrate historic win
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
>
>>
Euro 2012 sparked into life when striker Robert Lewandowski scored the first goal of the tournament against Greece. Despite a lively opening, the co-hosts had to settle for a 1-1 draw. Euro 2012 sparked into life when striker Robert Lewandowski scored the first goal of the tournament against Greece. Despite a lively opening, the co-hosts had to settle for a 1-1 draw.
Euro 2012 highlights
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
>
>>
Unforgettable moments of Euro 2012 Unforgettable moments of Euro 2012
Former world No. 1 Rafael Nadal is by no means a grass-court specialist, but the two-time Wimbledon champion's defeat by 100th-ranked Lukas Rosol has been hailed as one of sport's greatest upsets. Former world No. 1 Rafael Nadal is by no means a grass-court specialist, but the two-time Wimbledon champion's defeat by 100th-ranked Lukas Rosol has been hailed as one of sport's greatest upsets.
Nadal's nadir?
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
>
>>
The greatest sporting upsets The greatest sporting upsets

"Poland and Ukraine showed the whole world that they can organize this type of event and that they needn't have any concerns. They can be proud of the work they've done, their enthusiasm and the final results. I'm proud of them, anyway."

Platini said the biggest on-pitch success of the tournament was the use of extra match officials behind the goal lines.

"That was the principal innovation on the pitch compared to previous Euro editions, and the system of five referees was a real plus in terms of the football that got played: it helped get rid of simulation in the area and also helped significantly reduce shirt-pulling during set pieces," he said.

"In the end, there were more goals and, even more significantly, more headed goals in this Euro than in other big international competitions. That's no coincidence. The system of five referees acts as a deterrent and the quality of football benefits from that."

UEFA also raised €228,000 ($285,000) for the charity Center for Access to Football in Europe (CAFE) after pledging €3,000 for each of the 76 goals scored.

Off the field of play, Internet users set a new record for a sporting event on Twitter during Sunday's final.

The social networking site said its total global traffic peaked at 15,358 tweets per second when Juan Mata scored Spain's fourth goal. The match brought in 16.5 million tweets in total.

UEFA's team of Euro 2012:

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

Defenders: Gerard Pique (Spain), Fabio Coentrao (Portugal), Philipp Lahm (Germany), Pepe (Portugal), Sergio Ramos (Spain), Jordi Alba (Spain).

Midfielders: Daniele de Rossi (Italy), Steven Gerrard (England), Xavi Hernandez (Spain), Andres Iniesta (Spain), Sami Khedira (Germany), Sergio Busquets (Spain), Mesut Ozil (Germany), Andrea Pirlo (Italy), Xabi Alonso (Spain).

Forwards: Mario Balotelli (Italy), Cesc Fabregas (Spain), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Sweden), David Silva (Spain).

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 6:26 PM EDT, Fri June 29, 2012
Sunday's Euro 2012 final in Kiev pits holders Spain against Italy, between them the winners of the last two World Cups.
updated 10:26 AM EDT, Thu August 22, 2013
Euro 2012: Images from 13th European Championships being held in Poland and Ukraine.
updated 10:47 AM EDT, Fri June 29, 2012
Can English football reinvent its "warrior" style to emulate the success of freeflowing football nations such as Spain and Germany?
updated 8:02 AM EDT, Fri June 22, 2012
Germany Greece
The Germany-Greece quarterfinal at Euro 2012 is just one example of when political and sporting lines become blurred.
updated 12:01 PM EDT, Wed June 20, 2012
CNN's panel of football experts look at the Euro 2012 contenders ahead of the quarterfinal stage.
With Euro 2012's group stage now over, CNN's Pedro Pinto picks out his highlights of the action in Poland and Ukraine.
updated 12:19 PM EDT, Tue June 19, 2012
Nicklas Bendtner could be in trouble for his choice of underwear.
UEFA's decision to fine Nicklas Bendtner for revealing a sponsor's name on his underpants during Euro 2012 may have opened a can of worms.
CNN's Alex Thomas wonders how such an exciting football team as Spain could become, as heretical as it may seem to say... boring.
updated 11:43 AM EDT, Thu June 14, 2012
Fighting in the streets of Warsaw during the opening week of Euro 2012 is a stark reminder that football's "disease" has not been cured.
CNN's Amanda Davies argues that footballers are picked for their sporting ability, not because they can do justice to their national song.
updated 9:46 AM EDT, Fri June 8, 2012
Poland kicked off Euro 2012 as one of the underdogs. It is a far cry from the days when the nation was one of the most feared teams in world soccer.
updated 1:59 PM EDT, Thu June 7, 2012
Euro 2012: Guess the tattoos
Euro 2012 is almost upon us and Europe's finest footballers will be marked men -- in more ways than one.
updated 12:32 PM EDT, Thu June 7, 2012
CNN World Sport looks at the challenges that teams and host countries Poland and Ukraine faced to get to the Euro 2012 cup.
updated 11:51 AM EDT, Thu June 7, 2012
As national teams arrive in Poland and Ukraine, will the tournament be a football success or overshadowed by racism?
updated 3:17 PM EDT, Thu June 7, 2012
A picture taken at Donetsk airport on June 6, 2012, shows flags reading Euro 2012 logo two days ahead of the Euro 2012 football championships opening in Warsaw. France will play its first match on June 11 against England.
If the pre-vote predictions had been accurate, football heavyweights Italy would be preparing to host the 2012 European Championship.
CNN's Pedro Pinto predicts who will fly and who will flop at Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine. Have your say here.
updated 1:34 PM EDT, Wed June 6, 2012
Portugal have never won a major tournament at senior level, could this be the year the Euro 2012 underdogs shine?
updated 2:59 PM EDT, Thu June 7, 2012
Some of Europe's best footballers will be missing in Poland and Ukraine this month, as the effects of another grueling season takes its toll.
updated 4:40 PM EDT, Tue June 5, 2012
Can defending European champions Spain retain their title in Poland and Ukraine? CNN's Pedro Pinto reports.
updated 3:02 PM EDT, Thu June 7, 2012
Euro 2012 is nearly here and the 16 competing nations have announced the final 23-man squads.
updated 4:57 AM EDT, Fri June 22, 2012
Check out who is playing who, and where, as 16 teams compete at the European Championship in Poland and Ukraine.
updated 3:20 PM EDT, Thu June 7, 2012
The spotlight is on Ukrainian and Polish fans after a BBC investigation alleged racism was prevalent in the stands
Euro 2012 hosts Ukraine and Poland have told CNN a documentary accusing fans from both nations of racism was "unbalanced and biased."
updated 1:10 PM EDT, Fri May 18, 2012
UEFA president Michel Platini tells CNN he thinks Chancellor Angela Merkel will attend the final of Euro 2012 in Ukraine -- if Germany reach it.
updated 11:10 AM EDT, Tue May 8, 2012
It was supposed to be a symbol of Ukraine's development, but next month's Euro 2012 tournament has become mired in controversy.
updated 11:34 AM EDT, Mon April 30, 2012
Poland and Ukraine will host the European Championships for the first time in 2012, welcoming 14 other teams and football fans from across the continent.
updated 11:52 AM EST, Fri December 9, 2011
The build-up to next year's finals has truly begun, so here is CNN's guide to our top 10 most memorable European Championship moments.
updated 11:55 AM EST, Fri December 9, 2011
With less than 200 days to go until Euro 2012 football fans across Europe can start to look forward to the tournament in Poland and Ukraine.
ADVERTISEMENT