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Andrés Iniesta Named Best Player In Europe

Andrés Iniesta has been named the winner of the 2011/12 UEFA Best Player in Europe Award, finishing ahead of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in an extremely close vote.

Iniesta received 19 votes while Messi and Ronaldo both picked up 17 votes.

The Barcelona midfielder, who helped Spain defend their European Championship title this summer, collected his prize following today’s UEFA Champions League group stage draw at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco and said:

“I’m very happy to receive such recognition. As I always say, such awards for one individual can’t be achieved without the whole team. So it’s a sensation that I want to share with my team-mates at the club, and in the national team. It’s recognition for the work that you have done well, and that people are proud and have faith in what you do.”

The 28-year-old was in inspired form for Spain at UEFA EURO 2012: he was named Best Player of the Tournament after starting all six games and was also included in the Team of the Tournament. Iniesta also broke Emilio Butragueño’s record of 50 Liga matches without defeat last term. He finally ended up on the losing side in game 56 when Real Madrid won 2-1 at the Camp Nou in April.