London: The Union of European Football Associations’ (UEFA) technical studies group released the 23-man all-star squad of Euro 2012, which consisted of ten Spanish players, including ‘player of the tournament’ Andres Iniesta.
Midfielder Iniesta was voted Player of Euro 2012 because he personified the type of “creative, humble” player that UEFA wants to promote.
Iniesta just beat Italian midfielder Andrea Pirlo, and his Spanish teammates Xavi and Xabi Alonso to the UEFA honour.
“Pirlo was magnificent and seriously considered. If Xavi had played every game like the final he would’ve won it. Xabi Alonso was magnificent but we gave it to Iniesta,” a newspaper quoted Andy Roxburgh, UEFA’s technical director, as saying.
“We felt it was important to send a message that a creative, incisive, attacking and flowing type player can be so effective,” he added.
“Xavi is the orchestrator. Iniesta is incisive he goes past people effortlessly. It’s so simple – but that’s because genius is simplicity. Xavi or Iniesta will take the ball with two or three guys around them and keep it, turning away, twisting, backing themselves to screen the ball or dribble clear,” he said.
Captain Steven Gerrard was the only representative from England in the squad.
“Gerrard was a star. The group thought Gerrard played really, really well and showed great leadership qualities,’
“He was clearly tuned into the plan that Roy Hodgson had and we thought he contributed in a top-level way,” he added.
First Published: Tuesday, July 03, 2012, 13:55