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.
- 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.
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.
Part of complete coverage on
Be part of CNN's coverage of European Champions League matches and join the social debate.
April 24, 2013 -- Updated 1434 GMT (2234 HKT)
Luis Suarez's biting of Branislav Ivanovic is the latest episode of moments of madness when soccer stars behave badly.
March 29, 2013 -- Updated 0938 GMT (1738 HKT)
Sunderland's partnership with the Nelson Mandela Foundation is part of its bid to woo the African market.
March 28, 2013 -- Updated 1558 GMT (2358 HKT)
Each year as many as 700 Cameroonian young footballers leave Africa in search of a professional career abroad.
May 6, 2013 -- Updated 1201 GMT (2001 HKT)
Referees across Europe are feeling the heat. Insulted, threatened, chased off the field, attacked, hospitalized and, tragically, killed.
March 6, 2013 -- Updated 1345 GMT (2145 HKT)
A red card for Manchester United's Nani during Tuesday's loss to Real Madrid sparks huge social media reaction.
February 26, 2013 -- Updated 1225 GMT (2025 HKT)
Footballers have a battery of physios, fitness trainers and doctors all striving to fine-tune their physique -- but are they missing a trick?
February 26, 2013 -- Updated 1424 GMT (2224 HKT)
No Englishman has won the EPL title in over 20 years, while a leading manager reveals that English coaches are now "not respected abroad."
May 13, 2013 -- Updated 0933 GMT (1733 HKT)
Hardcore Italian football "ultra" Federico is a Lazio supporter who happily admits directing monkey chants at black players.
March 5, 2013 -- Updated 1123 GMT (1923 HKT)
When Jupp Heynckes made his Bundesliga debut as a player in 1965, the name of Bayern Munich was a new one for the nascent German league.
February 19, 2013 -- Updated 1902 GMT (0302 HKT)
Football's world governing body FIFA has confirmed it will use goal-line technology at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
February 19, 2013 -- Updated 1403 GMT (2203 HKT)
Match-fixing has become a worldwide issue, with hundreds of matches under investigation -- but how do you actually fix a football game?
February 18, 2013 -- Updated 1700 GMT (0100 HKT)
U.S soccer star Robbie Rogers has "come out" as gay on the day he retired from the game, making the announcement on his blog.
February 11, 2013 -- Updated 2231 GMT (0631 HKT)
The wealth of owners like Chelsea's Roman Abramovich often fuels success, but for other clubs such backers prove a mixed blessing.
January 31, 2013 -- Updated 1740 GMT (0140 HKT)
Brand Beckham is moving from the "City of Angels" to the "City of Light" as the football icon signs a short-term deal and offers to give away his pay.
January 31, 2013 -- Updated 1247 GMT (2047 HKT)
Fireworks inside his own house, a car crash in his first week at Manchester City, that iconic t-shirt -- the EPL will miss Mario Balotelli.
January 30, 2013 -- Updated 1342 GMT (2142 HKT)
The Secret Footballer reveals the complex issues surrounding racism in the English Premier League.
January 30, 2013 -- Updated 1543 GMT (2343 HKT)
The death of 73 football fans in Port Said tragedy continues to haunt Egypt.
Today's five most popular stories