KEIR RADNEDGE in KYIV: Andres Iniesta, one of Spain’s heroes of heroes in their magnificent Euro 2012 triumph, has been nominated as Best Player of the Tournament by the 11-strong UEFA technical team.

Iniesta has been a key member of the Spanish side who made history by winning the 2008 and 2012 European Championships as well as the 2010 World  Cup inbetween.

The Barcelona 28-year-old was also, naturally, one of the 23-strong UEFA Euro 2012 Team of the Tournament which featured nine other team-mates from the Spanish team who destroyed Italy 4-0 here in Kyiv in Sunday night’s final.

Squad list:

Goalkeepers: Buffon (It), Casillas (Sp), Neuer (Ger)

Defenders: Pique (Sp), Coentrao (Por), Lahm (Ger), Pepe (Por), Sergio Ramos (Sp), Jordi Alba (Sp)

Midfielders: De Rossi (It), Gerrard (Eng), Xavi (Sp), Iniesta (Sp), Khedira (Ger), Busquets (Sp), Ozil (Ger), Pirlo (It), Xabi Alonso (Sp)

Attackers: Balotelli (It), Fabregas (Sp), Ronaldo (Por), Ibrahimovic (Swe), Silva (Sp).

The set-up of the squad reveals the evolution of the game as viewed by the technical team headed up by former Scotland coach Andy Roxburgh. The orthodox striker was shown up as old-fashioned at the highest level where the emphasis is now increasingly on mobility and team interaction.

Hence only Italy’s Mario Balotelli and Sweden’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic of the five nominated attackers might be considered a true ‘formal’ striker. Balotelli is one of only three representatives of the English Premier League in the squad along with Manchester City team-mate David Silva and England and Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard.

The evolution of ‘attack sharing’ was credited by Roxburgh as one of the reasons for the absence of any one single top scorer. No fewer than five players shared the leading marksmanship honours on three goals: Balotelli , Russia’s Alan Dzagoev, Germany’s Mario Gomez, Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Spain’s Fernando Torres.

Roxburgh: “In the ‘old days’ you had more attackers actually in the penalty box but now it’s a case of three or four players arriving in support.”

Iniesta, of course, is one such support player. Reviewing the contenders for top player Roxburgh said: “Andrea Pirlo was magnificent for Italy and if Xavi had played all tournament the way he played the final he would have won it again, as he did in 2008. Xabi Alonso was outstanding throughout.

“Iniesta, however, is not only so gifted but he sends out a message as a creative, incisive flowing type of modern player.”

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