Iniesta wins UEFA's Best Player in Europe award

MONACO Thu Aug 30, 2012 1:33pm EDT

1 of 3. UEFA President Michel Platini (R) applauds as FC Barcelona's Andres Iniesta of Spain holds his Best Player UEFA 2012 award at Monaco's Grimaldi Forum in Monte Carlo August 30, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Eric Gaillard

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MONACO (Reuters) - Andres Iniesta of Barcelona beat off a strong challenge from club mate Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid to be named on Thursday as UEFA's Best Player in Europe last season.

Iniesta, 28, won the live poll, conducted by journalists from each of UEFA's 53 member countries during the Champions League draw ceremony, to take the award that Messi won in its inaugural season last year.

The midfielder was also named as the Player of the Tournament following Spain's victory in Euro 2012.

(Reporting by Mike Collett, editing by Ed Osmond)