The official website for European football

Majestic Iniesta calls the shots for Spain

Published: Sunday 10 June 2012, 21.00CET
Andrés Iniesta was magnificent from start to finish in Spain's midfield, winning the Carlsberg Man of the Match award for his assured performance in the 1-1 draw against Italy.
by Graham Hunter
from Arena Gdansk

rate galleryrate photo
1/0
counter
  • loading...

UEFA.com features

Captain Stark on Germany's Under-19 triumph
  • Captain Stark on Germany's Under-19 triumph
  • Sanderson on England and Arsenal return
  • Lyon academy products making the grade
  • Who has won titles in the most European nations?
  • Penalty shoot-outs: the long and the short of it
  • Story so far: Real Madrid CF
  • Guingamp magic floors Paris
  • Fenerbahçe great Alex calls time on career
  • Gabbiadini inspires high-flying Sampdoria
  • UEFA Champions League round of 16 classics
1 of 10
Published: Sunday 10 June 2012, 21.00CET

Majestic Iniesta calls the shots for Spain

Andrés Iniesta was magnificent from start to finish in Spain's midfield, winning the Carlsberg Man of the Match award for his assured performance in the 1-1 draw against Italy.

That Andrés Iniesta was the Carlsberg Man of the Match in Spain's opening Group C game should not really have been a surprise to anyone.

The man who finished Spain's last tournament with the goal which made La Roja world champions started where he left off in South Africa – not just in the Arena Gdansk but on the Gniewino training ground. Iniesta, as he showed against Italy, has both the pace and the trickery to open up even the tightest, meanest defence.

"It was and always is a privilege watching Iniesta play," said former Portugal midfielder Maniche, as he presented him with the Carlsberg Man of the Match award. "I think that almost all Spain's attacks were played through him and after a performance like that it was very easy to choose him as Man of the Match. He played a superb match, as he always does. I congratulate him on winning of this trophy."

Right from Spain's first opening of the match, when Iniesta cracked a volley down to Gianluigi Buffon's right hand post, the Barcelona man had been 'enchufado' - plugged in. But with Italy leading 1-0, as Iniesta explained himself: "It was fundamental that we got back on terms immediately so that Italy couldn't close the game down and keep us out."

Three minutes had passed since Antonio Di Natale opened the scoring and Iniesta drew two markers to him leaving David Silva in space with time to feed Cesc Fabregás to score. Iniesta had already drawn a sweet save from Buffon in the second half when the Italian just nudged a fierce drive past the post with a glancing touch of his glove.

The draw was not too dispiriting for Iniesta, who said: "We drew because we were up against a very strong side, one of the favourites, with great players in their team. It was a hard-fought match, which was a tough one to play in – the ball didn't move well because of the pitch conditions, but we are confident that in the future we will do better.

 "Of course we wanted to win, but that’s football," he added. "It's difficult, and as I said, we were facing a great team tonight; we will go into the next matches with the highest intensity possible, and we want to make it into the next round."

Last updated: 25/09/14 5.42CET

Related information

Player profiles
Team profiles
Related match

http://www.uefa.com/news/newsid=1788171.html#majestic+iniesta+calls+shots+spain

  • © 1998-2014 UEFA. All rights reserved.
  • The UEFA word, the UEFA logo and all marks related to UEFA competitions, are protected by trade marks and/or copyright of UEFA. No use for commercial purposes may be made of such trade marks. Use of UEFA.com signifies your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.