The UEFA Technical Team included ten Spain players in its 23-man UEFA EURO 2012 Team of the Tournament.
La Roja defended their European title in impressive fashion with a 4-0 victory against Italy on 1 July and were rewarded with yet more acclaim. Andrés Iniesta took the honour of being named the UEFA Best Player of the Tournament.
The UEFA Technical Team comprised UEFA technical director Andy Roxburgh, Fabio Capello (Italy), Jerzy Engel (Poland), Dušan Fitzel (Czech Republic), Gérard Houllier (France), Lars Lagerbäck (Sweden), György Mezey (Hungary) and Holger Osieck (Australia coach). Jean-Paul Brigger and Walter Gagg provided FIFA input, with Mordechai Shpigler acting as link-man to UEFA's Development and Technical Assistance Committee.
"The players in the squad are those who have contributed in a significant way over the entire tournament," said Roxburgh. "Inevitably, the squad is dominated by players from the teams who had the most success – first of all the team which won the title, Spain, then those players who were in the other top three teams.
"There are other players who could easily have been in the squad, but we restricted ourselves to a set number. The line was drawn at 23 because this was the squad size for the tournament.
"In general, the team thought this was a very positive event. We thought the atmosphere was fantastic for many reasons – for example, the Referees Committee talking with the teams before the tournament to explain what was expected; and the coaches' general attitude was top level. The top four teams tried to take the initiative in games, as did other teams as well. There was a positive feeling as far as players' attitudes, the approach to the game and the skill level was concerned."
The Technical Team was split into two groups – one in Warsaw, one in Kyiv – with Roxburgh distributing his time between the two. The group has attended each of the 31 matches, with at least two of the team present at every game. Observations centered on team shapes and the way they evolve; defensive and counterattacking mechanisms; use of the wide areas; the way the goals are scored; differences in footballing philosophies and all the other facets of the game that are of interest to the coaching fraternity.
The team's 72-page technical report, published in English, French and German versions, will be officially launched at the 9th UEFA Conference for European National Coaches in Warsaw in late September.
UEFA EURO 2012 Team of the Tournament
Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Italy), Iker Casillas (Spain), Manuel Neuer (Germany).
Defenders: Gerard Piqué (Spain), Fábio Coentrão (Portugal), Philipp Lahm (Germany), Pepe (Portugal), Sergio Ramos (Spain), Jordi Alba (Spain).
Midfielders: Daniele de Rossi (Italy), Steven Gerrard (England), Xavi Hernández (Spain), Andrés Iniesta (Spain), Sami Khedira (Germany), Sergio Busquets (Spain), Mesut Özil (Germany), Andrea Pirlo (Italy), Xabi Alonso (Spain).
Forwards: Mario Balotelli (Italy), Cesc Fàbregas (Spain), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Zlatan Ibrahimović (Sweden), David Silva (Spain).
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