Manchester City duo in-euro-2012-team-of-the-tournament
Manchester City duo David Silva and Mario Balotelli have both been rewarded for their fine individual displays in Poland and the Ukraine by being included in UEFA's official 23-man squad of Euro 2012.
Not surprisingly, Silva and his Spanish colleagues dominated the voting with the European and Spanish champions having 10 players in total nominated. To add to their haul of fame, playmaker Andres Iniesta was named as the best player of the tournament in the wake of Spain's 4-0 victory over Italy in Sunday's final.
Aside from Balotelli and Silva, only one other player from the Premier League made the cut – England skipper Steven Gerrard. The latest individual award capped an incredible four years for the 28-year-old Iniesta, who was named in the team of the tournament at Euro 2008 and was in the all-star team of the 2010 World Cup after scoring the winning goal in the final.
He's also won two Champions League titles during that time. The Barcelona midfielder was sensational in the showpiece in Warsaw, conducting proceedings as Spain created history by claiming their third successive major tournament.
Former Scotland boss Andy Roxburgh, the head of Uefa's technical group, said: “Andrea Pirlo was magnificent for Italy, Xavi won it last time and could have won it again. Xabi Alonso was magnificent but Iniesta sends a message about creative and incisive football and was superb throughout.”
UEFA's 23-man Euro 2012
squad: Goalkeepers: Buffon (Ita), Casillas (Spa), Neuer (Ger). Defenders: Pique (Spa), Coentrao (Por), Lahm (Ger), Pepe (Por), Ramos (Spa), Alba (Spa). Midfielders: De Rossi (Ita), Gerrard (Eng), Xavi (Spa), Iniesta (Spa)*, Khedira (Ger), Busquets (Spa), Ozil (Ger), Pirlo (Ita), Xabi Alonso (Spa). Forwards: Balotelli (Ita), Fabregas (Spa), Ronaldo (Por), Ibrahimovic (Swe), Silva (Spa).