Andres Iniesta has been named best player of the European Championship on Monday after helping Spain become the first nation to successfully defend the continental crown.

The 28-year-old playmaker started all six of Spain's matches, including Sunday's 4-0 final victory over Italy at the Olympic Stadium in which he recorded an assist.

UEFA technical director Andy Roxbuirgh says ''Iniesta deserved it. He symbolized the tournament - the creative, incisive runner, with and without the ball. We felt that he epitomized a lot of what we saw.''

Roxbuirgh says UEFA's panel also considered Spain midfielders Xavi Hernandez and Xabi Alonso, and Italy midfielder Andrea Pirlo, for the award.