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Page last updated at 10:16 GMT, Monday, 30 June 2008 11:16 UK

Xavi awarded Euro 2008 accolade

Barcelona's Xavi was instrumental in Spain's success

Spain midfielder Xavi has been named the best player of Euro 2008.

The Barcelona star was a regular member of the tournament-winning side and scored the opener in the semi-final win over Russia.

Xavi, 28, was one of nine Spain players selected among a team of 23 by a panel of Uefa technical experts.

Manchester United's Dutch keeper Edwin van der Sar, Chelsea's Michael Ballack, Arsenal's Cesc Fabregas and Liverpool's Fernando Torres all made the final 23.

Ballack was part of the Germany side that lost in the final, while Fabregas and Torres helped Spain seal the spoils.


Chelsea's new signing Jose Bosingwa of Portugal and Croatia midfielder Luka Modric, who will play for Tottenham in the Premier League next season, were also both selected.

There was no room in the final selection for Manchester United and Portugal midfielder Cristiano Ronaldo.

Uefa technical director Andy Roxburgh explained that Ronaldo's absence was because Portugal's exit at the quarter-final stage.

Xavi epitomised the Spanish style of play

Uefa's Andy Roxburgh

"Of course he was mentioned - and if Portugal had gone further, there's no argument he has been in this group because he's a fantastic player," said the former Scotland boss.

"He was in our Champions League all-star squad for the season - and at the beginning of the tournament he threatened he was going to be in this one.

"But then it came abruptly to an end. When it comes to a squad of the tournament, those that go to semis and final dominate things like this."

Regarding the selection of Xavi and eight other Spaniards, Roxburgh added: "Xavi epitomised the Spanish style of play. He was extremely influential.

"We are not all that surprised - because for more than a decade now, the top youth teams in Europe have been Spanish; we have been watching Xavi and others in this squad from a very young age."

Euro 2008 team of the tournament

Goalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Italy), Iker Casillas (Spain), Edwin van der Sar (Netherlands).

Defenders: Bosingwa (Portugal), Philipp Lahm (Germany), Carlos Marchena (Spain), Pepe (Portugal), Carles Puyol (Spain), Yuri Zhirkov (Russia).

Midfielders: Hamit Altintop (Turkey), Luka Modric (Croatia), Marcos Senna (Spain), Xavi Hernández (Spain), Konstantin Zyryanov (Russia), Michael Ballack (Germany), Cesc Fŕbregas (Spain), Andrés Iniesta (Spain), Lukas Podolski (Germany), Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands).

Forwards: Andrei Arshavin (Russia), Roman Pavlyuchenko (Russia), Fernando Torres (Spain), David Villa (Spain).

see also
Torres - the making of a legend
30 Jun 08 |  Euro 2008
Spain are crowned worthy winners
29 Jun 08 |  Euro 2008
Germany 0-1 Spain
29 Jun 08 |  Euro 2008
Virtual replay
30 Jun 08 |  Euro 2008
Russia 0-3 Spain
26 Jun 08 |  Euro 2008
Xavi reveals talks with Mourinho
15 Jul 05 |  Chelsea
The best goals of Euro 2008
30 Jun 08 |  Euro 2008


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