|ESPNsoccernet: UEFA Champions League|
Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta has won UEFA's award for the best player in Europe as he beat team-mate Lionel Messi and Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo.
Iniesta, 28, who inspired Spain to retain their crown at Euro 2012, won the vote by 53 sports journalists representing each of UEFA's member nations.
The midfielder landed 19 votes to shock favourite for the prize Messi, who picked up 17 along with Cristiano Ronaldo.
"Without my team-mates at the Spanish national team and Barcelona I wouldn't have won this individual trophy," he said.
"I feel very privileged to be part of this generation of Spanish footballers."
The award caps off a fine year for Iniesta after he was also named as the Player of the Tournament in Euro 2012.
In last year's edition of the award, Messi was named as the best player in Europe, with fellow Barcelona star Xavi and Ronaldo finishing in second and third place respectively.
UEFA created the honour after France Football magazine combined its traditional European award with FIFA's world player prize.