SPAIN

Iniesta, 9 times MVP in major international tournaments

The midfielder was named Man of the Match once at Euro 2008, three times at 2010 World Cup South Africa, three times at Euro 2012 and twice at Euro 2016.

Iniesta, 9 times MVP in major international tournaments
VALERY HACHE AFP

As Vicente del Bosque rightly pointed out on the eve of Friday's meeting with Turkey,  Andrés Iniesta doesn't need collectively-won trophies or individual awards to stake his place in history as one of the greatest players to have graced the Beautiful Game. There is one statistic however which proves how highly the Barça player is regarded. Without being a goal scorer who decides games, Iniesta has already picked up nine awards with the national team in major international tournaments. Last night against Turkey, he collected his second UEFA Man of the Match award at Euro 2016 - to add to the one he picked up in Spain's opener against the Czech Republic.

The first time Iniesta was named the best player during a match in the final stages of a major tournament was during Euro 2008 in Austria. At 2010 World Cup South Africa, he won the award three times, playing a significant part in the final with his winning strike against Holland. In the following Euros, he helped Spain lift another trophy in Poland/Ukraine; Iniesta was elected Man of the Match in three of Spain's games, including the final against Italy.

Iniesta didn't manage to win the best player award at 2014 World Cup Brazil, where Spain had a disappointing campaign. But at Euro 2016 in France, both La Roja and Iniesta are back to their best. Last night in Nice, he completed a total of 93 passes, 40 of them in the final third of the pitch and set up three chances for his team mates. He is currenly eighth on UEFA's Player Barometer, just behind Gareth Bale, Sergio Ramos and club team mate, Gerard Piqué.

The player accepted his award last night with typical humility, saying: "One player cannot win anything on their own. With us, the most important thing is the team and we could easily divide this award up between everyone in the side".