Andrés Iniesta and Mireia Belmonte were the big winners in the 65th Grand Gala of El Mundo Deportivo. Iniesta was named the best male athlete of 2012 and Belmonte was named the best female athlete of 2012. The previous winners of the award for the male category are Juan Carlos Navarro and Xavi Hernández. Iniesta accumulated 26 votes, and finished ahead of Marc Márquez (3) and Jorge Lorenzo (2).
Mundo Deportivo’s best athlete of the year award is yet another acknowledgement for the midfielder who won the European Championship with Spain, the Copa del Rey with Barça and was named by UEFA as the best player of the year.
Gala coloured in blaugrana
The gala, which was held at the Congressional Palace of Catalonia, also saw Sergio Busquets (Best Team Player) and Éric Abidal (Extraordinary Repsol Award) win awards. The Barça players were accompanied by Sandro Rosell and a large part of the Board of Directors.
Among the attendees was the President of the Generalitat Artur Mas and the Mayor of Barcelona Xavier Trias. Other FC Barcelona athletes were also present, like Marc Carmona and Jordi Torras, Gaby Cairo, Juan Carlos Navarro and Eusebio Sacristán.
Atlético Madrid were awarded the Collective Effort Award, Athletic Club won the Special Award, Vicente del Bosque was given the Excellence Award, Miroslav Klose the Fair Play Award, Marc Márquez the Most International Catalan Athlete Award and Joel González was named the Best Catalan Athlete.