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Andrés Iniesta at the Camp Nou. PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB.

Andrés Iniesta’s brilliant performance in the Euro, where he was named the MVP of the tournament, has catapulted him to the front of the list of Ballon d’Or contenders. “It’s a question that you can’t answer. The only thing I’m preoccupied with is playing well, feeling well, and helping people enjoy the sport,” said the midfielder during a Mediapro event.

When asked if Messi, who scored a record 82 goals this year, will be his biggest rival for the prestigious award, Iniesta added: “I’m not competing with Messi to win the Ballon d’Or, or Cristiano, or Xavi, or Casillas... I’m not voting. It’s not about competing with his 82 goals. I was named the MVP without scoring any goals. It’s a privilege to be among the greats.” The player insisted that the debate is beyond him: “I always have to hope of winning and acheiving as much as possible, but this is something extra for me. I can’t control it, let other people decide. Talking about this is just a waste of time. From here to January a lot of things will be said, the truly important thing is that I continue to enjoy playing the sport and seeing my people happy...”

Satisfied with the MVP award

Iniesta also expressed his satisfaction with the award that designates him the best player of the Euro 2012 tournament: “I’m very pleased with the acknowledgement. It’s truly beautiful. After winning the European Championship, this distinction makes me happy. However, one player alone is not representative of a championship. My teammates deserve this award as much as I do.”

“I work really well with Alba”

During the Euro, the Azulgrana player lined up just ahead of Jordi Alba, FC Barcelona’s first signing of the year, on the left wing. The midfielder’s impression of the left back is superb: “it was an honour to play with Jordi Alba. We worked really well despite the fact that we’ve played very few games together. He’s a great player and he'll be a great addition for the upcoming season.”

Iniesta also said that he’s very excited for the new season with Tito Vilanova at the head of the Barça bench: “it’s always motivating to start out tournaments and embark on new challenges with the hope of doing just as well as we have in the past. We want to continue winning titles.”

Nervous about the wedding

Next Saturday Andrés Iniesta will marry his partner. “It will be a special and different day. I’m sure I’ll be nervous, much more than when I’m on the pitch,” he admitted.

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