Andrés Iniesta / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

Andrés Iniesta has been named the World’s Best Playmaker in 2012 by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS), ahead of the two Blaugranas Xavi and Messi. Xavi had won the award for four consecutive years - from 2008 to 2011 - and the Argentine won the award last year. This year, the three FC Barcelona players finished in the top three positions for the second consecutive year.

The award is another acknowledgement for Iniesta, who came in third for the FIFA Ballon d’Or and was named Best Player in Europe Award by UEFA. IFFHS’ World’s Best Playmaker Award was decided by members of the international press and experts from around the world. The midfielder garnered 146 votes, while Xavi and Messi won 128 and 98, respectively. Pirlo came in fourth with 87 points and Ozil fifth, with 43.

Blaugrana dominance

The award, which was given out for the first time in 2006, has gone to FC Barcelona players five out of seven times. Zidane, who won it in 2006, and Kaká, in 2007, are the only non-FC Barcelona players to win the award. This year Cesc, who was on the shortlist for the award, finished outside the top three.

Top 10

1. Iniesta (Barça), 146 points
2.- Xavi (Barça), 128
3.- Messi (Barça), 98
4.- Pirlo (Juve), 87
5.- Özil (Madrid), 43
6.- Ronaldo (Madrid), 34
7.- Neymar (Santos), 9
8.- Silva (Manchester City), 9
9.- Touré (Manchester City), 9
10.- Gerrard (Liverpool), 8

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