Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta felt privileged to finish in third place at the Ballon d’Or awards on Monday night.
Iniesta’s 2012 included playing a key role in helping Spain defend their European title, while the 28-year-old also won the Copa del Rey with Barcelona.
That was good enough for Iniesta to claim third place behind Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo at the Ballon d’Or awards in Zurich on Monday night and the Spaniard said it was a great honour for him.
“For me to be here today is a very special moment,” Iniesta said.
“Also to be here on the side of Ronaldo and Messi for me is beautiful so for me it is great.
“What I lived this year was fantastic, unique moments, so I hope this year will be like the last one.”
Despite the honour, Iniesta was saddened by the ongoing racism issues that continue to plague the game.
“The really sad thing it is that these things keep happening and never stopped happening,” Iniesta said.
“The perfect thing will be that this minority of people have their sanction or a way to correct that behaviour, that is the really sad thing.
“To be racist is something personal and you can choose.”