World Player of the Week: Jordi Alba - Spain

World Player of the Week
Jordi Alba
AGE 23
FOR Spain
 4-0 Italy   Portugal 0(2) - 0(4) Spain  

Jordi Alba has had a month to remember. After sealing a €14 million move to Barcelona while helping Spain to the Euro 2012 final, the left-back capped off a superb major international tournament debut by scoring the second goal in La Roja’s comprehensive 4-0 victory over Italy at the Olympic Stadium on Sunday.

Alba came into the competition as a long-term replacement for Joan Capdevila at left-back after an impressive 2011-12 season with Valencia, and immediately became an overnight sensation in Poland and Ukraine.

His strong defensive qualities, marauding runs down the left flank and intelligent passes proved to be indispensable assets for Spain in their run to an unprecedented third successive major international trophy, earning him a high rating in both the semi-final and final.

On Sunday against Italy the 23-year-old once again showcased just why he was so highly courted by the Catalan giants, galloping down the left wing to give Spain extra attacking options. Alba put the icing on a momentous week by dashing on to Xavi's pass before slotting past Gianluigi Buffon in the 41st minute.

Congratulations to Jordi Alba,'s 163rd World Player of the Week winner!

Honourable Mentions

Mario Balotelli - Italy

The Italy striker silenced his critics by scoring twice in the Euro 2012 semi-final to stun fancied Germany, but was unable to replicate his display in the tournament decider against Spain.

Andres Iniesta - Spain

The Euro 2012 player of the tournament was superb in the semi-final clash with Portugal and even better against Italy in the final, as his quick runs, deft passes and intelligent movement fashioned out a 4-0 victory for La Roja.

Ola Kamara - Stromsgodset

The 22-year-old striker scored his second consecutive hat-trick in Stromsgodset’s 4-0 win over Honefoss to ensure that his side stay above Molde at the top of Norway's Tippeligaen by a point.

Romarinho - Corinthians

Romarinho stole the show in the first leg of the Copa Libertadores final by scoring a late equaliser after just coming on, as Corinthians held Boca Juniors to a 1-1 draw in Buenos Aires.

Iker Casillas - Spain

The Real Madrid goalkeeper captained his country to yet another trophy, racking up a record-breaking 100th international win in the process. Made a key save against Antonio Di Natale in the final against Italy.

On Sunday, we encouraged our readers to nominate their choices for the best player of the week. Here are some of the comments we received:

Perryfel in Kumasi, Ghana cast his vote in favour of Iniesta for his performances for Spain in the semi-finals and final of Euro 2012.

"Andres Iniesta Lujan should win's World Player of the Week award. He was absolutely sensational against Portugal in the semi-finals of the Euros and against Italy in the final."

Femi Talabi in Nigeria too backed the Barcelona attacking midfielder for the honour.

"Iniesta is the right man for the award. He is always quietly efficient for Spain and helps them win. Against Italy he was obviously the man of the match."

Gaucho in Georgia picked Spain defender Sergio Ramos as the best player over the past seven days.

"I think that Sergio Ramos was the best player in the world this week. He was efficient at the back and made very few mistakes."

Another follower, who described himself as just SilvaFan in India cast his vote for another Spanish star.

"David Silva is a world-class footballer and he showed his quality against Italy in the final. He only played the whole 90 minutes in one game [against Republic of Ireland] but he was always there for the team."

Uzoma Emmanuel
in Nigeria went for Italy's Andrea Pirlo.

"Pirlo was excellent and fantastic in Italy's victory over England and had yet another good game against Germany. He did a great job with good passes and deserves to be the World Player of the Week."

Each week our worldwide team of editors will put forward a selected candidate, as chosen by International, who deserves recognition for achieving something special that matchday.

You can also help us choose a worthy recipient of the weekly accolade by leaving your nominations and comments here. Your suggestions will be taken into consideration.

It won't necessarily be the best player in the world - at least not usually - but whoever we crown will have accomplished something amazing. It might be for a particularly awesome performance or for something praiseworthy off the pitch - either way, the person in question deserves special attention...