Saturday, August 05, 2006

Macedonia's Pancev awarded Golden boot....15 years late

SKOPJE: Macedonia's most celebrated player Darko Pancev received French sports daily L'Equipe's "Golden boot" prize as best European striker on Friday 15 years after originally being awarded the honour.

Pancev, who scored 37 goals in the 1990/1991 season for Serbia's Red Star Belgrade, was prevented from collecting his award at the time after a protest from Cyprus which claimed one of their players had scored 40 goals.

But after a lengthy inquiry L'Equipe rejected the Cypriot football federation's appeal and Pancev, 41, was finally handed the Golden Boot by French football legend Michel Platini.

Platini, who is among the candidates to succeed Lennart Johansson as president of European Football's governing body UEFA, said: "The award, although delayed, is now in the right hands."

One of the best strikers to come out of the former Yugoslavia Pancev joined Red Star Belgrade in 1988, scoring 84 goals for the Serbian champion in a four year spell.

He retired in 1997.

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