The Prime Minister of Bulgaria Voted Nation’s Footballer of the Year By The Fans

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Written By Chris Azzopardi

Bulgarian Prime Minster Boyko Borisov is a sometime footballer for a third division Bulgarian side called Vitosha Bistritsa. He is 52 years old, sports the midsection one would expect on a 52-year old head of state who plays soccer on occasion, and is clearly not the best Bulgarian footballer currently going. Despite those facts, Bulgarian fans have overwhelmingly voted him the nation’s top player in a poll. Suck it, Berba.

Here is Boyko in action. He’s the large balding fellow.

Boyko beat the aforementioned Dimitar Berbatov by a whopping twenty percentage points, 44% to 24%, though the number of votes cast was small. The fan vote doesn’t ultimately determine the winner of the Bulgarian Footballer of the Year award, it appears (that job falls to journalists), but it does indicate that something is rotten in Sofia.

For his part, Boyko sees his victory as a protest vote. After winning, he immediately penned an open letter to all interested parties.

To me, the vote of the fans, which bestows me the prizem is a protest vote. This vote does not say that Boyko Borisov is the best football player but that the Bulgarian football needs a reform and a new policy, which to lead one of the most loved sports into a new field. The field where the great Gundi, Kotkov, Ivan Kolev, Petar Zhekov, Dimitar Penev, Hristo Stoychkov used to play, ‘the golden generation of 1994’ – the legends, who over the years managed to turn the Bulgarian football into a brand and managed to fill the entire stadiums.

These footballers protected the dignity of the Bulgarian sports not only in Bulgaria but also in the world.

I followed all commentaries on the issue over the last month with interest. Unfortunately, every time when my name was mentioned, the issue was politicised. Of course, this changed the idea of the poll and for yet another time it became a topic of ill-disposed commentaries ‘for’ and ‘against’ Boyko Borisov. I am convinced that the Bulgarian fans are not interested in such a debate and the Bulgarian sport profits nothing out of it.

Borisov goes on to lament the state of Bulgarian sport in general and assure the fans that work is being done to revive Bulgarian football. With just over 8,000 votes cast in the popular poll, there don’t seem to be many good feelings around the state of the game in the country.

Borisov closed his letter with a rather heartfelt expression of his love of the game while calling for the results of the poll to be thrown out.

The pitch of FC Bistritsa is the place where I feel most like a human being, a place where I am surrounded by friends, with whom we both lose and win with dignity. The pitch of Bistritsa was the only place where I was able to hide from the cameras and be myself. Unfortunately, I did not win this game but it was there when together with the Tigers of Bistritsa we defeated the veterans of PFC Levski 4:1, and the decisive goal was scored me.

With regard to all of the abovementioned, I would like to address the organisers of the poll for Bulgarian Footballer of the Year to annul the votes. Or, in order to avoid complete failure of the poll, the prize to be given to the selected Best Young Footballer.

Meanwhile, in North Korea, Kim Jong-Il was just named Footballer of the Year for the 25th consecutive year, having received 99.9% of the popular vote. And there was no letter.


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