FC Internazionale Milano striker Goran Pandev has been voted the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia's foreign-based player of the year for a record fifth time with FK Rabotnicki goalkeeper Martin Bogatinov securing the domestic award.
National-team captain Pandev, 27, finished ahead of 1. FSV Mainz 05 central defender Nikolče Noveski and FC Dynamo Kyiv left back Goran Popov in the poll of Football Association of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FFM) regional associations, experts, the media and fans. Pandev, his nation's all-time leading scorer with 23 goals from 56 appearances, rejoined Inter from S.S. Lazio in January and helped them win the domestic treble, UEFA Champions League and FIFA Club World Cup, opening the scoring in last week's 3-0 final win against DR Congo's TP Mazembe.
Pandev previously took the award in 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2008, but was unable to attend the Skopje ceremony due to illness. Receiving the prize on his behalf, national coach Mirsad Jonuz said: "Winning the European and world club titles has written Pandev into Macedonian football history and I wish him many more successes in his career."
Bogatinov, 24, completes a memorable year in which he became his team's first choice goalkeeper in July, helped them through three rounds of UEFA Europa League qualifying – losing only to Liverpool FC – and made his international debut last month. "This is my first award and I hope it wouldn't be the last," he said. "The prize is an extra motivation for me for further successes with my club as well as with the Macedonian national team."
Parma FC midfielder Stefan Ristovski who was celebrated as young player of the year having moved to Italy from FK Vardar upon turning 18. FK Metalurg Skopje's Serbian midfielder Milan Djurić was honoured as the First League's best foreign player.
Jonuz's assistant Vlatko Kostov was named coach of the year for the second time in a row, having led FK Renova to their maiden league title before his summer departure. Renova were also voted team of the year.
Midfielder Nataša Andonova took her third consecutive women's player of the year award in the month when she turned 17, having become the first female from her nation to join a foreign club in her September transfer from ZFK Borec to European and German champions 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam. She also impressed in the UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship finals on home soil.
Zoran Leveski was honoured as futsal player of the year having helped KMF Zelezarec Skopje to the domestic title and scored four goals in their run to the UEFA Futsal Cup main round.
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