Borislav Mihaylov and Grzegorz Lato have become the latest former players to receive presentations from UEFA for those European footballers, past and present, who have achieved the distinction of playing 100 times or more for their country.
Former Bulgaria goalkeeper Mihaylov and ex-Poland striker Lato each received the award of a commemorative cap and medal from UEFA President Michel Platini during a ceremony in Limassol, Cyprus, witnessed by the presidents and general secretaries of all 53 of UEFA's member national associations.
The presentations took place ahead of the UEFA Executive Committee meeting in the Cypriot city, which begins on Thursday. Mihaylov and Lato followed in the footsteps of a number of other international centurions who were the first to be handed their awards at the recent set of UEFA EURO 2012 qualifiers.
Mihaylov appeared 102 times for Bulgaria, most notably captaining his nation to the 1994 FIFA World Cup semi-finals, their best ever performance. He is now a member of the UEFA Executive Committee, having been president of the Bulgarian Football Union (BFS) since 2005.
"It was 15 years of my life, to be goalkeeper of the national team and play 102 matches, and it was a great honour to receive the award from Michel Platini in front of all the presidents of the 53 associations," Mihaylov said. "It was a great emotion for me. I feel very proud to be among a group of players who have reached 100 matches – because there are not many!
"I remember two matches in particular, against France [FIFA World Cup qualifier in 1993] when we won in the last minutes to go to the World Cup where we [came fourth], and the [last-16] match at that World Cup against Mexico where I saved two penalties [in a shoot-out]."
Lato was the first Poland player to be capped 100 times, his record of exactly that mark only being surpassed by Michał Żewłakow in 2005. He scored 45 national team goals and finished third at the World Cups of 1974 and 1982. Since 2008 Lato has been president of the Polish Football Federation (PZPN), overseeing preparations for co-hosting UEFA EURO 2012.
Currently 109 European players have represented their country 100 or more times at senior international level, with several others close to reaching their centuries. The full list of names is available on UEFA.com.
Further award ceremonies will follow at future national team games and other events across Europe.
©UEFA.com 1998-2013. All rights reserved.