FC Basel 1893's Ivan Ivanov described being voted Bulgarian player of the year for the first time as a "great honour" as he reflected on finishing ahead of national team captain Ivelin Popov.
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FC Basel 1893's Ivan Ivanov has won the Bulgarian player of the year award for the first time.
The defender, who was runner-up 12 months ago to PFC CSKA Moskva's Georgi Milanov, topped a poll of leading sports media in the country. FC Kuban Krasnodar forward and national team captain Ivelin Popov finished second, with PFC Ludogorets Razgrad midfielder Svetoslav Dyakov in third.
During 2013, the former PFC CSKA Sofia centre-back helped FK Partizan to the Serbian Super League title and in August moved to Swiss outfit Basel, appearing in all six of the club's UEFA Champions League group stage fixtures.
"To be honest, I did not expect this award," said Ivanov, who has 39 caps for Bulgaria. "I had my own favourite, our national team captain Ivelin Popov. I want to use the occasion to dedicate this award to my late mother, who supported me throughout my career.
"Of course, I would like to thank my coaches and team-mates in the national set-up and at all my clubs and youth sides. This a great honour for me to have won this accolade alongside the greatest ever Bulgarian players."
Stoicho Stoev took the coaches' prize for guiding Ludogorets to the Bulgarian A PFG title and into the UEFA Europa League round of 32 as Group B winners.