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Top Bulgarian accolade for rising star Milanov

Thursday 27 December 2012 20.33 CET
Georgi Milanov (right) and Litex coach Hristo Stoichkov

PFC Litex Lovech midfielder Georgi Milanov has become the youngest recipient of the Bulgarian player of the year award.

The 20-year-old finished ahead of FK Partizan defender Ivan Ivanov and PSV Eindhoven's Stanislav Manolev in a poll of national sports media, which included newspapers, radio and TV stations and websites. Milanov also took the equivalent A PFG award, while PFC Levski Sofia's 16-year-old midfielder Antonio Vutov received the revelation of the year prize.

"It is a great honour for me to win this accolade," said Milanov, the first player from the Bulgarian top flight to do so since Georgi Ivanov, of Levski, in 2001. "I would like to thank my club, Litex, my team-mates and especially my coach, the great Hristo Stoichkov, who has always kept faith in me."

The Bulgarian international has scored eight goals in 14 league appearances this season for Litex, who are third, nine points behind leaders PFC Ludogorets Razgrad, at the halfway stage of the 30-game campaign.

Aston Villa FC's Stiliyan Petrov was also honoured during the end-of-year ceremony. The 33-year-old, in remission after being diagnosed with acute leukaemia in March, was recognised for "improving the prestige of Bulgarian football".

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