Ivelin Popov named Bulgaria's best footballer of 2017
Sofia: Spartak Moscow midfielder Ivelin Popov has won the "Best Bulgarian Football Player of The Year" for the third consecutive time here.
A poll of 104 journalists from 48 media houses on Sunday awarded him 248 points, exactly twice as much as striker Martin Kamburov from Bulgarian club Lokomotiv Plovdiv who came second, reports Xinhua news agency.
Winger Todor Nedelev from Botev Plovdiv was third with 48 points.
Last year, the 30-year-old Popov became champion of Russia as he won the Super Cup of Russia and participated in the group stage of the Champions League.
Meanwhile, Popov, who is the captain of the Bulgarian national team, seriously contributed to its prestigious victories against the Netherlands (2-0) and Sweden (3-2) in the World Cup qualifiers.
"I am very proud to receive this recognition again," Popov said at the award ceremony.
"I wish myself to win more matches with the shirt of the national team," he added.
Only two Bulgarians were more distinguished in the 57-year history of this standing: Dimitar Berbatov, who was named the best Bulgarian player for 2002, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010, and Hristo Stoichkov, who came five times the player of the year between 1989 and 1994. Hristo Bonev won the standing three times, in 1969, 1972 and 1973 respectively.