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Hosts Greece won the first FIFPro Tournament Eastern Europe in Thessaloniki, where also the teams of the Bulgarian and Slovenian footballers’ associations delivered a solid performance.

 

The first FIFPro Tournament Eastern Europe for players in search of a new contract was played the 9th of July in the Aris stadium in Thessaloniki. It was a ‘triangolo’ tournament: each team played each other in matches of 2 x 25 minutes.

 

With lots of scouts and representatives of clubs from the participating countries and neighboring nations like Russia, Cyprus, Romania and Serbia in the stands, the tournament started with the match between Greece and Slovenia. The game ended without goals despite good chances for Slovenian strikers Zoran Zeljkovic and Dejan Grabic.

 

 

 

 

Slovenia was even less lucky in their second match, as Bulgaria beat Team SPINS with 1-0 after a goal from Rosen Kaptiev on an assist by his brother Vladimir Kaptiev.

 

That meant that the winner of the Tournament had to come from the last match between Greece (Team PSAP) and Bulgaria (Team ABF). Greece ended up winning the cup. Bulgaria seemed to be on its way to the first place, but in the closing minutes of the game Ioannis Panagopoulos changed everything with a fine finish: 1-0 Greece.

 

 

 

 

Later that night, Greece received their award during the ceremony dinner, while Slovenian goalkeeper Damir Bontonjic was voted ‘Best player of the Tournament’ by the coaches of the three teams.

 

There was a lot of interest in the participating players. Scouts and clubs already contacted some of them during the tournament. In the upcoming weeks, FIFPro will keep you informed about players signing at a new club.

 

 

 

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Damir Botonjic receives the Best Player Award.

Fltr: Tijs Tummers (FIFPro), Botonjic, Dejan Stefanovic (president SPINS, board member FIFPro), Theo van Seggelen (secretary general FIFPro), and Stelios Giannakopoulos (president PSAP)