Euro 2020: Goran Pandev, a national hero

The other guy in Inter Milan’s legendary Uefa Champions League triumph under Jose Mourinho.

And what a story it is, in these Euros that are being uniquely hosted at various venues around Europe.

After coming across a quote from Matt Slater’s “Nike v Adidas – the Euro 2020 battle of the brands” article in The Athletic.

He starts the piece by referencing a The Financial Times piece by British journalist Simon Kuper.

This month’s Euro 2020 tournament will be a celebration of European expertise and unity, as 24 of the world’s best teams compete on a relatively level playing field, enriched by lessons they have learned from each other.

Simon Kuper, The Financial Times

And this is is true, as players representing those nations truly do exchange skills and as a result, new nations are emerging.

Kosovo is slowly building up a reputation as somewhat of a team with the potential to be a joker in the pack in the near future.

The standout story deserving of an international award this year is that of Goran Pandev.

Undoubtedly now a legend that will forever be the symbol of what is possible through football for his homeland of North Macedonia.

The captain of the North Macedonia national football team was convinced by national coach Igor Angelovski to come out of international retirement.

And now, the 37-year-old striker scored his country’s first-ever goal, in their first appearance at the Euros.

Pandev’s highest claim to fame as a footballer was being a key part of Jose Mourinho’s treble-winning Inter Milan team.

He was the other guy out wide who managed to keep Brazilian Dani Alves busy, while Samuel Eto’o took care of the other side, in a tactical battle in the Champions League semi-finals against Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona.

But now, he has achieved done the unerasable in national colours.

For North Macedonia, a country that only gained independence from Yugoslavia in 1991.

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