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The Aston Villa captain has not featured for the Villans since being diagnosed with leukaemia last year, and has been picked due to his status as a "role model"

Aston Villa captain Stiliyan Petrov has been nominated for Bulgaria's annual Man of the Year award.

The 33-year-old, who is currently out of action as he continues to battle leukaemia, has been selected by journalists to vie for the recognition handed out by Darik Radio.
 
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He faces competition from Petar Petrov, a mechanic who saved over 500 people after the cruise ship Costa Concordia went down in Italian waters, and professional boxer Kubrat Pulev.

The former Celtic man earned his nomination due to his position as a "role model to the world, for his humble but strong personality and for his will to stand up and fight his illness".

Petrov could become the first footballer to receive the accolade in three years, after Dimitar Berbatov emerged victorious during his time with Manchester United.

With the voting now closed, the award ceremony will be held in Sofia on January 21.

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