Bulgaria Prime Minister beats Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov to Player of the Year award

Boyko Borisov has been named as his country's outstanding performer on the field for 2011 but the 52-year-old knows that his victory had more to do with problems off the pitch
Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov has been pipped to the Bulgarian Player of the Year award for 2011 by his country’s Prime Minister.

Boyko Borisov collected 44 per cent of the vote, with Berbatov a distant second with 24 per cent, whilst amateur player Vasil Lukaev finished third.

Borisov was eligible for the award, which was voted for by the fans, as the 52-year-old occasionally plays for third division outfit Vitosha Bistritsa.

However, the Bulgarian Prime Minister acknowledged that his victory had nothing to do with his exploits on the field and more to do with matters off the pitch.

"It's a protest vote,” he said to BBC Sport. "It is a signal that Bulgarian football needs reforms and a new policy. Organisers should annul the vote."

Bulgaria finished bottom of their qualifying group for Euro 2012, managing just one victory, over Wales in Cardiff last year, during a dismal campaign.