Sofia: Retired Bulgarian football legend Hristo Stoichkov was made a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Champion for Sport.

“Daga,” as he known in Bulgaria, received the honour from countrywoman Irina Bokova, Unesco’s secretary-general, at a ceremony here on Wednesday, reports Efe.

Stoichkov joins a company of Champions for Sport that includes legendary Brazilian footballer Pele, Ukrainian boxing champions Vitaliy and Vladimir Klitschko and German Formula 1 icon Michael Schumacher.

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Playing for his country, Stoichkov was the top scorer at the 1994 World Cup. In the club game, he won the World Footballer of the Year award in 1994 as part of a FC Barcelona squad who took four straight La Liga titles and a Champions League crown.

Bokova praised Stoichkov for his efforts to promote sport and advance the values of Unesco.

“In Unesco, we are convinced that precisely thought sport, and especially soccer, solidarity, mutual respect, equality, dignity and tolerance are the constructive bases against racism and all forms of discrimination,” she said.

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