UEFA launches new award for players reaching 100 national team appearances
UEFA has today launched a new award to commemorate players from UEFA’s 53 member associations who have made 100 or more appearances for their national team. The proposal was approved at the UEFA Executive Committee at its last meeting in Nyon in June.
The award will consist of a commemorative cap and medal to be presented to the players who have reached this milestone. The first official presentations will take place in September and October in conjunction with the national team’s home fixtures in either the UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying competition or on the occasion of a friendly match. As a rule, the award will be presented by the president of the national football association concerned.
Michel Platini welcomes the introduction of the new award. “I think it is a fantastic idea,” he said today. “Any player who has played 100 or more times for his or her country definitely deserves recognition by the football fraternity. Presenting the player with a cap and medal at forthcoming national team matches will highlight their achievement, while helping to re-focus public attention on the importance of national team football.”
The first awards to be presented at the next round of international matches include for example Austria – Turkey (Andreas Herzog), Croatia – Israel (Dario Šimić), Finland – Netherlands (Jari Litmanen, Sami Hyypiä, Jonatan Johansson, Ari Hjelm), Hungary – Sweden (József Bozsik), Northern Ireland – Serbia (Pat Jennings) and Romania – France (Dorinel Munteanu, Gheorghe Hagi, Gheorghe Popescu, Ladislau Bölöni). There are currently 109 European players who have already represented their country 100 or more times at international level, and the full list of names can be found on UEFA.com. With a number of players close to reach the 100-caps mark, further presentations will follow at the future national team matches across Europe.