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By ESPN Staff

Zbigniew Boniek to receive Golden Foot career award

You will receive a Golden Foot career award next October 12. How do you feel? You will then be among the greatest of all times. I'm very happy about it and flattered to be awarded for my career as a representative of my country. During the 80s I tried to give my best playing for Juventus FC, AS Roma and my national team. I won a lot of trophies, but in football you cannot win without your team-mates. In 2004, Golden Foot career award was given to your friend Platini.

I've arrived five years later, I accept it (laughs). Do you think Platini was the best player you have seen?

I think the greatest I met at that time was Maradona. Platini is one of the greatest of our time. He was an absolute champion, like Cruijff before him. But Michel was not just a great player. During his career he won a lot, also because I helped him with other amazing players.

Who would you vote between the 2009 Golden Foot candidates?

I would choose one between Buffon, Raul and Totti. For different reasons. Buffon has every kind of quality. He's playing for a great club, he's keeping a high level and is such an amazing keeper. Raul and Totti are similar because they are both symbols of their teams and because they're both very talented. But I'm not sure Raul would have won as much as he won playing for another team and not Real Madrid. And I think if Totti would have left AS Roma to play in one of the great clubs that wanted him five or six year ago, he would have won much more than he did.

Do you think in Eastern Europe or Poland there are players that in a few years could win Golden Foot?

I hope that one day a player coming from my country or Eastern Europe could win it, and luckily communist Eastern Europe doesn't exist anymore. It would be nice. But, at the same time, I hope also some of my Polish or Bulgarian colleagues could win a career award as I am now.

Which was the best moment in your career? And the worst?

My best years were between the 1978 World Cup in Argentina and 1988, years full of success. In 1982 we reached third spot with Poland at the World Cup in Spain, when in the competition there were just 24 teams and it was harder to win. But I've also been successful with KS Widzew Lodz, we also defeat Manchester United and Juventus in European Cup. Then I must mention the years I spent with Juventus, when we won three internationals cups and I scored three of the five goals we scored during the finals we played. Obviously, I've also lost some important matches. The most important is European Cup final against Hamburg SV in 1983.

Which is your best goal, the one that makes you proud?

I remember many, during the finals with Juventus FC but also with my national team. It's difficult to pick one, but if I have to choose I'll go for the two I scored against Liverpool FC in European Super Cup.

Football's elite will gather at the 2009 Golden Foot awards ceremony on October 12 in Monte Carlo to celebrate the careers of some of the sport's greatest long-standing heroes.


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