Collecchio, March 13 2022 – An hour full of smiles and laughs. The online “Meet & Greet by Cetilar”, was a success. For the youngsters, for Parma fans (but not exclusively). The location: the press room of the Collecchio sports centre for Goran and the homes or offices for the many supporters around the world who tuned in. The main man is someone who has done it all in the game: Goran Pandev.

Forward, smiling and kind; this was the first time the Macedonian striker has been interviewed by the Crociati fans who won the opportunity which they weren’t going to miss, to have a chat directly with the man himself. As Stefano points out, as he touches the Parma shirt and the yellow-blue colours printed on the chest: “As a fan I’m delighted to have another champion like you at the club, even if I can’t always be at the Tardini to watch you live”.

The first guests however were the most pleasing for Goran: a group of children from the Gialloblù Youth Sector who, took it in turns to ask him a whole host of questions. Without filters. And Goran, who appeared amused, began his replies with the question of the strongest goalkeeper he has ever come across in his career. “Guys, the strongest goalkeeper in the world is playing with me at the moment and that’s Gigi Buffon“. From one champion to another: who is your oldest idol? “At your age my favourite player was Dejan Savicevic. He was a champion and I really liked how he played. He played for a team that will always be in my heart: Red Star Belgrade”. Their follow up question: are you better than him? “No no, but I’m happy with my career so far”, as he smiled.

They asked him every possible question: from the day of his debut to the difficulty of saying goodbye to the Macedonian national team. They asked him who will win in Italy v Macedonia (“I hope Macedonia, but it’s a one-off game and anything can happen. I am Macedonian after all”), what it felt like when he won the treble and also on how he gives back to the children of his country (“I have a football school for children. Macedonia is a small and poor country, so I hope to be able to help them using football and one day I would like one of them to play abroad”). Although the most popular question of all was: what is the best goal you’ve ever scored in your career? But Pandev, like all great strikers, doesn’t know, so replies: “I have scored so many, it’s difficult to choose just one”.

The children, as well as the supporters Diletta and Marina, who were immediately next, want to know everything about his new chapter with the Crociati. Goran says: “I have settled in very well. This is a great family, and I feel right at home. Parma is a big place; both the team and the coach and the whole community welcomed me fantastically and I’m happy to be here.” Stefano asked him if there is anyone in the squad who has impressed him: “Yes, many. At Parma there are several very talented young players. I’ll mention a couple, but I don’t want to upset anyone: Benedyczak is very good, but also Bonny, who was born in 2003. If you watch him in training, he does some really impressive things”. He joked with a Parma supporter: “Since you are sitting behind the coach’s bench, tell him to bring me on”. Laughs. “I’m kidding, of course, the important thing is that we win, not whether I play or not.” Then, the topic turned serious again: “I moved mid-season because there was a real desire to bring me to the club which played an important part, and it’s the right choice for me. The injury was unlucky, it really didn’t help and I was gutted to miss so many games, in such a short period.”

There is also a fellow Macedonian, a fan who addressed him in English and many fans who asked him about his past. Despite Goran currently representing the Crociati, he remains in the hearts of the supporters who were lucky enough to watch him play and score for their own team. Simone, in fact, asked why it didn’t work out for him in Genoa: “I didn’t play a lot, and as soon as I arrived there I had a specific role. I felt better but the injury returned, so then I wasn’t really needed “.

All clad in yellow and blue, Thomas and his father Luigi got some more smiles out of the Crusader striker. They played with the filters of the online platform, with young Thomas choosing the virtual sunglasses. Goran laughed. Then the father Luigi asked him: “We, as fans, want you to stay. What will you do next year?” Goran responded promptly. He returned to the pitch after his injury and this was the best gesture he could have given to all our fans.

In the next “M&G by Cetilar” in April, there will be another special guest from the Crociati, the champion: Gianluigi Buffon.

SIGN UP NOW: the draw will take place on Thursday 31 March 2022! In April you could be in with a fantastic chance of meeting the Crociati goalkeeper.