Goran Pandev Profile
|Born||Jul 27, 1983|
|Birthplace||Strumica, North Macedonia|
As captain of his national side, Pandev helped North Macedonia qualify for Euro 2020, the nation's first ever major tournament.
Goran Pandev is a Macedonian professional soccer player who plays for Genoa in Serie A and the North Macedonian national team.
Pandev began his career in his home country with FK Belasica, playing in their youth academy before breaking through to the first team.
Pandev then moved on to Inter Milan. He was on their books from 2001 to 2004, during which he went on loan to Spezia and Ancona. He did not make a competitive appearance for Inter during this spell at the club.
From 2004 to 2009, Pandev played for Lazio. He had arguably the best spell of his career on their books, scoring 64 goals in 189 appearances.
Following his success, Inter re-signed Pandev on January 4, 2010 and he played a part in their famous treble-winning season in 2009/10. Pandev stayed with Inter Milan until 2012, although he went on loan to Napoli in 2011/12.
Pandev subsequently made his move to Napoli permanent and stayed there until 2014. He had a brief stint with Galatasaray in Turkey before signing for Genoa in 2015. He has played his club soccer there since.
Shining at Lazio
Pandev signed for Lazio in January 2004 with Serbian player Dejan Stankovic heading in the opposite direction.
His early days at Lazio are perhaps best remembered for his outstanding goal against Juventus. Pandev beat the stalwart defensive trio of Fabio Cannavaro, Lilian Thuram and Gianluca Zambrotta before firing past Gianluigi Buffon.
Pandev went on to form a deadly striking duo with Tommaso Rocchi.
In the 2004/05 season, Pandev scored four goals in 30 appearances in all competitions. In 2005/06, he netted 12 times in 38 games. He became increasingly prolific and scored 14 times in 39 appearances during the 2006/07 season.
Pandev hit his peak in terms of personal goalscoring exploits during the 2007/08 campaign, scoring 19 times in 45 appearances for Lazio in all competitions.
The 2008/09 campaign saw Pandev score 15 times in 37 appearances in all competitions. However, his fortunes took a turn for the worse after he indicated his desire to leave Lazio for new pastures in the summer of 2009.
Lazio froze Pandev out of the team and branded him a rebel. The dispute between the two parties raged on until midway through the 2009/10 season, when Lazio were ordered to release Pandev and pay him €170,000 in compensation for emotional distress.
"Pandev's appeal to the Lega Calcio's arbitration board was welcomed and they said we were in the right," said Pandev's lawyer, Mattia Grassani, as quoted by The Guardian.
"So Goran's contract has been resolved and the club have been ordered to pay €160,000 (£143,500) in punitive damages as well as the legal costs.
"There are eight pages of reasoning (in the copy of the sentence) and now I'll read it calmly."
Lazio chairman Claudio Lotito said: "I am calm. I can only say that this doesn't end here."
Second time lucky at Inter Milan
Following his legal battle, Pandev signed for Jose Mourinho's Inter Milan, the defending Italian champions, on January 4, 2010, penning a four-and-a-half-year deal.
"I want to thank Mourinho for giving me the chance to play straight away. I chose Inter because I admire Jose Mourinho, not because of the money," he told the media.
"Everyone knows what happened with Lazio, I don't want to talk about it. I am fine. I want to thank Lazio for allowing me the chances to play, but now I am here and I want to do well."
Pandev struck a close bond with his new manager and played 27 times in the 2009/10 season, scoring three goals.
Following the end of the campaign, Mourinho was replaced by Rafael Benitez, who was less popular and successful with Inter despite his previous achievements with Liverpool.
Nevertheless, Pandev and Inter went on to win the Supercoppa Italiana and the FIFA Club World Cup.
Benitez was replaced by Leonardo Nascimento de Araujo and Inter won the Coppa Italia once again. The following season, Pandev was sent on loan to Napoli.
Moving to Naples
After originally moving to Napoli on loan, Pandev ended up making the switch permanent. He won the Coppa Italia with Napoli in 2011/12 and 2013/14, but was unable to secure the coveted UEFA Champions League title.
Over the course of his three seasons there, he scored 22 goals for Napoli in 124 appearances.
Settling down at Genoa
After a short stint at Galatasaray, Pandev signed for Genoa, where he has remained a reliable presence in the team since.
Pandev has scored 32 goals in 165 appearances for Genoa over the course of six seasons with the club.
Representing North Macedonia
Pandev has played an important role in the progress of the national team, and his international achievements have made him a cult hero in North Macedonia since his breakthrough in 2001.
In 2009, Pandev was awarded the Medal for Service to the Country by the then-president Branko Crvenkovski.
On November 12, 2020, Pandev scored the winning goal in a 1-0 UEFA Euro 2020 qualifier against Georgia, which saw his country qualify for their first ever major tournament.
North Macedonia's surprise victory over Germany in the World Cup qualifiers have left the nation with hopes of qualifying for back-to-back major tournaments.
Pandev has reportedly cited his children as a major part of his motivation to remain in Genoa after retirement.
"In 2021 I will be 38, I really believe it will be the last season for me but first, I have some last dreams to fulfil," Pandev said in an interview with Secolo XIX.
"I want to enjoy the European Championship and then stop playing. Then I'll stay and live here, my children have decided. This is the club who I have played at for the longest, now I feel like I am from Genoa."
Pandev's net worth is not known, but as of 2011, Goal reported that he had wage demands of €3million per year during Napoli's negotiations to sign him from Inter Milan.
"I really like Pandev and I think [Walter] Mazzarri also likes him, but a move depends on Inter," De Laurentiis told Radio Marte.
"They will have to pay us half of his wages."
Goran Pandev News
- Jun 09, 2021