Bulgaria's prime minister may occasionally take to the field for a third-division side Vitosha Bistritsa, but even he admitted Monday being nominated the country's best footballer might be a step too far.
Boiko Borisov, 52, is on track to be crowned best player in a poll of supporters with 44 percent of the vote, well ahead of Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov on 24 percent, according to preliminary figures.
But former bodyguard Borisov said that the result was a protest vote aimed at highlighing the mediocrity of Bulgarian football and the lack of money in the local game.
"This vote does not shows Borisov is the best footballer but that Bulgarian football needs reforming and to be run differently," Borisov said in a letter to the survey's organisers.
"Football, and sport in Bulgaria in general, face serious challenges, not least a lack of financing."