Iraq's Younes Mahmoud Khalef Wins Giacinto Facchetti Award
Younes Mahmoud Khalef has won the 2007 "Giacinto Facchetti" award for inspirational footballing figures.
Iraq's Younes Mahmoud Khalef has won the second annual Giacinto Facchetti award.
The 10,000 euro prize, awarded each year to an inspirational figure "who embodies the spirit of football", was created in the honour of the eponymous former Inter player and president, who died last year after a battle with cancer.
2006's winner, former Vicenza hitman Julio Gonzalez, was given the accolade after refusing to give up professional football after suffering from the loss of an arm.
Now, with Khalef having led his team to victory in 2007's Asian Cup final against Saudi Arabia, the panel of four judges have deemed him the ideal winner.
Candido Cannavò, Gianfelice Facchetti, Gianni Petrucci and Carlo Verdelli decided that the Iraqi striker's services to the game, made in spite of the state of his country, merited the award.
The Gazzetta dello Sport and Facchetti's widow, Giovanna, arranged a gala event in Italy at which the player accepted his prize.
He remarked, "It is an important day for me.
"This prize is a huge thing for me which I will always remember."
Mahmoud, 24, plays his club football for Qatari side Al-Gharafa.