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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 May, 2004, 14:19 GMT 15:19 UK
Marian Pahars
FACTFILE
Marian Pahars
Born: 05/08/76
Club: Southampton
Position: Striker
Debut: 12/03/96 v Cyprus
Marian Pahars has made his name in the Premiership with Southampton and will be a key player at his country's first major international tournament.

Missing for much of the Euro 2004 qualifying campaign Pahars returned for Latvia's play-off victory over Turkey.

Dubbed the 'Latvian Michael Owen', Pahars is small and skilful and can play out wide as well as up front.

He remains high-profile and was named Latvian player of the year three times in a row until 2001.

His 800,000 move to Southampton was help up twice by failed work permit applications before it went through in time for Pahars to score twice on the last day of the 1998/99 season to preserve Saints' Premiership status.

Pahars has become a real fans' favourite in his five years on the south coast, despite sitting out almost all of the last two seasons to injury.


Did you know? Growing up in the former Soviet Union, Pahars was a Spartak Moscow fan as a youngster.




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