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Premier League cult hero looks unrecognisable hosting Uefa Nations League draw as fans hail ‘blast from the past’

FANS were in for a surprise when they saw an unlikely Premier League cult hero appear on stage at the Nations League draw.

But some fans would have been forgiven for not recognising the winger initially as he was looking quite different from his playing days in the ’90s.

Pahars pulled names out of the hat during the Nations League draw

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Pahars pulled names out of the hat during the Nations League drawCredit: Getty
Pahars is a Saints cult legend

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Pahars is a Saints cult legendCredit: PA:Press Association

The player in question was none other than Latvian winger Marian Pahars.

Pahars played for Southamptonbetween 1999 and 2006 – becoming a cult hero for Saints fans.

The diminuitive winger had a baby face during his time on the south coast, but now spots a greying quiff and salt and pepper beard.

At the peak of his powers, Pahars, was even known as the Latvian Michael Owen.

Pahars hit 45 goals in 155 games for the Saints, playing in both he Premier League and the Championship for the south coast club.

Fans delighted in seeing Pahars at the Nations League ceremony on X (formerly known as Twitter).

One wrote: “Marian Pahars at the Nations League draw! Blast from the past.”

Another added: “Marian Pahars… that’s a blast from the Premiership past.”

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A third wrote: “#SaintsFC legend Marian Pahars part of the UEFA Nations League draw ceremony.” Alongside a prayer hands emoji.

After leaving the Saints in 2006, Pahars signed for Cypriot side Anorthosis Famagusta.

I was crushed after losing 6-1 at Liverpool… then I woke up drunk off my head on a hotel floor and signed for them

He then returned to Latvian side Skonto, the club where he began his career, before retiring at Riga side Jurmala – who are now extinct.

Pahars would go on to have a management career – managing Latvia for four years between 2013 and 2017.

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