Bulgaria National Team

The golden era of Bulgarian football was available in two eras. The first one was during the 1960s that they could qualify in 3 consecutive World cup tournaments. Despite there were many great players in that team like Asparuhov, Yakimov, Bonev, Kolev and Penev but they could not go farther than the first round. The time had passed for two decades until their glory years were appeared once again after Emil Kostadinov shocked French football’s fan with shooting winning goal in the very late game in the WC 1994 qualification round. Moreover, Stoichkov, Balakov and Letchkov all were the most important players to lead Bulgaria winning fourth place in the final tournament. Most legends are from CSKA Sofia in which is the greatest club in history of Bulgarian league.


Bulgaria



Location     :  Southeastern Europe
European Championship Participation : 2 Times (1996, 2004)
World Cup Participation :  7 Times (1962, 1966, 1970, 1974, 1986, 1994, 1998)
Achievement  :  None
Most Caps  : Stilian Petrov  (105 Games)    
Top Scorer :  Dimitar Berbatov (48 Goals)
The Greatest Player Ever :  Hristo Stoichkov



___________________________________________________

All-Time Bulgarian Squad



1. Georgi Naydenov

Date Of Birth  :  21 December 1931
Height  :  179 cm, Position :  Goalkeeper
Major Club  : Spartak Sofia, CSKA Sofia
Caps :  51 Games
World Cup Participation : 1962, 1966 (5 Games)
Club Honours  : 8 Times Bulgarian League
3 Times Bulgarian Cup
International Honours  : None
Individual Achievement : 
2 Times Bulgarian Footballers of The Year (1959, 1961)
Class : Prince Silver


2. Aleksander Shalamanov

Date Of Birth  :  4 September 1941
Height : 178 cm, Position :  Right-Back
Major Club  : CSKA Sofia
Caps  :  42 Games
World Cup Participation  : 1966, 1970 (5 Games)
Club Honours :  3 Times Bulgarian Cup
International Honours  : None
Individual Achievement  :   
2 Times Bulgarian Footballers of The Year (1963, 1966)
Class : Prince Silver



3. Boris Gaganelov

Date Of Birth  :  7 October 1941
Position  :  Center-Back/ Left-Back
Height :  178 cm
Major Club  : CSKA Sofia
Caps :  51 Games
World Cup Participation : 1966, 1970 (4 Games)
Club Honours : 6 Times Bulgarian League
International Honours  :  None
Individual Achievement :  None
Class : Prince Bronze


4. Manol Manolov

Date Of Birth  :  4 August 1925
Position  :  Center-Back
Height  :  Unknown
Major Club  :  CSKA Sofia
Caps  :  57 Games
World Cup Participation  :  None
Club Honours  : 12 Times Bulgarian League
5 Times Bulgarian Cup
International Honours    :   None
Individual Achievement  :   1958 Bulgarian Footballer of the Year
Class : Prince Silver



5. Dimitar Penev

Date Of Birth  :  12 July 1945
Position : Center-Back
Height  : 176 cm
Major Club  :  CSKA Sofia
Caps  :  90 Games
World Cup Participation : 1966, 1970 , 1974 (9 Games)
Club Honours : 7 Times Bulgarian League
International Honours  :   None
Individual Achievement  :  
2 Times Bulgarian Footballers of The Year (1967, 1971)
Class : Prince Silver

6. Stefan Bozhkov

Date Of Birth  :  20 September 1923
Position  :  Defensive Holding Midfielder
Height  :  Unknown
Major Club :  CSKA Sofia
Caps  :  53 Games
World Cup Participation  :  None
Club Honours  : 10 Times Bulgarian League
3 Times Bulgarian Cup
International Honours  :  1956 Olympic Games Bronze Medal
Individual Achievement :  1955 Bulgarian Footballer of the Year
Class : Prince Gold


7. Hristo Bonev

Date Of Birth  :  3 February 1947
Height  : 179 cm, Position : Attacking Midfielder
Major Club  :  Lokomotiv Plovdiv
Caps  : 96 Games (47 Goals)
World Cup Participation  : 1970, 1974 (6 Games With 2 Goals)
Professional Scores Record : 185 Goals/ 410 Games
Club Honours, International Honours : None
Individual Achievement :  
3 Times Bulgarian Footballers of The Year (1969,1972,1973)
Class : Queen Bronze



8. Dimitar Yakimov

Date Of Birth  : 12 august 1941
Position :  Playmaking-Attacking Midfielder
Height  : 176 cm, Caps  :  67 Games
Major Club  :  CSKA Sofia
World Cup Participation : 1962,1966,1970 (6 Games)
Club Honours  : 7 Times Bulgarian League
International Honours :  None
Individual Achievement : 
1 Time Bulgarian League Top Scorer
CSKA Sofia Greatest Player Ever
Class : Prince Gold

9. Georgi Asparuhov

Date Of Birth  : 4 May 1943
Height  : 184 cm, Position : Forward
Major Club  :  Levski Sofia, Caps  : 50 Games (19 Goals)
World Cup Participation : 1962,1966,1970 (8 Games/1 Goal)
Professional Score Record : 150 Goals/ 247 Games
Club Honours : 3 Times Bulgarian League, 4 Times Bulgarian Cup
International Honours :  None
Individual Achievement  :  1 Time Bulgarian League Top Scorer
1963 Cup Winners Cup Top Scorer
1965 Bulgarian Footballer/Sportsman of The Year
Levski Sofia Greatest Player Ever
IFFHS Bulgaria Greatest Player Ever
Class : Prince Gold

10. Krassimir Balakov

Date Of Birth  :  29 March 1966
Position  : Playmaking-Attacking Midfielder
Height  : 176 cm, Caps : 92 Games (16 Goals)
Major Club :  VFB Stuttgart
World Cup Participation : 1994, 1998 (10 Games)
Club Honours : 1 Time DFB-Pokal
1 Time Portuguese Cup
International Honours    :   None
Individual Achievement  :  
2 Times Bulgarian Footballer of The Year (1995, 1997)
1994 FIFA World Cup All-Star Team
Class : Prince Gold

11. Hristo Stoichkov

Date Of Birth : 8 February 1966, Height : 178 cm
Nation : Bulgaria, Caps : 83 Games (37 Goals)
Position : Left-Side Forward, Major Club : CSKA Sofia, Barcelona
World Cup Participation : 1994, 1998 (10 Games / 6 Goals)
Professional Score Record : 269 Goals/ 550 Games
Club Honours : 3 Times Bulgarian League, 4 Times Bulgaria Cup
4 Times Spanish La Liga, 1 Time Copa Del Rey
1992 European Cup, 1994 Runner-Up, 1997 Cup Winners' Cup
International Honours  :  None
Individual Achievement : 2 Times Bulgarian League Top Scorer
4 Times Bulgarian Footballer of The Year
2 Times European Top Scorer (1990, 1994)
1994 IFFHS International Top Scorer
1990 World League Top Scorer, 1994 La Liga Best Foreign Player
2 Times Silver Ball FIFA World Player of The Year (1992, 1994), 1994 Ballon'Dor, 1992 Silver Ball, 1989 Cup Winners Cup Top Scorer
1996 UEFA Euro Best XI, 1994 FIFA World Cup Golden Shoe - Bronze Ball 
Bulgarian League All-Time Highest Scorer in a Single Season
UEFA Jubilee Award (Bulgaria)
Class : Queen Silver
___________________________________________________


Substitution


12. Apostol Sokolov

Date Of Birth  :  23 October 1917
Position  :  Goalkeeper
Height  :  Unknown
Major Club  :  Levski Sofia
Caps  :  57 Games
World Cup Participation  : None 
Club Honours  :  4 Times Bulgarian League
4 times Bulgarian Cup
International Honours  :   None
Individual Achievement  :   None
Class : Prince Silver
13. Kiril Rakarov

Date Of Birth  :  21 June 1946
Position  :  Right-Back
Height  : 178 cm
Major Club  :  CSKA Sofia
Caps  :  57 Games
World Cup Participation  : 1962  (2 Games)
Club Honours  : 10 Times Bulgarian League
3 Time Bulgarian Cup
International Honours    :   None
Individual Achievement  :   None
Class : Prince Bronze


14. Trifon Ivanov

Date Of Birth  :  27 July 1965
Position  :  Center-Back/Left-Back
Height : 181 cm, Caps : 76 Games
Major Club  :  CSKA Sofia
World Cup Participation  : 1994 (7 Games)
Club Honours : 2 Times Bulgarian League
1 Time Austrian League, 1 Time Bulgarian Cup
International Honours  :  None
Individual Achievement : 1996 Bulgarian Footballers of The Year
Class : Prince Bronze



15. Georgi Dimitrov

Date Of Birth  :  14 January 1959
Position :  Center-Back
Height  :  187 cm
Major Club  :  CSKA Sofia
Caps  :  77 Games
World Cup Participation :  1986 (4 Games)
Club Honours  :  5 Times Bulgarian League
6 Times Bulgarain Cup
International Honours  :  None
Individual Achievement :  
1985 Bulgarain footballer of the Year
Class : Prince Silver

16. Dobromir Zhechev

Date Of Birth  : 12 November 1942
Position  : Destroyer
Height  :  182 cm
Major Club  : Levski Sofia
Caps  :  73 Games
World Cup Participation : 1962,1966,1970,1974 (4 Games)
Club Honours  :  2 Times Bulgarian League
4 Times Bulgarian Cup
International Honours  :  None
Individual Achievement :  None
Class : Prince Bronze


17. Yordan Letchkov

Date Of Birth :  9 July 1967
Position :  Box-To-Box Midfielder
Height  : 180 cm
Major Club  :  Hamburg
Caps  :  45 Games
World Cup Participation  : 1994 (7 Games)
Club Honours  : 1 Time Bulgarian League
1 Time Turkish Cup
International Honours    :   None
Individual Achievement  :   None
Class : Prince Silver

18. Emil Kostadinov

Date Of Birth  :  12 August 1967
Height  : 177 cm, Position :  Right-Wing-Forward
Major Club  :  CSKA Sofia, FC Porto
Caps  :  70 Games (26 Goals)
World Cup Participation : 1994, 1998 (10 Games)
Club Honours  :  1996 UEFA Cup
1 Time Portuguese League, 1 Time Portuguese Cup
3 Times Bulgarian League, 3 Times Bulgarian Cup
International Honours  :  None
Individual Achievement : 1993 Bulgarian Footballers of The Year
Class :  Prince Bronze


19. Ivan Kolev

Date Of Birth  :  1 November 1930
Position :  Left-Wing-Forward
Height :  169 cm
Major Club : CSKA Sofia
Caps  : 75 Games (25 Goals)
World Cup Participation  : 1962, 1966 (5 Games and No Goal)
Club Honours  : 6 Times Bulgarian League
International Honours :  None
Individual Achievement : 
2 Times Bulgarian Footballers of The Year (1956, 1962)
Class : Prince Silver


20. Nikola Kotkov

Date Of Birth  : 9 December 1938
Height :  174 cm, Position  : Forward
Major Club  :  Lokomotive Sofia
Caps :  26 Games (12 Goals)
Professional Scores Record : 273 Goals/ 332 Games
World Cup Participation  : 1966 (1 Games/No Goal)
Club Honours : 2 Times Bulgarian League
2 Times Bulgarian Cup
International Honours :  None
Individual Achievement :  1964 Bulgarian Footballer of the Year
Deserved Master of Sports
Class : Prince Silver

21. Dimitar Berbatov

Date Of Birth :  30 January 1981
Position  :  Target Striker, Height : 188 cm
Major Club  : Leverkusen, Tottenham, Manchester Utd
Caps  : 77 Games (48 Games)
World Cup Participation  :  None
Professional Scores Record  : 252 Goals/ 550 Games
Club Honours : 7 Times Bulgarian League
International Honours  :  1 Time English Premier League
1 Time Bulgarian Cup, 1 Time English League Cup
2008 FIFA Club World Cup, 2009 Champion League Runner-Up
Individual Achievement : Bulgaria All-Time Top Scorer
6 Times Bulgarian Footballers of The Year
2001 UEFA Cup Top Scorer, 2009 Bulgarian Sport Personality of The Year
                                                    Class : Prince Silver

22. Petar Zhekov

Date Of Birth : 10 October 1944
Height  : 178 cm, Position  :  Target Striker
Major Club :  CSKA Sofia
Caps  :  44 Games (25 Goals)
World Cup Participation : 1966, 1970 (4 Games and No Goal)
Club Honours  :  3 Times Bulgarian Cup
Professional Scores Record : 253 Goals/ 353 Games
International Honours  : 5 Times Bulgarian League
Individual Achievement : CSKA Sofia All-Time Top Scorer
Bulgarian League All-Time Most Top Scorers (6 Times)
1969 European Golden Shoe, World League Top Scorer
Bulgarian League All-Time Top Scorer
Class : Prince Silver


Manager 


Dimitar Penev

Year Of Birth :  12 July 1945
Major Team :  Bulgaria
Major Achievement : 3 Times Bulgarian League
4 Times Bulgarian Cup 
1994 FIFA World Cup Fourth Place
Individual Achievement : None
Class  :  Prince Silver








Conclusion of Squad

GK : Georgi Naydenov, Apostol Sokolov
DF : Aleksander Shalamanov, Dimitar Penev, Georgi Dimitrov, Manol Manolov, Trifon Ivanov, Kiril Ivkov, Boris Gaganelov
MF : Stefan Bozhkov, Dobomir Zhechev, Jordan Letchkov, Krasimir Balakov, Dimitar Yakimov, Hristo Bonev
FW : Georgi Asparuhov, Ivan Kolev, Emil Kostadinov, Nikola Kotkov, Hristo Stoichkov (Captain), Petar Zhekov, Dimitar Berbatov
Player-Manager : Dimitar Penev



Formation XI (4-3-2-1)



Explanation of Squad


Georgi Naydenov is stand as first choice. Dimitar Penev was one of the best defenders to come from Eastern Europe in his era. Manolov was known for his very reliability. Shalamanov is one of the best right-backs ever in history of Balkan Peninsula football. Gaganelov has no candidate as a left-back. Bozhkov is the only world-class defensive midfielder in history of Bulgarian football. Yakimov is on the left-midfielder and Bonev is on the right-midfielder. Balakov perform in playmaker role. This couple occasionally switches to perform as side-midfielder.  Asparuhov will be on the right-side forward while the captain Stoichkov will be on the left. 


Stadium

Vasil Levski



Opened : 1953 (Newest Renovated In 2002)
City :  Sofia
Capacity : 43,632 Seats
Field Dimension : 105x68m



Statistics

By Decade
By Class
By Club
1930s : -
1940s : 1
1950s : 4
1960s : 6
1970s : 2
1980s : 2
1990s : 5
2000s : 2

Queen : 2
Prince : 20
CSKA Sofia : 16
Levski Sofia : 2
Other  : 4

___________________________________________________

Honorable Mention


Todor Diev

Date Of Birth  : 28 January 1934
Height :  182 cm, Position  : Side-Forward
Major Club  :  Spartak Plovdiv
Caps :  55 Games (16 Goals)
Professional Scores Record : 146 Goals/ 308 Games
World Cup Participation  : 1962
Club Honours : 1 Time Bulgarian League
4 Times Bulgarian Cup
International Honours :  None
Individual Achievement :  3 Times Bulgarian League Top Scorer
Class : Prince Bronze

Nasko Sirakov

Date Of Birth  : 26 April 1962
Height :  182 cm, Position  : Forward
Major Club  :  Levski Sofia
Caps :  82 Games (37 Goals)
Professional Scores Record : 217 Goals/ 406 Games
World Cup Participation  : 1986, 1994 (11 Games/2 Goals)
Club Honours : 4 Times Bulgarian League
4 Times Bulgarian Cup
International Honours :  None
Individual Achievement :  4 Times Bulgarian League Top Scorer
Levski Sofia All-Time Top Scorer
Class : Prince Bronze




Reserved Group

Goalkeeper

Borislav Mikhailov

Defender

Kiril Ivkov

Midfielder

Stiliyan Petrov
Andrey Zelyazkov
Nikola Mutafchiev
Georgi Sokolov

Forward

Martin Petrov
Nikola Kotkov
___________________________________________________

The Greatest Bulgarian Footballers of All-Time
1. Hristo Stoichkov
2. Hristo Bonev
3. Georgi Asparuhov
4. Stefan Bozhkov
5. Dimitar Yakimov
6. Krassimir Balakov
7. Dimitar Berbatov
8. Ivan Kolev
9. Nikola Kotkov
10. Dimitar Penev 

9 comments:

  1. Hello friend my site is finally in the air check out my version of Bulgaria
    http://alexandrefiorelli.wix.com/mestresdofutebol#!sobre-1/cnjx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is a great work Congratulation ! May I ask what country are you from ?

      Delete
  2. Thanks buddy, you can ask yes, I'm from Brazil

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous3/5/15

    You missed Lyuboslav Penev!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In only club career, I think he has a strong profile but I'd not go on more deeper details when his NT career is too lower than standard. As a forward, 13 goals in 62 games is really out of expectation.

      Delete
  4. Anonymous11/12/15

    Bulgarian footballer of XX century.
    400 footbaall specialists and journalists voted best bulgarian players 1900-1999. Results were published and awards were presented on 25/03/1999.
    1.G.Asparukhov - 3398 pts
    2.H.Stoitchkov - 3325
    3.H.Bonev - 1664
    4.D.Yakimov - 1578
    5.K.Balakov - 1408
    6.N.Kotkov - 818
    7.I.Kolev - 764
    8.D.Penev - 730
    9.E.Kostadinov - 643
    10.N.Sirakov - 575

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for such a great info. I imply Asparuhov is as talented as Stoichkov. Anyway, his career is short and won Bulgarian player of the year just once while Bonev won three although standard of candidates are not totally equal but not different by much. I would reconsider N. Kotkov again as his high place in this list indicates some important regard.

      Delete
  5. Anonymous25/2/16

    Adds for profile.

    Stefan Bozhkov - Bulgarian Footballer of The Year (1955), Ivan Kolev - Bulgarian Footballer of The Year (1956, 1962), Georgi Naydenov - Bulgarian Footballer of The Year (1959, 1961).

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous7/10/16

    Stiliyan Petrov holds the new record of caps (105)

    ReplyDelete