Open main menu

Bozhidar Kraev (Bulgarian: Божидар Краев; born 23 June 1997 in Vratsa) is a Bulgarian footballer who currently plays as a winger for Danish Superliga club Midtjylland and the Bulgarian national team.

Bozhidar Kraev
Personal information
Full name Bozhidar Boykov Kraev
Date of birth (1997-06-23) 23 June 1997 (age 22)
Place of birth Vratsa, Bulgaria
Height 183 cm (6 ft 0 in)
Playing position Winger / Second striker
Club information
Current team
Midtjylland
Number 15
Youth career
2003–2008 Botev Vratsa
2008–2010 Vilafranca
2010–2012 Chavdar Etropole
2012–2013 Botev Vratsa
2013–2014 Levski Sofia
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2014–2017 Levski Sofia 83 (22)
2017– Midtjylland 28 (1)
National team
2012 Bulgaria U17 3 (0)
2014–2016 Bulgaria U19 9 (1)
2016– Bulgaria U21 7 (1)
2017– Bulgaria 9 (2)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 6 September 2018
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 16 November 2018

Contents

CareerEdit

Early careerEdit

Born in Vratsa, at the age of six Kraev began playing football at the local club Botev Vratsa, for whom his father Boyko Kraev had also played. In 2008, he joined Hristo Stoichkov's academy in Vilafranca, Spain, as a part of a Gillette programme for young talented players, which was initiated by Stoichkov.[1] Two years later, Kraev returned to his home country to join Chavdar Etropole. Then he spent one year with his first club Botev Vratsa.

Levski SofiaEdit

In January 2013, at the age of 15, Kraev joined Levski Sofia's academy.[2] He made his first team debut in a 1–1 league draw against Lokomotiv Plovdiv on 19 July 2014, coming on as a second-half substitute.[3] On 23 September, he marked his first start by scoring a hat-trick in a 7–1 away win over Spartak Varna in the Bulgarian Cup. On 14 October, Kraev was named by The Guardian as one of the forty most promising young players in the world.[4]

On 12 December 2014, Kraev signed his first professional contract, on a three-year deal.[5] Two days later, he was invited for a trial at Juventus.[6] In January 2015, Kraev also spent a week on trial at English club Manchester City.[7]

Kraev scored his first league goal for Levski in an 8–0 home win over Haskovo on 27 February 2015. On 26 May 2015, he scored his first A Group hattrick in a 6–0 win against Marek Dupnitsa. Kraev's hattrick was the 100th in Levski's history in the Bulgarian league.[8]

On 9 April 2017, Kraev scored four goals in a 5–0 win over Lokomotiv Plovdiv, thereby becoming the youngest player in Levski history to score four goals in one game.[9]

MidtjyllandEdit

On 19 June 2017, Kraev signed with Danish Superliga side Midtjylland on a five-year deal for a reported fee of €500,000.[10] He made his debut for the team in a Europa League match against Derry City coming on as a substitute in the 73rd minute and scoring a goal 10 minutes later.[11] On 12 April 2018, Kraev scored twice in a 2-1 win against Hobro IK and qualified his team for the cup's semifinals after coming on as a substitute in the 77th minute and scoring both goals in the game's added time.[12][13] Three days later, he scored his first league goal in a 2-1 win against FC Nordsjælland.[14]

International careerEdit

In March 2016 Kraev was in the starting lineup of Bulgaria U19 for the 0-1 defeats from Belgium U19 and Croatia U19.[15][16] On 13 May 2016 he was included in the Bulgaria U21 squad for the 2016 Toulon Tournament.[17]

In November 2016 Kraev received his first call-up to the senior Bulgaria squad for a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying match against Belarus.[18] He remained on the bench for the game.[19] On 25 March 2017, Kraev made his complete debut for the team coming on as a substitute during the 2–0 home win over Netherlands for the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification.[20] On 6 September 2018, he scored 2 goals against Slovenia in the UEFA Nations' League, helping his country to 3 points.[21]

StatisticsEdit

Club StatisticsEdit

As of 25 May 2019

Club performance League Cup Continental Other Total
Club League Season Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Bulgaria League Bulgarian Cup Europe Other[a] Total
Levski Sofia A Group 2014–15 19 6 8 3 27 9
2015–16 27 4 2 2 29 6
First League 2016–17 35 11 1 0 0 0 36 11
Total 83 22 11 5 0 0 0 0 94 27
Denmark League DBU Pokalen Europe Other Total
Midtjylland Superliga 2017–18 17 1 2 3 3 1 22 5
2018–19 12 0 1 0 1 0 14 0
Total 29 1 3 3 4 1 0 0 36 5
Career statistics 112 23 14 8 4 1 0 0 130 32
  1. ^ Includes Bulgarian Supercup matches.

International goalsEdit

Score and result list Bulgaria's goal tally first.

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1.
6 September 2018 Stožice Stadium, Ljubljana, Slovenia   Slovenia
1–0
2–1
2018–19 UEFA Nations League
2.
2–1
Last updated 7 September 2018[22]

HonoursEdit

ClubEdit

FC Midtjylland

IndividualEdit

Best progressing young player in Bulgarian football - 2014, 2015[23]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Чичарито от Враца" (in Bulgarian). webcafe.bg. 13 July 2011.
  2. ^ "Левски привлече и по-големият брат Краев" (in Bulgarian). viasport.bg. 8 February 2013.
  3. ^ "Левски - Локомотив (Пловдив) 1–1" (in Bulgarian). sportal.bg. 19 July 2014.
  4. ^ "Next Generation 2014: 40 of the best young talents in world football". The Guardian. 14 October 2014.
  5. ^ "Левски върза Краев с нов договор" (in Bulgarian). topsport.bg. 12 December 2014.
  6. ^ "Краев замина на проби в Ювентус" (in Bulgarian). gong.bg. 15 December 2014.
  7. ^ "Levski Sofia's Bozhidar Kraev arrives for Manchester City trial". theguardian.com. 4 January 2015.
  8. ^ "Краев с хеттрик № 100 в историята на Левски". sportal.bg. 26 May 2015.
  9. ^ "Краев влезе в историята на Левски, остави и Гунди зад себе си" (in Bulgarian). blitz.bg. 11 April 2017.
  10. ^ "Bulgarsk stortalent til FC Midtjylland" (in Danish). fcm.dk. 19 June 2017.
  11. ^ Божидар Краев с дебютен гол за Мидтиланд
  12. ^ Отличен Краев класира отбора си на ½ финала в Дания
  13. ^ Indskiftede Bozhidar Kraev blev dobbelt målscorer og matchvinder, da ulvene besejrede Hobro 2-1 i pokalkvartfinalen
  14. ^ Краев отново герой, надпреварата за титлата ще е до последно
  15. ^ Юношите на България аут от Евро 2016
  16. ^ Юношите започнаха с минимална загуба от Хърватия
  17. ^ Съставът на България U21 за международния турнир "Тулон"
  18. ^ "Petar Hubchev named an expanded group for Belarus". bfunion.bg. 4 November 2016. Retrieved 7 November 2016.
  19. ^ "Bulgaria NT vs. Belarus NT 1:0". flashscore.com. 13 November 2016. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
  20. ^ Браво, "лъвове"! България с голям успех над Холандия
  21. ^ БожиДар изстреля "лъвовете" в Словения
  22. ^ "Kraev, Bozhidar". National Football Teams. Retrieved 7 September 2018.
  23. ^ Dimitrov, Ivaylo (17 February 2015). "Владислав Стоянов е най-добрият български футболист за 2014 година! Лудогорци обраха почти всички индивидуални награди". topsport.bg. Retrieved 18 February 2015.

External linksEdit