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The Bulgaria national football team (Bulgarian: Български национален отбор по футбол) is an association football team of Bulgaria. It is fielded by the Bulgarian Football Union, a member association of UEFA. The team's home stadium is the Vasil Levski Stadium in Sofia and Petar Hubchev is the current national manager. Their best achievements are – reaching the FIFA World Cup semi-finals in 1994, reaching the Summer Olympics final in 1968, quarter-finals at the UEFA Euro 1968, along with winning four Balkan Cup titles. Although defeating strong top ranked teams in many international friendlies throughout the years, the team's strength has slowly fallen. In result, Bulgaria has failed to qualify for any major tournament since 2004.

Bulgaria
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s)Лъвовете (The Lions)
AssociationBulgarian Football Union
ConfederationUEFA (Europe)
Head coachPetar Hubchev
CaptainIvelin Popov
Most capsStiliyan Petrov (105)
Top scorerDimitar Berbatov (48)
Hristo Bonev (48)
Home stadiumVasil Levski National Stadium
FIFA codeBUL
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 48 Decrease 2 (7 February 2019)[1]
Highest3 (June 1995)
Lowest96 (August 2012)
Elo ranking
Current 50 Increase 4 (3 March 2019)[2]
Highest3 (August 1975)
Lowest69 (12 November 2016)
First international
 Bulgaria 0–0 Austria 
(Vienna, Austria; 22 April 1924)
Biggest win
 Bulgaria 10–0 Ghana 
(Leon, Mexico; 14 October 1968)
Biggest defeat
 Bulgaria 1–8 Spain 
(Madrid, Spain; 21 May 1933)
World Cup
Appearances8 (first in 1930)
Best resultBronze Semi-Finals (1994)
Euro Cup
Appearances3 (first in 1968)
Best resultQuarter-Finals (1968)
Olympics
Appearances5 (first in 1924)
Best resultSilver Runners-Up (1968)
Balkan Cup
Appearances12 (first in 1930)
Best resultGold medal with cup.svg Champions (1931, 1932, 1948, 1976)

Contents

HistoryEdit

The BeginningEdit

The Bulgaria national team was founded in 1922. In 1923, the Bulgarian Football Union was established and the team's first match was held in Vienna on 21 May 1924, against Austria[3] a 0–0 draw.[4] The result was not surprising since Austria was at that time an avangarde of the Central–European school which dominated football in that period. To bring Bulgaria closer to that level, the Bulgarian FA has brought Austrian coaches Nitsch and Stejskal in the 1920s, and Hungarians Nemes, Fogl and German Feist in the 1930s.

Bulgaria was invited to participate in the 1930 FIFA World Cup in Uruguay, but eventually rejected the invitation because the players were incapable of having an extended leave of absence from work.[5]

1930's to 1960's: Years of International WildernessEdit

The Bulgarian team at this time could not progress in qualifying for any major tournaments from 1930 to 1960. They would end up finishing, on many occasions, in second or third place in their qualifying group and proceeding to the play-offs, but in the end, failing to qualify. Bulgaria, however, did defeat many strong teams in international games during those years. The only tournaments they were able to qualify for were smaller tournaments, such as the Balkan Cup, which they have won four times. They qualified for the World Cup for the second time in 1962

1960s and 1970s: Beginning of the New EraEdit

Bulgaria qualified for the World Cup for the first time in 1962 and followed that up with consecutive appearances in 1966, 1970 and 1974. The team, however finished third in their group three out of the four times.

At the 1968 Summer Olympics, the team won the silver medal. They finished first in Group D by beating Thailand 7–0, Guatemala 2–1, and drawing 2–2 against Czechoslovakia. They advanced to the quarterfinals by beating Israel and the semifinals by beating host Mexico. In the final, the team was defeated by Hungary.

In 1976, the team won the Balkan Cup by beating Romania in the two-legged final 1–0 and 3–2.

1962 World CupEdit

Bulgaria finally qualified to their first international tournament, the 1962 world cup, and this would be the first time that they qualified, after not doing so for 32 years. Bulgaria was placed in a group alongside England, Argentina and Hungary. Bulgaria would open up their campaign with a narrow 0–1 loss to Argentina then would lose their second match 1–6 to Hungary. Mathematically eliminated from progressing to the next round, Bulgaria drew England 0–0 to finish fourth in the group with only one point.

1966 World CupEdit

Bulgaria would qualify for their second World Cup in 1966. They were placed in a group, alongside Hungary, Portugal and a Pelé-led Brazil. Bulgaria would open their campaign match with a 0–2 loss to Brazil thanks to two free-kick goals by Pelé and Garrincha. Later on, Bulgaria would lose 0–3 to the Eusébio-led Portugal, then lost again to Hungary (1–3). They would finish fourth in their group zero points earned.

1968 Summer Olympics: Road to the FinalEdit

A month-and-a-half after the Euro came the Olympics, which Bulgaria had qualified for the fifth time in their history. They were drawn in a group with Thailand, Guatemala and Czechoslovakia. Bulgaria began with a 7–0 win over Thailand. They would later go on and draw with Czechoslovakia 2–2. Their final match would determine if they would go on to the quarterfinals. Bulgaria defeated Guatemala 2–1 and win their first round Olympic group. They passed on to the Quarterfinals to face Israel. That game would remain 1–1 for most of the match until a drawing of lots determined who would go to the semi-finals of the tournament. Bulgaria won the draw and advanced to play Mexico. They won in overtime with a 3–2 victory. Bulgaria advanced to the finals for the first time in their Olympic history. They then suffered a 1–4 loss to Hungary. Bulgaria won the silver medal in the end.

1970 World CupEdit

Bulgaria qualified for their third-straight World Cup in 1970, held in Mexico. They were drawn in a group with Western Germany, Peru, and Morocco. Playing their first match against Peru, Bulgaria were leading 2–0 until near the end when the Peruvians came back to win Peru 2–3. In the second match, Bulgaria would fall to West Germany 5–2, ensuring Bulgaria would need to defeat Morocco to progress to the next round. A 1–1 draw, however, resulted in a third-place group finish and elimination from the tournament.

1974 World CupEdit

Four years later, in Germany, Bulgaria would qualify for their fourth-straight World Cup. They were drawn in a group with the Netherlands, Sweden and Uruguay. Bulgaria would start off with Sweden and after 90 minutes the game would remain goalless in a 0–0 draw. Although no goals, Bulgaria were down set from the disallowed goal they scored, that was ruled offside by the side referee. Later on, Bulgaria tied with Uruguay 1–1. Bulgaria remained in contention; all they needed to do was tie against the Netherlands. As the final match came, Bulgaria fell by a 1–4 score. The Netherlands scored all the goals including an own goal for Bulgaria. Bulgaria remained in 3rd place in the group and did not move on to the next round.

The 1980's and 1990'sEdit

1986 World Cup: The Knockout StageEdit

Bulgaria qualified for the World Cup in Mexico by finishing second in Group Four, behind France with 11 points, but worse goal difference, ahead of the teams of Yugoslavia, East Germany, and Luxembourg. This was their fifth World Cup appearance. They were drawn in Group A with Italy, Argentina, and South Korea. In the opening match of the World Cup, the Bulgarians held the defending champions Italy to a 1–1 draw. Alessandro Altobelli gave the Italians the lead, but an 85th minute equalizer by Nasko Sirakov gave the Bulgarians the point. The next match was another 1–1 draw against South Korea with the goal for Bulgaria coming from Plamen Getov in the 11th minute. They lost the final match of the group 2–0 against Argentina, who ended up winning the tournament. Despite not recording a win, the Bulgarians advanced to the knockout stage by being the third-best third placed team. That way, Bulgaria and also Uruguay became the first nations to qualify for the knockout stage without winning a game in the first round. In the Round of 16, they faced World Cup hosts Mexico and lost the match 2–0. Ivan Vutsov was the manager of the team.

The 1992 and 1998: Reign of the Golden GenerationEdit

1994 World Cup: Final Four TriumphEdit

On 17 November 1993, Emil Kostadinov scored two goals to beat France in Paris, thus allowing Bulgaria to qualify for the World Cup in the United States in 1994, and disallowing France to qualify for that tournament.[6] Under the management of Dimitar Penev, the team led by players such as Hristo Stoichkov, Yordan Lechkov and Krasimir Balakov was referred to as the "Golden Generation".[7] They entered Group D with Argentina, Nigeria and Greece.[8] Prior to 1994, the Bulgarians had not won a single match in the previous five World Cup finals appearances. The first match ended with a 3–0 defeat by Nigeria in Dallas.[9] Later, the team won 4–0 against World Cup-debuting Greece in Chicago[10] and 2–0 against Argentina in Dallas.[11] Bulgaria continued to the next round, where they faced Mexico at Giants Stadium just outside New York City. The match ended 1–1 and after no goals were scored in extra time, penalties would decide which team would go through. Team captain Borislav Mihaylov saved two penalty kicks and Bulgaria won 3–1 on penalties.[12] In their quarter-final match, again in New York City, Bulgaria faced defending World Cup champions Germany. Lothar Matthäus scored in a penalty kick. The Bulgarians, however, managed to turn the game over with two goals by Stoichkov and Yordan Lechkov, giving them a 2–1 win.[13] Millions of Bulgarians celebrated this win in the Bulgarian capital city of Sofia and other Bulgarian cities. In their semi-final match again in New York, they lost 2–1 to Italy.[14] Bulgaria then traveled across the country and three time zones to the Pasadena Rose Bowl just outside Los Angeles to play Sweden, who did not have to travel because their semi-final match against Brazil had been held in the Rose Bowl.[15] Sweden beat Bulgaria 4–0, so the team finished the tournament in 4th place.[16] Stoichkov was awarded the Golden Boot (along with Russia's Oleg Salenko) for scoring six goals and finishing as joint top goal scorer of the tournament.[17] Later in December, Stoitchkov was awarded the FIFA Ballon d'Or, becoming the first ever Bulgarian to win it.[18] Krasimir Balakov was named in the all-star team along with Stoichkov.

Euro Cup 1996: Close CallEdit

In 1996, the team qualified for the European Football Championship for the first time, after some good results in the qualifying group, including a stunning 3–2 turnaround win against future Euro 1996 champions Germany. They were drawn in Group B with France, Spain and Romania. Bulgaria started with a 1–1 draw against the Spanish, and went on to a 1–0 win against Romania. In the final group match, they lost 3–1 against France, Stoitchkov scoring from a free kick to give Bulgaria their only goal of the game. At the same time, Spain defeated Romania 2–1 with the winning goal coming in the 84th minute, and the Bulgarians subsequently failed to qualify for the quarter-finals.

1998 World Cup: Last Stand of the Golden GenerationEdit

Bulgaria qualified for the World Cup in France by finishing first in the Group 5, followed by Russia. They entered the competition with a new manager, Hristo Bonev. Bulgaria drew Spain, Nigeria and Paraguay in Group D. The first match ended in a 0–0 draw against Paraguay. In the second match, the Bulgarians lost 1–0 for a second-straight World Cup to Nigeria. The final match ended with a disappointing 6–1 defeat to Spain, even though two offside goals were ruled out. Following the bad results, Bulgaria finished fourth in the group, with only one point, and didn't go through the next round. This was the last major appearance at World Cup level for Bulgaria.

2000 Euro Cup QualificationEdit

Bulgaria was drawn in a tough qualifying group with England, Sweden and Poland. The campaign was off to a bad start with a draw and a defeat by Poland and Sweden. The most memorable match for Bulgaria in the group was the 1–1 draw against England, which was also the last one for Bulgarian legend Hristo Stoichkov before his international retirement. Bulgaria finished third with eight points and failed to make the final stages of Euro 2000.

A New millenniumEdit

 
Berbatov training with Bulgaria Right Before Euro 2004

2002 World Cup Qualification: Beginning of a DroughtEdit

Bulgaria, Denmark, and Czech Republic were among the main contenders for the qualifying spots. This is also the debut of Bulgaria's top scoring player Dimitar Berbatov. Bulgaria won the matches against the weaker teams, but lost 2–0 to Denmark and one match with the Czech Republic. That way, Bulgaria finished third with 17 points and three points behind second-placed Czech Republic, thus failing to make the World Cup in South Korea and Japan.

Euro 2004Edit

Bulgaria qualified for Euro 2004 in Portugal by finishing first in their group ahead Croatia and Belgium with 17 points. They drew Sweden, Italy and Denmark in Group C. They started with a 5–0 defeat by Sweden, followed by a 2–0 defeat by Denmark. The last match against Italy was a 2–1 defeat. Near the end of the match, the score was 1–1 after goals from Bulgarian winger Martin Petrov and Simone Perrotta, but a last minute goal by Antonio Cassano gave the Italians the win. Bulgaria finished fourth in the group with no points and were sent home without reaching the knockout round.

2006 World Cup Qualification: FailureEdit

Bulgaria failed to qualify for the World Cup in Germany after a run of poor results. They began with a win over Hungary and "weaker" teams in the group. They tied with Sweden and Croatia the first run but lost the other meetings to the two sides. Although Berbatov scored many key goals in the qualifier including a last minute equaliser against Croatia, Bulgaria finished third in Group Eight, behind Sweden and Croatia with 15 points.

2006 Kirin Cup: Fight for the FinaleEdit

Although not making it to the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Bulgaria found themselves in a minor tournament in Japan, known as the Kirin Cup, which Bulgaria entered for the first time. They started off well with a 2–1 victory over the hosts Japan. Later, they lost 5–1 to Scotland, the eventual champions of the Kirin Cup. Bulgaria became the Runners Up and received the silver medal.

2008 European Qualification: Near MissEdit

Group G had Netherlands, Romania, and Bulgaria as the main contestants for a qualifying spot for the Euro 2008 in Switzerland and Austria. Bulgaria performed well after a run of good results from Romania that gave them the first place. Bulgaria would go on to the playoffs but draw the first match 1–1 with a goal by Petrov in the tenth minute and lose the second 2–0. Bulgaria failed to qualify to the competition, finishing with 25 points, after Romania and the Netherlands, with only one lost match against the Dutch.

2010 World Cup Qualification: Close CallEdit

 
The Bulgaria National Football Team in 2010

Bulgaria were drawn against Italy and the Republic of Ireland in qualifying Group Eight. Bulgaria started the campaign with a series of draws in the 2010 qualifiers. The manager Plamen Markov was replaced by Stanimir Stoilov in January 2009. The Bulgarians then recorded their first win in the group against Cyprus, and also won against Montenegro and Georgia. They finished in third place in the group with 14 points, therefore failing to qualify directly or for a play-off place. Bulgarian top scorer Berbatov resigned from the national side after this result.[citation needed]

Era of DeclineEdit

2012 European Qualification: Last PlaceEdit

 
The Bulgaria National Team in 2012

Bulgaria were drawn in Group G along with England, Switzerland, Wales and Montenegro. Bulgaria started off horribly with an opening away loss to England. They later on drew level with Switzerland along with defeating Wales and Montenegro. However, Bulgaria finished fifth in their group reaching their nadir in their football history, marking the fourth instance during 2000s that the nation had failed to finish in third (or better).

2014 World Cup Qualification: Final Phase FailureEdit

In the qualification phase for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Bulgaria were placed in Group B together with the teams of Italy, Denmark, Czech Republic, Armenia and Malta. Under the guidance of former player Lyuboslav Penev as head coach, Bulgaria enjoyed a 2–1 victory over 2010 World Cup runners-up Netherlands in Amsterdam. The qualifications started with a 2–2 draw against the Euro 2012 runners-up Italy. Bulgaria then defeated Armenia, which ended 1–0. Later on Bulgaria drew 1–1 against Denmark. Four days later, Bulgaria earned a 0–0 draw away against the Czech Republic. As a result of these performances, the team climbed from 96th in the FIFA Ranking, their lowest position in history, to 40th in November 2012, earning FIFA best mover of the year. Penev's players hosted and defeated Malta 6–0 under heavy snowfall. Four days later, Bulgaria once again set a draw with Denmark 1–1 in Copenhagen. This result left Bulgaria second in the group with ten points and still undefeated. Bulgaria traveled to Italy, a game where they lost 1–0. Further on, the lions secured three more points with a 2–0 away win against Malta. After that Bulgaria was defeated by Armenia 2–1 and the Czech Republic 1–0 at home.

2016 Euro Cup Qualification: Continuation of the DroughtEdit

Bulgaria were placed in a group with Italy, Croatia, Norway, Azerbaijan and Malta.[19] Bulgaria opened up their first match with a 2–1 victory over Azerbaijan.[20] They were defeated 1–0 by Croatia,[21] which was followed by a 2–1 defeat to Norway.[22] Bulgaria then drew with Malta 1–1 at home,[23] but this cost Head Coach Lyuboslav Penev his position and he was replaced by former Ludogorets Razgrad Coach Ivaylo Petev.[24] In his debut match in February 2015, Petev's squad drew Romania 0–0 in a friendly,[25] which was then followed at the end of March by a 2–2 qualifier match draw with Italy, a match which Bulgaria had led till the 84th minute.[26] In June, Bulgaria defeated Malta 1–0 to move within 2 points of the third place playoff position.[27] They then, however, lost their next three matches against Norway,[28] Italy[29] and Croatia[30] before winning their final match 2–0 over Azerbaijan, thus failing to qualify for the finals tournament.[31]

2018 World Cup QualificationEdit

Bulgaria were drawn in a strong World Cup qualification group with the Netherlands, France, Sweden, Belarus and Luxembourg. They began with a hard-fought 4–3 win against Luxembourg at home.[32] This was followed by heavy losses to France (4–1) and Sweden (3–0).[33][34] In November 2016, the Lions beat Belarus in Sofia 1–0,[35] and then put up one of their best performances in recent years, beating the Netherlands 2–0 to move into third place in the group.[36] Bulgaria then beat the group leaders Sweden 3–2 in Sofia to move one point behind their opponents in the table.[37] However, they lost the key match against the Netherlands at the Amsterdam Arena 3–1. A 1–0 defeat at home to France and a 1–1 draw in Luxembourg ended their chances of qualifying.[38]

2020 Euro Cup Qualification: Nations LeagueEdit

Bulgaria were drawn in Euro Cup Nations League C qualifying group 3 with Norway, Slovenia and Cyprus. Bulgaria opened up the campaign well, with an impressive 2-1 win over Slovenia and an even more astounding 1-0 shutout win over Norway. The Norwegians eventually avenged their loss to Bulgaria, resulting in a tie for first place. Bulgaria eventually closed out the second round of games with two 1-1 draws against Slovenia and Cyprus. This ultimately resulted in finishing in second place and narrowly missing promotion to League B.

2020 Euro Cup Qualification: Regular qualifiersEdit

Bulgaria was drawn in very tough group A with England, Czech Republic, Montenegro and Kosovo. The Lions began the qualifying campaign with 1-1 home draw against strong opponents Montenegro and a 1-1 away draw to mighty debutantes Kosovo, despite being without 3 of Bulgaria's best players.[39]

StandingsEdit

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification          
1   England (X) 2 2 0 0 10 1 +9 6 Qualify for final tournament 7 Sep 10 Sep 14 Nov 5–0
2   Bulgaria 2 0 2 0 2 2 0 2 14 Oct 10 Jun 1–1 17 Nov
3   Kosovo (X) 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 17 Nov 1–1 14 Oct 7 Sep
4   Montenegro 2 0 1 1 2 6 −4 1 1–5 11 Oct 7 Jun 10 Sep
5   Czech Republic 1 0 0 1 0 5 −5 0 11 Oct 7 Jun 14 Nov 10 Jun
Updated to match(es) played on 25 March 2019. Source: UEFA
Rules for classification: Tiebreakers
(X) Assured of at least play-offs.

Team imageEdit

Traditionally the Bulgarian squad plays at home entirely in the colours of the Bulgarian tri-color. Their nickname is The Lions, in tribute of the lions represented in the coat of arms of Bulgaria.

National StadiumEdit

 
The National Stadium

Normally, the Bulgarian national football team's home stadium is the Vasil Levski National Stadium with a capacity of 45,000. Vasil Levski was officially opened in 1953 and reconstructed in 1966 and 2002. It is currently eligible to host UEFA Europa League final matches. It is the second largest stadium in Bulgaria just behind the Plovdiv Stadium with a capacity 55,000. During the 2006–07 UEFA Champions League, the stadium was used for the games of Levski Sofia with Barcelona, Chelsea, and Werder Bremen. It was also given three stars for its excellence in art construction of the stadium. The Bulgarian national football team's home matches and the Bulgarian Cup finals are held at the venue, as well as athletics competitions. The stadium also offers judo, artistic gymnastics, basketball, boxing, aerobics, fencing and table tennis halls, as well as a general physical training hall, two conference halls, and three restaurants.


Competition HistoryEdit

     Champions       Runners-Up       Semi-Finals       Other Top Results  

World Cup RecordEdit

FIFA World Cup Record
Year Result Position Pld W D L GF GA
 1930 Qualified-Withdrew 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
  1962 Group Stage 13th 3 0 1 2 1 7
  1966 Group Stage 12th 3 0 0 3 1 8
  1970 Group Stage 12th 3 0 1 2 5 9
  1974 Group Stage 11th 3 0 2 1 2 5
  1986 Round of 16 10th 4 0 2 2 2 6
  1994   Semi-Finals 4th 7 5 0 2 12 7
  1998 Group Stage 22nd 3 0 1 2 1 7
  2022 To Be Determined
Total 7/22 26 5 7 15 20 53

Euro Cup RecordEdit

UEFA Euro Cup Record
Year Result Position Pld W D L GF GA
  1968 Quarter-Finals 5th 5 4 0 1 8 6
  1996 Group Stage 9th 3 1 1 1 3 4
  2004 Group Stage 14th 3 0 0 3 1 9
  2020 To Be Determined
Total 3/14 10 5 1 5 16 19

Olympic RecordEdit

Olympic Record
Year Result Position Pld W D L GF GA
  1924 Round of 16 12th 1 0 0 1 0 1
  1952 Round of 16 13th 1 0 0 1 1 2
  1956   Semi-Finals 3rd 3 2 0 1 10 3
  1960 Group Stage 8th 3 2 1 0 8 3
  1968   Runners-Up 2nd 6 3 2 1 16 10
  2020 To Be Determined
Total 5/23 14 7 3 4 35 19

Balkan Cup RecordEdit

Balkan Cup Record
Year Result Position Pld W D L GF GA
  1930 Group Stage 4th 6 2 0 4 10 19
  1931   Champions 1st 2 2 0 0 8 3
  1932   Champions 1st 3 3 0 0 7 2
  1933   Semi-Finals 3rd 3 1 0 2 2 11
  1934 Group Stage 4th 3 1 0 2 7 8
  1935   Runners-Up 2nd 3 2 1 0 12 5
  1936   Runners-Up 2nd 2 1 0 2 6 8
  1946 Group Stage 4th 2 0 1 2 4 7
  1947 Group Stage 4th 4 1 0 3 5 14
  1948   Champions 1st 5 2 1 2 6 7
  1976   Champions 1st 4 2 0 2 9 9
  1980   Semi-Finals 3rd 4 1 1 2 4 8
Total 12/12 41 19 4 19 80 101

HonoursEdit

Recent ResultsEdit

  Win   Draw   Loss

Ranking historyEdit

Rank Date
Best Rank 3 June 1995
Current Rank 48 February 2019
Worst Rank 96 May 2012
  • FIFA-ranking yearly averages for Bulgaria (1993–2019)[40]
 
As of 25 February 2019

PlayersEdit

Current squadEdit

The following players have been called up for the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying matches against Montenegro and Kosovo, on 22 and 25 March 2019.[41]
All caps and goals as of 25 March 2019 after match against Kosovo.

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
13 1GK Nikolay Mihaylov (1988-06-28) 28 June 1988 (age 30) 35 0   Levski Sofia
23 1GK Blagoy Makendzhiev (1988-07-11) 11 July 1988 (age 30) 0 0   Dunav Ruse
1 1GK Dimitar Evtimov (1993-09-07) 7 September 1993 (age 25) 0 0   Accrington Stanley

5 2DF Nikolay Bodurov (1986-05-30) 30 May 1986 (age 32) 49 2   CSKA Sofia
3 2DF Petar Zanev (1985-10-18) 18 October 1985 (age 33) 39 0   Yenisey Krasnoyarsk
2 2DF Strahil Popov (1990-08-31) 31 August 1990 (age 28) 24 0   Kasımpaşa
15 2DF Vasil Bozhikov (1988-06-02) 2 June 1988 (age 30) 21 1   Slovan Bratislava
14 2DF Anton Nedyalkov (1993-04-30) 30 April 1993 (age 25) 9 0   Ludogorets Razgrad
4 2DF Kamen Hadzhiev (1991-09-22) 22 September 1991 (age 27) 0 0   Puskás Akadémia
12 2DF Valentin Antov (2000-11-09) 9 November 2000 (age 18) 1 0   CSKA Sofia

6 3MF Simeon Slavchev (1993-09-25) 25 September 1993 (age 25) 24 0   Qarabağ
8 3MF Todor Nedelev (1993-02-07) 7 February 1993 (age 26) 23 2   Botev Plovdiv
7 3MF Georgi Kostadinov (1990-09-07) 7 September 1990 (age 28) 18 3   Arsenal Tula
22 3MF Nikolay Dimitrov (1987-10-15) 15 October 1987 (age 31) 9 1   Ural Yekaterinburg
18 3MF Galin Ivanov (1988-04-15) 15 April 1988 (age 30) 5 1   Haladás
20 3MF Kristiyan Malinov (1994-03-30) 30 March 1994 (age 24) 4 0   CSKA Sofia
11 3MF Antonio Vutov (1996-06-06) 6 June 1996 (age 22) 0 0   Botev Plovdiv

10 4FW Ivelin Popov (Captain) (1987-10-26) 26 October 1987 (age 31) 82 14   Rostov
9 4FW Spas Delev (1989-09-22) 22 September 1989 (age 29) 24 2   Pogoń Szczecin
19 4FW Stanislav Kostov (1991-10-02) 2 October 1991 (age 27) 3 0   Levski Sofia
21 4FW Radoslav Kirilov (1992-06-29) 29 June 1992 (age 26) 2 0   Slavia Sofia
17 4FW Martin Minchev (2001-04-22) 22 April 2001 (age 17) 2 0   Cherno More Varna

Recent call-upsEdit

The following players have also been called up to the Bulgarian squad within the last 12 months and are still available for selection.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Plamen Iliev (1991-11-30) 30 November 1991 (age 27) 13 0   Ludogorets Razgrad v.   Montenegro, 22 March 2019INJ
GK Georgi Petkov (1976-03-14) 14 March 1976 (age 43) 18 0   Slavia Sofia v.   Slovenia, 19 November 2018
GK Martin Lukov (1993-07-05) 5 July 1993 (age 25) 0 0   Lokomotiv Plovdiv v.   Norway, 9 September 2018

DF Ivan Bandalovski (1986-11-23) 23 November 1986 (age 32) 19 0   Beroe Stara Zagora v.   Slovenia, 19 November 2018
DF Bozhidar Chorbadzhiyski (1995-08-01) 1 August 1995 (age 23) 8 0   CSKA Sofia v.   Slovenia, 19 November 2018
DF Ivan Goranov (1992-06-10) 10 June 1992 (age 26) 2 0   Levski Sofia v.   Cyprus, 16 November 2018INJ
DF Angel Lyaskov (1998-03-16) 16 March 1998 (age 21) 1 0   CSKA Sofia v.   Norway, 9 September 2018

MF Ivaylo Chochev (1993-02-18) 18 February 1993 (age 26) 18 3   Palermo v.   Montenegro, 22 March 2019INJ
MF Bozhidar Kraev (1997-06-23) 23 June 1997 (age 21) 9 2   Midtjylland v.   Slovenia, 19 November 2018
MF Martin Raynov (1992-04-25) 25 April 1992 (age 26) 7 0   Levski Sofia v.   Slovenia, 19 November 2018
MF Aleksandar Tsvetkov (1990-08-31) 31 August 1990 (age 28) 2 0   Beroe Stara Zagora v.   Slovenia, 19 November 2018
MF Svetoslav Kovachev (1998-03-14) 14 March 1998 (age 21) 0 0   Dunav Ruse v.   Slovenia, 19 November 2018
MF Georgi Milanov (1992-02-19) 19 February 1992 (age 27) 41 2   MOL Vidi v.   Norway, 16 October 2018
MF Borislav Tsonev (1995-04-29) 29 April 1995 (age 23) 0 0   Inter Zaprešić v.   Norway, 16 October 2018INJ

FW Radoslav Vasilev (1990-10-12) 12 October 1990 (age 28) 6 1   Cherno More Varna v.   Montenegro, 22 March 2019
FW Kiril Despodov (1996-11-11) 11 November 1996 (age 22) 5 1   Cagliari v.   Montenegro, 22 March 2019INJ
Notes

Current technical staffEdit

Position Name
Head coach   Petar Hubchev
Assistant coach(es)
  Georgi Donkov
  Levon Apkaryan
Goalkeeping coach   Armen Ambartsumyan

Previous squadsEdit

Player recordsEdit

Most goalsEdit

 
Dimitar Berbatov is Bulgaria's all-time top scorer with 48 goals.
# Player Career Goals Caps Average
1 Dimitar Berbatov 1999–2010 48 78 0.60
2 Hristo Bonev 1967–1979 48 96 0.49
3 Hristo Stoichkov 1987–1999 37 83 0.45
4 Emil Kostadinov 1988–1998 26 70 0.37
5 Petar Zhekov 1963–1972 25 44 0.57
6 Ivan Kolev 1950–1963 25 75 0.33
7 Atanas Mihaylov 1970–1981 23 45 0.51
8 Nasko Sirakov 1983–1996 23 82 0.28
9 Dimitar Milanov 1948–1959 20 39 0.51
10 Georgi Asparuhov 1962–1970 19 50 0.38
11 Dinko Dermendzhiev 1966–1977 19 58 0.33
12 Martin Petrov 1999–2013 19 89 0.21

Most appearancesEdit

 
Stiliyan Petrov is Bulgaria's most capped player with 105 appearances
# Player Career Caps Goals Average
1 Stiliyan Petrov 1998–2013 105 8 0.08
2 Borislav Mihaylov 1983–1998 102 0 0.00
3 Hristo Bonev 1967–1979 96 48 0.49
4 Krasimir Balakov 1988–2003 92 16 0.17
5 Dimitar Penev 1965–1974 90 2 0.02
6 Martin Petrov 1999–2013 89 19 0.21
7 Radostin Kishishev 1996–2009 88 1 0.01
8 Hristo Stoichkov 1986–1999 84 38 0.45
9 Nasko Sirakov 1983–1996 82 23 0.28
10 Ivelin Popov 2007– 82 14 0.17
11 Ayan Sadakov 1981–1991 80 9 0.11
12 Zlatko Yankov 1989–1999 80 4 0.05

International match recordsEdit

As of 22 March 2019[42]

  Positive Record   Neutral Record   Negative Record

  1. ^ Includes matches against   Czechoslovakia.
  2. ^ Includes matches against   West Germany.
  3. ^ Includes matches against the   Soviet Union.
  4. ^ Includes matches against   Yugoslavia and   Serbia and Montenegro.

Head coachesEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking". FIFA. 7 February 2019. Retrieved 7 February 2019.
  2. ^ Elo rankings change compared to one year ago. "World Football Elo Ratings". eloratings.net. 3 March 2019. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  3. ^ Павлов, Стоимен (2014-06-24). "Българският футбол чества исторически годишнини на фона на нерадостна реалност". Radio Bulgaria (in Bulgarian). София: Българско национално радио. Retrieved 1 August 2015.
  4. ^ Austria vs Bulgaria match report at EU-Football.info
  5. ^ Банов, Георги (2014-03-23). "Българският флаг накартичка от първото световно по футбол". 24 часа (in Bulgarian). София: МГБХ. Retrieved 1 August 2015.
  6. ^ "Classic Qualifier: Les Bleus' American nightmare". FIFA. 10 September 2015. Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  7. ^ "Three Footballers from Bulgaria's Golden Generation to Join Stoichkov's Birthday Show". Novinite. 8 December 2015. Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  8. ^ "1994 FIFA World Cup USA: Groups". FIFA. Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  9. ^ "Group D: Nigeria vs. Bulgaria". FIFA. Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  10. ^ "Group D: Bulgaria vs. Greece". FIFA. Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  11. ^ "Group D: Argentina vs. Bulgaria". FIFA. Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  12. ^ "Round of 16: Mexico vs. Bulgaria". FIFA. Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  13. ^ "Bulgarian underdogs catch champions off guard". FIFA. Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  14. ^ "Semi-finals: Bulgaria vs. Italy". FIFA. Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  15. ^ "1994 FIFA World Cup USA -Teams: Sweden". FIFA. Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  16. ^ "Match for third place: Sweden vs. Bulgaria". FIFA. Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  17. ^ "1994 FIFA World Cup USA: Awards". FIFA. Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  18. ^ Molinaro, John F. (5 January 2011). "History of the Ballon d'Or". CBC Sports. Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  19. ^ "Euro 2016: Qualifying". Euro 2016. Retrieved 11 July 2016.
  20. ^ "Hristov header delights Bulgaria in Azerbaijan". UEFA. 9 September 2014. Retrieved 11 July 2016.
  21. ^ Georgiev, Stoyan (10 October 2014). "Croatia take full advantage of Bulgaria slip". UEFA. Retrieved 11 July 2016.
  22. ^ Tjærnås, Jørgen (13 October 2014). "Ødegaard breaks record as Norway beat Bulgaria". UEFA. Retrieved 11 July 2016.
  23. ^ Georgiev, Stoyan (16 November 2014). "Malta make their mark in Sofia". UEFA. Retrieved 11 July 2016.
  24. ^ "Soccer-Petev returns to Bulgaria to coach national team". Yahoo! News. Reuters. 18 December 2014. Retrieved 11 July 2016.
  25. ^ "International Friendly: Romania vs. Bulgaria". ESPN FC. Retrieved 11 July 2016.
  26. ^ Georgiev, Stovan (28 March 2015). "Italy debutant Éder thwarts Bulgaria". UEFA. Retrieved 11 July 2016.
  27. ^ Aquilina, Domenic (12 June 2015). "Popov earns points for Bulgaria in Malta". UEFA. Retrieved 11 July 2016.
  28. ^ "Norway beat Bulgaria thanks to Forren's first". UEFA. 3 September 2015. Retrieved 11 July 2016.
  29. ^ "De Rossi penalty edges Italy closer to finals". UEFA. 5 September 2015. Retrieved 11 July 2016.
  30. ^ Islamović, Elvir (10 October 2015). "Croatia defeat Bulgaria in Čačić's first game". UEFA. Retrieved 11 July 2016.
  31. ^ "Bulgaria sign off with Azerbaijan success". UEFA. 13 October 2015. Retrieved 11 July 2016.
  32. ^ [1]
  33. ^ [2]
  34. ^ [3]
  35. ^ [4]
  36. ^ [5]
  37. ^ [6]
  38. ^ [7]
  39. ^ [8]
  40. ^ "FIFA-ranking yearly averages for Bulgaria". Fifa.com. Retrieved 16 June 2018.
  41. ^ "Състав на България "А" за мачовете с Черна гора и Косово" [Bulgaria's "A" composition for matches with Montenegro and Kosovo] (in Bulgarian). Bulgarian Football Union. 11 March 2019.
  42. ^ "World Football Elo Ratings: Bulgaria". Elo Ratings. Retrieved 9 September 2017.

External linksEdit