Elin Topuzakov

Elin Kalinov Topuzakov (Bulgarian: Елин Калинов Топузаков; born 5 February 1977 in Dimitrovgrad) is a Bulgarian former football defender and now manager.

Elin Topuzakov
Elin topuzakov.jpg
Personal information
Full name Elin Kalinov Topuzakov
Date of birth (1977-02-05) 5 February 1977 (age 45)
Place of birth Dimitrovgrad, Bulgaria
Height 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in)
Position(s) Centre-back
Youth career
1987–1994 Dimitrovgrad
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1995–2008 Levski Sofia 220 (19)
1999Pirin (loan) 14 (2)
2008–2009 Hapoel Tel Aviv 43 (1)
2009–2010 Levski Sofia 13 (0)
2010–2011 Hapoel Ramat Gan 25 (2)
Total 321 (24)
National team
2000–2008 Bulgaria 27 (0)
Teams managed
2013–2014 Levski Sofia (assistant)
2014 Levski Sofia (caretaker)
2014–2016 Levski Sofia (assistant)
2016–2017 Levski Sofia
2017–2018 Arda Kardzali
2019–2020 Bulgaria (assistant)
2022– Levski Sofia II
*Club domestic league appearances and goals, correct as of 12 April 2013

He is nicknamed Balls (Bulgarian: Топчо / Topcho) because of his last name. In his career, he played as a sweeper or center back. Topuzakov also used to be a regular start-up for the Bulgarian national football team.

CareerEdit

Youth careerEdit

Elin developed his abilities in F.C. Dimitrovgrad's Youth Academy between 1990 and 1994. He played as a striker.[1]

Levski Sofia – 1st spellEdit

Topuzakov joined PFC Levski Sofia in January 1996. There he was qualified as a defender. Topuzakov was among the few players who have won three consecutive titles for Levski (in 2000, 2001 and 2002).[2] With Levski Sofia he reached 1/4 finals of UEFA Cup in 2005–06. Next season, Levski Sofia with Topuzakov, reached the group-stage of UEFA Champions League, becoming the first Bulgarian team that reached the groups. Between 2005 and 2008 he was the captain of the team.

Hapoel Tel AvivEdit

On 3 January 2008 Levski and Hapoel Tel Aviv agreed on the transfers of Elin Topuzakov and Dimitar Telkiyski. They signed their official contacts with Hapoel on 7 January 2008. Topuzakov chose to play with kit number 5. Both Topuzakov and Telkiyski made their debut for Hapoel Tel Aviv F.C. on 12 January 2008 against Hapoel Kfar Saba, in a 2–1 defeat. In 2008, he won the Fan's player of the year award with his teammate Dimitar Telkiyski. After 2008–2009 season end, Topuzakov became a free-agent.

Levski Sofia – 2nd spellEdit

On 5 July 2009, Topuzakov returned Levski Sofia. Elin signed a 2-years contract. He took number 11, which at that time was worn by Georgi Hristov, but Hristov stepped it back to Topuzakov.

During 2009/2010 season, the Levski's team started their European campaign with 9:0 (on aggregate) in the second Qualifying round of Champions League against UE Sant Julià. Topuzakov re-debut for Levski on 21 July 2009 in the second match of the 2nd Qualifying round of UEFA Champions League, where Levski beaten the team of UE Sant Julià. The result of the match was 0:5 with a guest win for Levski. On the next round, Levski Sofia faced FK Baku. The blues eliminated the team from Azerbaijan with 2:0 (on aggregate). In the play-off round Levski was eliminated by Debreceni VSC with 4:1 (on aggregate). However, Levski qualified for UEFA Europa League.

In 2009/2010 season, after couple of bad games and results, Levski however achieved qualifying for UEFA Europa League becoming 3rd in the final ranking.

Hapoel Ramat Gan GivatayimEdit

On 10 August 2010 he and his teammate Dimitar Telkiyski once again relocated to Israel, to join Hapoel Ramat Gan.

Managerial careerEdit

In March 2014, Topuzakov was unveiled as the new manager of Levski Sofia when Antoni Zdravkov stepped down (mainly due to health reasons).[3]

On 16 June 2017 he was announced as the new manager of Arda Kardzhali, following PSI Group's acquisition of the club.[4] He was released from his duties in late August 2018.[5] In October 2019, Topuzakov joined Georgi Dermendzhiev's coaching staff, becoming assistant manager of Bulgaria.[6]

Playing styleEdit

Topuzakov has started his career as a striker, but later he was converted to a right defender. After a couple of months, he started playing as a central defender. His variety of playing skills makes him one of the most frequently scoring defenders that have ever played for Levski Sofia. Topuzakov is famous for his sliding tackles.

Personal lifeEdit

Topuzakov is married to Bulgarian model Vesela Toteva.[7] Together with his wife, in 2013 he appeared on the popular Slavi's Show.[8]

AchievementsEdit

Notable achievementsEdit

Topuzakov is part of an exclusive list of players with over 20 appearances in The Eternal Derby of Bulgaria - he has participated in 23 league editions of the rivalry.[9] He was also the player with the most appearances for (a) Bulgarian team(s) in European competitions (65) until his record was surpassed by former teammate Hristo Yovov on 19 July 2012 - in Levski Sofia's 1–0 home win over Bosnian club FK Sarajevo in a UEFA Europa League match.[10] As of 2018, Topuzakov occupies the 4th place in the list.[11] Together with Krasimir Bezinski and Momchil Tsvetanov he also holds the record for the most times an individual player has won the Bulgarian Cup - 6.[12]

AwardsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Топузаков пише книга за кариерата си, aвтобиографията на бранителя ще излезе догодина". topsport.bg. 10 November 2006. Retrieved 22 November 2013.
  2. ^ "Състезателен профил на Елин Калинов Топузаков (Топчо)". levskisofia.info. 2014. Retrieved 14 January 2015.
  3. ^ "Топузаков няма да разчита на Ангел Славков, треньорът се върна при юношите". topsport.bg. 21 March 2014. Retrieved 24 March 2014.
  4. ^ Топузаков потвърди за треньорския пост в Арда Кърджали
  5. ^ "Арда уволни Топузаков". bgfootball.com. 26 August 2018. Retrieved 14 November 2019.
  6. ^ "Елин Топузаков става част от треньорския щаб на националния отбор". topsport.bg. 24 October 2019. Retrieved 14 November 2019.
  7. ^ "Топузаков ще става баща, запазват в тайна пола на бебето". topsport.bg. 10 October 2013. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
  8. ^ "Елин и Весела Топузакови, 9 октомври 2013 г." slavishow.com. 9 October 2013. Retrieved 30 July 2020.
  9. ^ "Янчев влиза в Топ 10 на Вечното дерби, водач в класацията е Иван Колев (ЦСКА) с 27". topsport.bg. 19 October 2013. Retrieved 20 October 2013.
  10. ^ "Йовов стана играчът с най-много участия за български отбори в евротурнирите" (in Bulgarian). stigabe.com. Archived from the original on 4 February 2013. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
  11. ^ ""Лудогорец" загуби в Цюрих с гол в края на мача" (in Bulgarian). dariknews.bg. 4 October 2018. Retrieved 11 October 2018.
  12. ^ "Момчил Цветанов може да изравни рекорда по купи". sportal.bg. 1 July 2020. Retrieved 4 July 2020.

External linksEdit