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Emil Lubtchov Kostadinov (Bulgarian: Емил Любчов Костадинов; born 12 August 1967) is a former Bulgarian football forward, former member of the Bulgaria national team for which he played in two World Cups. He shares his birthday with another legendary Bulgarian footballer Dimitar Yakimov, who was born on 12 August 1941.
Emil Kostadinov in 2010
|Full name||Emil Lubtchov Kostadinov|
|Date of birth||12 August 1967|
|Place of birth||Sofia, Bulgaria|
|Height||1.77 m (5 ft 10 in)|
|Playing position(s)||Striker, winger|
|1995||Deportivo La Coruña||9||(2)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Born in Sofia, Kostadinov started his career in CSKA Sofia. There he formed a redoubtable trio with Hristo Stoichkov and Luboslav Penev in the late 1980s, helping the team to win three times the Bulgarian Championship title, three times the Bulgarian Cup and reached the semi-final of the Cup Winners' Cup.
He played for FC Porto from 1990 to 1994, winning the Portuguese league twice, and becoming popular among Portuguese fans. He also played for Deportivo de La Coruña, Bayern Munich (winning the UEFA Cup with them in 1996 and scoring in the final itself), Fenerbahçe, FSV Mainz, and UANL Tigres.
Kostadinov gained international prominence after scoring two goals in the last matchday of the European 1994 World Cup qualification, against the French national team. He scored his second goal in the last second of the match with a shot with his right foot from inside the French penalty area that sent the ball into the roof of the net. That match-winning goal enabled Bulgaria to qualify for the 1994 World Cup finals at the expense of France.
After helping Bulgaria qualify for the 1994 World Cup, he was a part of the squad that reached the semi-finals in the finals tournament, again in partnership with Hristo Stoichkov. He played all seven games but did not score. During the game against Italy in the semi-final, Kostadinov was fouled by Alessandro Costacurta, who later committed a handball offence in the penalty area. Both actions were not given penalties, which sparked a lot of controversy, as Bulgarians accused the French referee Joel Quiniou of purposefully ignoring the situations to get "revenge" for the decisive qualifying game between Bulgaria and France at the Parc des Princes, which saw the guests qualifying to the World Cup.
He also played at the Euro 96 and the 1998 World Cup, both tournaments in which Bulgaria did not reach the second round. He scored one goal in the 1998 World Cup against Spain in the group stages. He retired before the Qualification for the EURO 2000.
- Bulgarian A PFG: 1986–87, 1988–89, 1989–90
- Bulgarian Cup: 1986–87, 1987–88, 1988–89
- Bulgarian Supercup: 1989
- Primeira Liga: 1991–92, 1992–93, 1994–95
- Taça de Portugal: 1990–91, 1993–94
- Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira: 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994
- "Emil Kostadinov". worldfootball.net. Retrieved 18 March 2012.
- Yolchev, Ivaylo (29 December 2006). "Емил Костадинов: вече не съм толкова доверчив, най-важното е да има екипност, твърди новият шеф в ЦСКА". 7sport.net. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 5 August 2015.
- Emil Kostadinov at National-Football-Teams.com