FC Dunav Ruse

FC Dunav (Bulgarian: ФК Дунав) is a Bulgarian professional football club based in Ruse, which currently competes in the Third League, the third tier of the Bulgarian football league system.

Dunav Ruse
FC Dunav logo.png
Full nameFootball Club Dunav from Ruse
Nickname(s)Драконите (The Dragons)
Founded16 February 1949; 73 years ago (1949-02-16)
GroundGradski Stadion
OwnerFans Association / Academy Managers
Head coachMartin Tsirkov
LeagueThird League
2021–22North-East Third League, 1st (promoted)
WebsiteClub website
Current season

Part of a larger sports branch, Dunav were established on February 16, 1949, as a merger of two local football clubs in the city, Dinamo and Rusenets.[1] Nicknamed The Dragons (Bulgarian: Драконите), Dunav's home colours are sky blue and white. Named after the Danube River, on the banks of which the city of Ruse is situated, the club plays its home matches at the local Gradski stadion, which has a seating capacity of 13,000 spectators.[2]

Among the club's most notable achievements are a final in the Bulgarian championship in 1937, a First League fourth place in 1975, 1989 and 2017, and four domestic cup finals in 1938, 1939, 1941 and 1962 respectively.

In 2016, Dunav managed to secure promotion to the First League, which marked their first participation in top-flight football since 1991. After four seasons among the best, however, Dunav's financial situation and poor ownership led to the club being taken over by fan associations and academy coaches, who announced on 4 August 2020, that Dunav will compete in the 2020–21 Third League after four years among the best Bulgarian teams.



Over the course of its history, the club carried a variety of different names such as Sava, Napredak, Levski, Varush, Angel Kanchev, Rakovski, Rusenets, Dinamo, Spartak, DNA, Torpedo and Partizanin. Dunav played in the A Group over a number of seasons between 1937 and 1940, 1951, 1956, 1958–67, 1968–73, 1974–77, 1984–86, 1988–91 and 1996–98, before being relegated again.

Dunav playing against Serie A club Roma at the Municipal Stadium in 1975.

Following years of several movements between lower divisions, a decent squad, established by playing manager Engibar Engibarov at the time, eventually won the Cup of Bulgarian Amateur Football League in 2003–04 and for the next season they finally gained promotion to the B PFG after a long-term absence in the amateur divisions. It was to be their first appearance in professional football since the club was relegated from the A Group in 1991.

From January 5, 2006 until October 2 of the same year, Dunav were managed by Ferario Spasov. He acquired some well-known footballers and loaned talented players from Litex Lovech in an unsuccessful attempt to reach the first division again.

The 2009–10 season in the B Group was very narrow for the club as the dream of reaching the A Group almost became a reality. Dunav finished the first half of the season in first place, leaving behind the teams of Kaliakra Kavarna and Nesebar. The second half of the season started very well and the team was in a row with a couple of very significant wins, but they won only one game in their last 7 matches and eventually failed to gain promotion to the top flight.

In the following years, Dunav again failed to impress and was mostly seen as a middle table club in the final ranking of the B Group. In 2010–11, the club was left by some of its good players, as a result of ongoing financial difficulties in the team. Dunav subsequently withdrew from the B Group in February 2011, after being unable to reduce its financial debts to the municipality and a majority of its squad players. A few days later, the club announced bankruptcy and was dissolved.

In 2011, Dr. Simeon Simeonov established a new entity under the name Dunav 2010, which was approved by the BFU to start from the lowest levels of Bulgarian football. The team obtained license and after several court decisions in the following months, it regained the traditions and history of its predecessor. In 2015, the club won the Bulgarian Amateur Cup and was promoted to the second division.

In 2016, Dunav 2010 became champions of the 2015-16 B Group and were promoted to the top flight for the first time since 1991, 25 years after their last participation. They completed in the debut season of the newly renamed Bulgarian First League. Their first year in the BFL was an instant success, as they finished fourth and qualified for Europa League.

Ever since, Dunav's financial situation has been very unstable, despite the club playing in the top tier.

During the winter break of the 2019–20 season, Dunav owners stated that the team might face administrative relegation if a new income source is not provided on time. However, the club continued to participate in the top tier until the very end of the 2019-20 season, finishing 13'th in the league, proceeding to relegation Group B in the company of fellow top tier Botev Plovdiv ( losing 3–1 at Plovdiv), FC Arda ( winning 2–0 at Kardjali) and Botev Vratsa ( losing 3–1 at Ruse, Bulgaria). As a result, finishing 4'th in the group ( last place), qualifying for the relegation playoffs. In a group, competing against Botev Vratsa ( drawing 0–0 at Vratsa) and Tsarsko Selo ( winning 1–0 at Rousse), finishing second in the group. Second place meaning a Relegation play-off final against the third from the Second Professional Football League (Bulgaria), where Dunav lost 4–1 to FC Montana, thus being relegated. However, Dunav's financial situation and poor ownership led to the club being taken over by the fans' association and academy coaches, announcing on 4 August 2020 that Dunav will compete in the Third League.

After two seasons in the third level, Dunav managed to promote to the Second League, at the end of the 2021–22 season.


On an international basis, Dunav's debut entry in the European club competitions dates back to the 1975-76 UEFA Cup, where they were drawn against Roma of the Italian Serie A. Dunav were subsequently eliminated after a 2–0 defeat in Rome and a notable 1–0 win over the Italian team in Ruse.[3] In 2017, they managed to secure a spot in the first qualifying round of the Europa League after a prolonged period of European absence, but were eliminated by Irtysh Pavlodar after an overall 0–3 loss in both legs.



First League:

Second League:

  •   Winners (6): 1950, 1954, 1957, 1968, 1974, 2015–16

Third League:

Fourth League:

Bulgarian Cup:

Cup of Bulgarian Amateur Football League:

  •   Winners (2 times - record): 2004, 2015


UEFA Europa League

League positionsEdit

Second Professional Football League (Bulgaria)Third Amateur Football League (Bulgaria)First Professional Football League (Bulgaria)Bulgarian B Football GroupBulgarian V AFGBulgarian B Football GroupBulgarian V AFGRegional Amateur Football Groups (Bulgaria)Bulgarian B Football GroupBulgarian V AFGRegional Amateur Football Groups (Bulgaria)Bulgarian B Football GroupBulgarian V AFGBulgarian B Football GroupBulgarian V AFGBulgarian B Football GroupBulgarian A Football GroupBulgarian B Football GroupBulgarian A Football GroupBulgarian B Football GroupBulgarian A Football GroupBulgarian B Football GroupBulgarian A Football GroupBulgarian B Football GroupBulgarian A Football GroupBulgarian B Football GroupBulgarian A Football GroupBulgarian V AFGBulgarian B Football GroupBulgarian A Football GroupBulgarian B Football Group

European recordEdit


Season Competition Round Club Home Away Aggregate
1975–76 UEFA Cup 1R   Roma 1–0 0–2 1–2
2017–18 UEFA Europa League 1Q   Irtysh Pavlodar 0–2 0–1 0–3


Current squadEdit

As of 16 August 2020

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
2 DF   BUL Ivan Bakalski
4 DF   BUL Preslav Paparkov
5 MF   BUL Iskren Anchev
6 MF   BUL Alber Silviev
7 MF   BUL Simeon Dochev
8 DF   BUL Mert Tasim
9 FW   BUL Aleksandar Kirilov
10 FW   BUL Simeon Ivanov
11 MF   BUL Diyan Dimov (team captain)
12 GK   BUL Tihomir Drumev
15 DF   BUL Kaloyan Petrov
16 FW   BUL Konstantin Mitev
17 FW   BUL Djan Hasan
No. Pos. Nation Player
18 MF   BUL Latif Letif
20 DF   BUL Dimitar Todorov
21 GK   BUL Tsvetelin Enchev
22 DF   BUL Martin Ivanov
23 DF   BUL Martin Todorov
24 MF   BUL Biser Georgiev
29 DF   BUL Jivko Donchev
33 GK   BUL Bogomil Stanchev
77 MF   BUL Atanas Stambolov
86 GK   BUL Vincenzo Angelov
94 MF   BUL Martin Angelov
99 FW   BUL Dani Bonev
MF   ROU Dragoș Firțulescu

For recent transfers, see Transfers summer 2022.

Past/Current seasonsEdit

Season Lvl League Place W D L GF GA Pts Bulgarian Cup
2010–11 IV A RFG 1 9 0 2 20 8 27 First round
2011–12 III V Group 6 12 10 6 48 19 46 not qualified
2012–13 III V Group 2 24 2 2 86 15 74 not qualified
2013–14 II B Group 13 6 9 11 24 32 27 First round
2014–15 III V Group 1 28 1 1 121 11 85 Second round
2015–16 II B Group 1 18 10 2 53 19 64 Second round
2016–17 I First League 4 15 10 11 46 44 55 Quarterfinals
2017–18 I First League 12 11 7 19 31 50 40 Quarterfinals
2018–19 I First League 11 9 9 19 40 59 36 Second round
2019–20 I First League 13 6 8 17 26 55 26 First round
2020–21 III Third League 5 16 5 7 60 33 53 Preliminary Round
Green marks a season followed by promotion, red a season followed by relegation.


  1. ^ "Футболен клуб Дунав - ФК Дунав, футболни събития и прогнози".
  2. ^ "Дунав показа как се прави! Вече над 4000 фенове си купиха билети за мача с Локо". (in Bulgarian) Plovdiv24.bg. 26 April 2017. Retrieved 28 April 2017.
  3. ^ UEFA Europa League 1975/76 History - Dunav UEFA.com Retrieved 28 Mar 2016.
  • Paytashev, Rumen (2001). Svetovna Futbolna Entsiklopediya (in Bulgarian). Sofia: KK Trud. p. 126. ISBN 954-528-201-0.

External linksEdit