Georgi Naydenov (footballer, born 1931)

Georgi Spirov Naydenov (Bulgarian: Георги Спиров Найденов) (21 December 1931 – 28 May 1970) was Bulgarian football goalkeeper and manager. He is considered the greatest Bulgarian goalkeeper of all time. Between 1955 and 1965 he played in 176 matches for CSKA Sofia. He was honoured as Bulgarian Footballer of the Year in 1961. Naydenov won the top Bulgarian league, the A PFG, 8 times (all with CSKA), as well as the Bulgarian Cup, 3 times (all with CSKA). He was respected for his incredible work ethic and his determination during training and matches alike.

Georgi Naydenov
Goalkeeper training before World Cup Chile 1962.jpg
Naydenov (left) in 1962
Personal information
Full name Georgi Spirov Naydenov
Date of birth 21 December 1931
Place of birth Sofia, Bulgaria
Date of death 28 May 1970(1970-05-28) (aged 38)
Place of death Damascus, Syria
Height 1.79 m (5 ft 10 in)
Position(s) Goalkeeper
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1949–1950 Cherveno Zname 10 (0)
1950–1954 Spartak Sofia 84 (0)
1955–1965 CSKA Sofia 176 (0)
1966–1967 Spartak Sofia 28 (0)
Total 298 (0)
National team
1955–1966 Bulgaria 51 (0)
*Club domestic league appearances and goals
Olympic medal record
Men's Football
Bronze medal – third place 1956 Melbourne Team Competition

International careerEdit

For the Bulgaria national football team Naydenov featured in 51 games and won a bronze medal at the 1956 Summer Olympics.[1] He played for his country at the 1962 and 1966 World Cups. Even after he had retired from competing he still remained one of the fittest players in Bulgaria and this made his death all the more mysterious. He died in Damascus, Syria and initial reports claimed he had suffered a heart attack although members of his family and people close to him suspected he had been poisoned by a Bulgarian interior minister whom he had recently had an argument with regarding the joining of teams Levski Sofia and Spartak Sofia.[2]




  1. ^ "Georgi Naydenov". Olympedia. Retrieved 1 December 2021.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 29 September 2011. Retrieved 29 August 2011.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
Preceded by
Bulgarian Footballer of the Year
Succeeded by