Nikola Todorov Kotkov (Bulgarian: Никола Тодоров Котков) (9 December 1938 – 30 June 1971), nicknamed Koteto (Котето, "The Kitten") was a Bulgarian footballer who played as a striker.

Nikola Kotkov
Personal information
Full name Nikola Todorov Kotkov
(Никола Тодоров Котков)
Date of birth (1938-12-09)9 December 1938
Place of birth Sofia, Bulgaria
Date of death 30 June 1971(1971-06-30) (aged 32)
Place of death Sofia, Bulgaria
Playing position Striker
Youth career
Lokomotiv Sofia
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1956–1969 Lokomotiv Sofia 286 (143)
1969–1971 Levski Sofia 36 (20)
Total 322 (163)
National team
1956–1959 Bulgaria U19 16 (8)
1959–1961 Bulgaria U21 7 (5)
1961–1969 Bulgaria 26 (12)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of December 2006
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of December 2006

Born in the capital Sofia, Kotkov started his football career as a Lokomotiv Sofia trainee and went on to spend much of it (1956–1969) with the club, winning the Bulgarian Championship in 1964. He then played for Levski Sofia, until his death in 1971. Kotkov died together with his friend and teammate Georgi Asparuhov in a traffic accident in the Vitinya Pass of the Balkan Mountains, en route to Vratsa. With Levski, Kotkov became once again champion in 1970, winning the Bulgarian Cup the same year.

Kotkov played a total of 322 matches and scored 163 goals in the Bulgarian Championship and was given the Bulgarian Footballer of the Year award in 1964. For the Bulgaria national team, he had 26 caps and scored 12 goals, taking part in the 1966 FIFA World Cup in England.

A fan favourite noted for his fair play, Kotkov was known for his remarkable technique, pinpoint passing and skillful free kick taking.


  • National teams — 59 matches, 33 goals
  • Bulgarian championship — 322 matches, 163 goals — 286/145 for Lokomotiv, 45/25 for Levski
  • European club tournaments — 11 matches, 10 goals — CEC-6, CWC-5
  • First match — with Lokomotiv Sofia 1956
  • Last match — with Levski against CSKA — 28 June 1971
  • All - 392 matches, 206 goals



  • Paytashev, Rumen (2001). Svetovna Futbolna Entsiklopediya. Sofia: KK Trud. p. 187. ISBN 978-954-528-201-0.

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