PFC Slavia Sofia 1913 (Bulgarian: ПФК Славия София 1913) is a Bulgarian professional association football club based in Sofia, which currently competes in the top tier of the Bulgarian football league system, the First League. Slavia's home ground is the Stadion Aleksandar Shalamanov in Ovcha kupel with a capacity of 25,556. The team's colours are white and black. Established on 10 April 1913, Slavia is currently the oldest sports club in Sofia.

PFC Slavia Sofia 1913
Full nameProfessional Football Club Slavia
Nickname(s)Белите (The Whites)
Добрата стара Славия (The good old Slavia)
Лавината (The Avalanche)
Бялата дама (The White Lady)
Founded10 April 1913; 110 years ago (1913-04-10)
GroundStadion Aleksandar Shalamanov
OwnerMladen Mihalev
ChairmanVentseslav Stefanov
ManagerIvan Kolev
LeagueFirst League
2022–23First League, 8th of 16
WebsiteClub website

Slavia is one of only two Bulgarian football clubs that have never been relegated (the other being Levski Sofia), although the club has been divided into two separate clubs and one of them that carries Slavia records and statistics (Udarnik Sofia) had been expelled to the Second Division, which continued for a season (1951), for no other reason, but politically arranged football reform. The other separate entity (Stroitel Sofia) which is now defunct and regarded as a different club had remained in First Division. Later on the two clubs reunited again.

Domestically, the club has won the Bulgarian Championship seven times and the Bulgarian Cup eight times. They have also been runners-up in the championship ten times and have reached the cup final on three additional occasions. Among the team's international successes are a European Cup Winners' Cup semi-final in 1967 and a quarter-final in 1981, as well as two consecutive Balkans Cup trophies in 1986 and 1988.

Slavia have a rivalry with fellow Sofia-based club Levski Sofia. Matches between the two teams are known as the Oldest capital derby, due to the fact that Slavia and Levski are the oldest, continuously-existing football teams from Sofia. They used to compete regularly for trophies before 1945. More recently, their current main rivals are Lokomotiv Sofia, called the Little capital derby, as well as a rivalry with the city's other club CSKA.

History Edit


On 10 April 1913, a group of young people living near a Russian Monument in Sofia and representatives of the local capital clubs Botev and Razvitie, in a coffee-house – Alabin str. in Sofia, decided to establish an incorporated sports club, the first organized sport club in Sofia.[1] The new incorporated club was named Slavia. Dimitar Blagoev – Palio, a 21-year-old student, was elected as the first president of the club. As members of the first club administrative council were elected Emanuil Geshev, Ferdinand Mihaylov, Tsvyatko Velichkov, Georgi Grigorov and Todor Kalkandzhiev.


A few days later, was elected the first football team of the club – Stefan Lalov, Ilia Georgiev, Emanuil Geshev, Todor Kalkandzhiev, Stefan Chumpalov, Dimitar Blagoev – Palio (all of them from Botev) and Pavel Grozdanov, Ferdinand Mihaylov, Boris Sharankov, Asen Bramchev, Dimitar Cvetkov (all of them from Razvitie). The first sport dresses of the club were white shirts and black shorts. Since 1924, the team has played with white shirts and white shorts and up to present days it is popular as the "White pride". On 11 August 1913, Slavia played its first match, against local club Savata, and won 1–0.

After World War I, Slavia began to become more successful. On 5 June 1928, the club won its first champion title, winning 4–0 in the final match against Vladislav Varna. Slavia won the title five more times until 1946, in 1930, 1936, 1938–39, 1941 and 1943.

Slavia won its first Bulgarian Cup in 1952. By winning the 1963 Bulgarian Cup Final, Slavia qualified for the European Cup Winners' Cup, the club's first appearance in European competition. They were drawn against Hungarian club MTK Budapest in the first round. Slavia were eliminated from the competition 2–1 on aggregate. Its most important achievements in Europe during 1966–67 Cup Winners' Cup campaign when Slavia eliminated Swansea City, Strasbourg and Servette, before being eliminated by Rangers in the semi-finals.[2] The team consisted of great players such as goalkeeper Simeon Simeonov, Ivan Davidov, Aleksandar Shalamanov, Dimitar Largov, Dimitar Kostov and Aleksandar Vasilev.

In 1969, Slavia was merged with Lokomotiv Sofia under the name ZhSK Slavia. Two years later, the two clubs split again after a split was supported by 100,000 fans.

Andrey Zhelyazkov in 1981

In the 1980–81 season, led by Chavdar Tsvetkov and Andrey Zhelyazkov,[3] Slavia reached the quarter-finals of the Cup Winners' Cup before losing 6–3 on aggregate to Feyenoord. In 1986, Slavia won Balkans Cup, defeating Greek side Panionios 5–3 on aggregate in the final. In 1988, Slavia won the Balkans Cup for the second time.[4]

In 1994, Stoyan Kotsev, the former Slavia midfielder, was appointed as the club's new manager. After finishing fourth in 1995, they went on to win the A PFG title in 1995–96. Slavia finished with five points more than second-placed Levski Sofia. This marked Slavia's first Bulgarian title since 1943. In the 2010–11 season, Slavia reached the Bulgarian Cup final, defeating Ludogorets Razgrad, Etar 1924, Chernomorets Burgas and Pirin Blagoevgrad en route. However, they lost the final 1–0 to CSKA Sofia.[5]

In 2018, Slavia won the Bulgarian Cup for the eight time in its history, defeating rivals Levski Sofia at the Vasil Levski National Stadium after a penalty shootout. This enabled the team to play in the 2018-19 UEFA Europa League second qualifying round. In the second qualifying round, Slavia eliminated Finnish side FC Ilves. However, in the third qualifying round, they lost to Hajduk Split of Croatia, thus being eliminated.

The 2019–20 season was very successful for Slavia. The team finished in third place, qualifying for the Europa League playoff. Slavia clinched the third place in the last round of the season, defeating champions Ludogorets 3–1 at home, while Levski Sofia lost 1–2 to Lokomotiv Plovdiv, thus making Slavia third. This was Slavia’s best placement since the 1996–97 season.

League positions Edit

Bulgarian First LeagueBulgarian A Football GroupBulgarian B Football GroupBulgarian A Football Group

Players Edit

Current squad Edit

As of 30 August 2023[6]

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

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK   BUL Georgi Petkov (captain)
3 DF   BUL Ertan Tombak
4 DF   BUL Viktor Genev
5 DF   BUL Veljko Jelenković
6 DF   BUL Martin Georgiev (on loan from Barcelona)
8 MF   BUL Emil Stoev
9 FW   BUL Martin Sorakov
10 FW   BUL Vladimir Nikolov
11 FW   BUL Kristian Dobrev
12 GK   BUL Nikolay Krastev
14 FW   BUL Roberto Raychev
15 MF   BUL Valentin Petrov
17 MF   BUL Erol Dost
No. Pos. Nation Player
18 DF   CPV Ludovic Soares
19 MF   BUL Chung Nguyen Do
21 GK   BUL Svetoslav Vutsov
23 FW   BUL Denislav Aleksandrov
27 MF   BUL Emil Martinov
33 MF   BUL Galin Ivanov
37 DF   BUL Ventsislav Kerchev
71 MF   BUL Kristiyan Stoyanov
73 MF   BUL Ivan Minchev
88 FW   BUL Toni Tasev
93 MF   MLI Sibiry Keita
98 MF   BUL Georgi Tartov

For recent transfers, see Transfers summer 2023.

Foreign players Edit

Up to twenty foreign nationals can be registered and given a squad number for the first team in the Bulgarian First League, however only five non-EU nationals can be used during a match day. Those non-EU nationals with European ancestry can claim citizenship from the nation their ancestors came from. If a player does not have European ancestry he can claim Bulgarian citizenship after playing in Bulgaria for 5 years.

Supporters Edit

There is one remaining ultras group called Boys Sofia, a name referring to the fact the traditional support is from the south of the city; in the past there were multiple other groups. They have a long standing friendship with BSC Young Boys.[7][8] The traditional rivalry has been with Levski Sofia, also known as Oldest capital derby, however in recent decades Lokomotiv Sofia has become the major rival.[9] The derby between them is called Little capital derby. The other city rivalry is with CSKA Sofia.

Stadium Edit

Slavia Stadium in 2011

In the first ten years after Slavia was founded, the club played in the stadium of his predecessor SC Razvitie. On 3 October 1923, Slavia became the owner of land to the Russian Monument in Sofia, where was the first ground of the club. They played their home games there for the next few decades, until they moved to southwest Sofia in the 1960s.

On 12 March 1958, started the construction of Slavia Stadium. Mayor of the sixth area in Sofia and president of the Slavia women's basketball team, Dimitar Tinev, presided at the laying in place of the first stone. The stadium is built in a residential area Ovcha Kupel, served by regular bus services 6 km from Sofia city centre. Slavia Stadium has undergone many changes over the years and it presently has a capacity of 25,556.

Honours Edit

National Edit

European Edit

Board of directors Edit

Name Role
  Ventseslav Stefanov Chairman
  Vesko Sabev Managing Director
  Angel Slavkov Youth Academy Director

Technical staff Edit

Name Role
  Angel Slavkov (caretaker) Head Coach
  Martin Kushev Assistant Coach
  Radostin Stanev Goalkeeping Coach
  Milan Dimitrić Conditioning Coach
  Deniz Yilmaz Physiotherapist
  Viktor Rakovski Physiotherapist
  Ivan Zlatev Physiotherapist
  Tsvetomir Valeriev Analyst
  Svetoslav Kostadinov Team manager
  Ventsislav Savov Kit Manager

Notable stats Edit

Managerial history Edit

This is a list of the last Slavia managers:

Name Nat From To Honours
Dobromir Tashkov   1963 1969
Dobromir Tashkov   1973 1974
Hristo Mladenov   1978 1980
Oleh Bazylevych   1987 1988
Stoyan Kotsev   1994 1997 1 Bulgarian Cup
1 Bulgarian title
Miroslav Mironov   Oct 1999 May 2000
Žarko Olarević   May 2000 23 Nov 2000
Kiril Kachamanov   23 Nov 2000 25 Sept 2001
Žarko Olarević   25 Sept 2001 18 Dec 2002
Miodrag Ješić   18 Dec 2002 23 Aug 2003
Ratko Dostanić   24 Aug 2003 23 Sept 2004
Atanas Dzhambazki   23 Sept 2004 29 March 2005
Petar Houbchev   29 March 2005 10 Nov 2005
Alyosha Andonov   10 Nov 2005 2 July 2006
Ratko Dostanić   3 July 2006 26 Dec 2006
Alyosha Andonov   26 Dec 2006 6 June 2007
Stevica Kuzmanovski   6 June 2007 2 June 2009
Velislav Vutsov   2 June 2009 18 May 2010
Emil Velev   19 May 2010 28 May 2011
Martin Kushev   28 May 2011 29 Nov 2012
Velislav Vutsov   30 Nov 2012 5 June 2013
Asen Bukarev   5 June 2013 20 Oct 2013
Milen Radukanov   21 Oct 2013 31 Aug 2014
Ivan Kolev   1 Sep 2014 30 Nov 2015
Vladimir Ivanov (caretaker)   30 Nov 2015 18 Dec 2015
Aleksandr Tarkhanov   18 Dec 2015 2 Nov 2016
Vladimir Ivanov   3 Nov 2016 11 May 2017
Zlatomir Zagorčić    11 May 2017 1 September 2020 1 Bulgarian Cup
Martin Kushev   7 September 2020 17 September 2020
Aleksandr Tarkhanov   17 September 2020 12 April 2021
Zlatomir Zagorčić    12 April 2021 4 May 2023
Angel Slavkov (caretaker)   4 May 2023 23 June 2023
José Mari Bakero   23 June 2023

References Edit

  1. ^ "Славия започва с топка назаем" (in Bulgarian). 10 April 2008. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 17 April 2013.
  2. ^ "Slavia Sports Club turns 100". 10 April 2013. Archived from the original on 25 May 2013. Retrieved 17 April 2013.
  3. ^ "Zhelyazkov salutes centurions Slavia Sofia". 10 April 2013. Archived from the original on 20 April 2013. Retrieved 17 April 2013.
  4. ^ "Славия в надпреварата за Балканската клубна купа" (in Bulgarian). Archived from the original on 2013-04-16. Retrieved 2013-04-17.
  5. ^ "Bulgarian Cup win ends CSKA Sofia drought". 25 May 2011. Archived from the original on 26 June 2013. Retrieved 11 April 2013.
  6. ^ "Отбор" [The Team]. Professional Football Club Slavia (in Bulgarian). PFC Slavia Sofia. Archived from the original on 18 April 2023. Retrieved 26 July 2023.
  7. ^ "Агитката на Йънг Бойс издигна знаме в чест на стогодишнината на Славия (снимка)". Archived from the original on 2018-06-23. Retrieved 2018-06-03.
  8. ^ "Young Boys Bern@Slavia Sofia Ultras in Udine". (in Bulgarian). Archived from the original on 2018-03-10. Retrieved 2018-06-03.
  9. ^ "Славия и Локомотив в опашкарско столично дерби". (in Bulgarian). Archived from the original on 2018-07-17. Retrieved 2018-06-03.

External links Edit