Georgi Asparuhov

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Georgi Asparuhov
Georgi Asparuhov 1969.jpg
Georgi Asparuhov in 1969
Personal information
Full name Georgi Rangelov Asparuhov
Date of birth (1943-05-04)4 May 1943
Place of birth Sofia, Bulgaria
Date of death 30 June 1971(1971-06-30) (aged 28)
Height 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)
Playing position Striker
Number 9
Youth career
Levski Sofia
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1959–1961 Levski Sofia 23 (7)
1961–1963 Botev Plovdiv 47 (25)
1963–1971 Levski Sofia 176 (118)
Total 246 (150[1])
National team
1961–1971 Bulgaria 50 (19)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 9 June 2006.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 30 May 2006

Georgi Rangelov Asparuhov (Bulgarian: Георги Рангелов Аспарухов) (sometimes spelled Asparoukhov), nicknamed Gundi (4 May 1943 – 30 June 1971) was a Bulgarian football player. He is considered to be among the top Bulgarian footballers of all time.[2] Normally a striker, Asparuhov was renowned for his finishing, technique and heading ability.

Asparuhov was a striker for Levski Sofia from 1960 to 1961 and 1964 to 1971, and for Botev Plovdiv from 1961 to 1963. He played 245 matches and scored 150 goals in the top Bulgarian division.[3] Some of the top European clubs at the time sought his services. In the 1965–66 European Cup, Levski played Benfica (with Eusébio in the squad). When Benfica eliminated Levski after hard fought 3:2 and 2:2 scorelines and Gundi having netted 3 of all Levski goals (one of them Simo Nikolov), Europe began to view Gundi with interest. In fact, he was the first player to score two goals in Benfica's stadium. In the aftermath of this match, Levski grew in popularity in Europe. The rich Portuguese club wanted to buy Asparuhov, but the communist government of Bulgaria did not allow them to do so.

For the Bulgaria national football team, Asparuhov featured in 50 games and has 19 goals. He scored the only goals for Bulgaria in Chile '62 and in England '66.

Asparuhov died in a car crash in 1971 with his talented teammate, Nikola Kotkov. At his funeral, over 550,000[4] people went to Sofia to pay tribute and their respect to him and to bid him farewell. The present stadium of Levski Sofia is called Georgi Asparuhov Stadium in honour of the famous striker.

His rejection of AC Milan is one of the most quoted phrases in Bulgaria: "Има една страна, България. Там има един отбор Левски, може да не сте чували за него. Но аз в него съм се родил, в него и ще умра!" (Translation: "There is a country called Bulgaria. In which, there's a team called Levski. You may not have heard of it. But I was born there, and there I will die!")

Statistics[edit]

  • National team — 50 matches, 19 goals
  • Bulgarian championship — 245 matches, 150 goals — 199/125 for Levski, 45/25 for Botev
  • Bulgarian Cup — 35 matches, 20 goals — 27/16 for Levski, 8/4 for Botev
  • Total club mathes — 326 matches, 209 goals
  • European club tournaments — 23 matches, 19 goals — CEC-12, CWC-7
  • International club matches — 35 matches, 23 goals — 32/20 for Levski, 3/3 for Botev
  • First match — with Levski against Lokomotiv Sofia — 22 September 1960
  • Last match — with Levski against CSKA — 28 June 1971
  • First goal — for Levski against Botev (1:1) — 28 September 1960
  • Last goal — for Levski against Etar — 13 June 1971
  • First international cap — 6 May 1962 against Austria
  • Last international cap – 12 June 1970 against Morocco
  • All – 388 matches, 231 goals

Honours[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]