PFC Lokomotiv Sofia

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Lokomotiv Sofia
Loko sofia logo.png
Full name Професионален футболен клуб Локомотив София
(Professional football club Lokomotiv Sofia)
Nickname(s) Железничарите (The Railwaymen) .[1]
Founded 2 September 1929; 85 years ago (1929-09-02)
as Railway Sports Club
Ground Lokomotiv Stadium,
Sofia
Ground Capacity 22,000
Chairman Bulgaria Nikolay Gigov
Manager Bulgaria Dimitar Vasev
League A Group
2013–14 A Group, 10th
Website Club home page
Lokomotiv's active sections
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Football
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Rugby
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Water polo
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Judo
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Boxing
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Chess
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Rhythmic gymnastics
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Karate
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Aikido
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Volleyball
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Athletics
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Basketball (mens)
Basketball (womens)

PFC Lokomotiv Sofia (Bulgarian: ПФК Локомотив София) is a Bulgarian football club from the capital city of Sofia, which currently competes in Bulgaria's top football league, the A Group.

It was founded on September 2, 1929 by a group of railway workers under the name Railway Sports Club (or simply RSC). The club's home ground is the Lokomotiv Stadium in Sofia, which has a capacity of 22,000 spectators. To date, Lokomotiv has won the Bulgarian championship four times and the Bulgarian Cup on four occasions.

History[edit]

1929–1994[edit]

Lokomotiv was founded on 2 September 1929 as Railway Sports Club (RSC) by a group of railway workers. RSC's first competitive game was an 2–1 victory against Zora Sofia on 3 October 1929. In the 1939–40 season, RSC won the Bulgarian title for first time in the team's history. The names say enough: Stoyo Nedyalkov (captain), Sl. Videnov, K. Kostov, D. Marinov, St. Angelov, As. Milushev, Krum Milev, L. Hranov. In 1945, the club had already been renamed Lokomotiv Sofia and won the title in the first post-war championship. In season 1963–64 after 30 games, Lokomotiv won their third title after they defeated main rivals to the title Levski Sofia and Slavia Sofia. In 1969 the club was united with Slavia Sofia for a brief period to 1971 and is associated with the Bulgarian railway workers. In 1978, led by Atanas Mihaylov and Boycho Velichkov Lokomotiv won their fourth title. In Europe the club won European championship of the railwaymen two times in 1961 and 1963, and Balkans Cup in 1973. In 1980 Lokomotiv reached quarter final in the UEFA Cup where they faced VfB Stuttgart, eliminating before that Ferencváros, AS Monaco and Dynamo Kyiv. Against Stuttgart the team lost with 0:1 in Sofia and with 1:3 in Germany.

1994 – present, Nikolay Gigov era[edit]

The new era for Lokomotiv Sofia came in 1994 with the new president Nikolay Gigov. The football club's status was turned professional. For merely one year (1994–1995), from a team struggling to not to lose its place in the professional league, Lokomotiv won the silver medals in the Championship and the State Cup. The club's home ground is Lokomotiv Stadium with 25,000 places, a junior training center: Lokomotiv has an enthusiastic and well-organized fan-club. The team came fourth in the 2005–06 season in A PFG and qualified for the UEFA Cup 2006-07 first qualifying round, where they face FK Makedonija Gorce Petrov from the Republic of Macedonia. Lokomotiv beat the Macedonian side 2–0 in the first match in Sofia on 13 July 2006 and finished 1–1 as a guest in Macedonia and continued to the next round of the tournament. Next, they faced the team of Bnei Yehuda Tel Aviv, which they beat twice: 2–0 on 10 August 2006 and 4–0 on 24 August 2006.Their next opponent in the first round of the tournament was the team of Feyenoord Rotterdam. The first game in Sofia ended with a 2–2 draw, after Lokomotiv went ahead 2–0 early in the first half. The second game finished 0–0 and Lokomotiv Sofia were out of the UEFA tournament.

Domestically, Lokomotiv had an amazing run of 10 consecutive wins, before being stopped by CSKA Sofia in the direct clash for the second position. Eventually, Lokomotiv finished third with equal points with second-placed CSKA Sofia.

The 2007/08 season started promisingly for the team. In the UEFA Cup second qualifying round Lokomotiv eliminated Romanian side Oţelul Galaţi after a 3–1 win at home and a scoreless away draw. This marked 8 European games without a loss, which was a new national record for longest streak without a loss achieved by a Bulgarian team in all European competitions. The previous record of 7 games was held by Levski Sofia. In the next round, Lokomotiv faced the French Rennes and the loss 1–3 in the first leg in Sofia marked an end to the team's winning streak in Europe. The Bulgarian side showed a surprising rally in the second game in France, which they won 2–1 and were only a single goal short of making it to the extra time. For a second consecutive year, Lokomotiv were stopped short of entering the group stage of the UEFA Cup, despite being the first Bulgarian club in soccer history to snatch a victory on French soil.

Supporters and Rivalries[edit]

Lokomotiv Sofia supporters make an important part of the club's image on the domestic and on the European scene. They are commonly referred as The Iron Brigades. The groups presence is mostly signaled by their banners: Red'n Black Mladost Fans, The Pain Train, Delta Force, Brigate Sofia, Fanatics Fans and many more. The official National Fan Club of Lokomotiv was established legally at the end of 1999 and to this moment is the biggest fan organization of the club.

From a historic point of view, Lokomotiv's traditional city rival is Slavia Sofia. On a national basis, Lokomotiv Sofia has also rivalries with CSKA and Levski from the capital. Outside Sofia, Lokomotiv's main rivals are Lokomotiv from Plovdiv. The derby between the two Lokomotiv sides is referred to as The Railway Derby.

Statistics and records[edit]

Lokomotiv's first competitive game was an 2–1 victory against Zora Sofia on 3 November 1929. Atanas Mihaylov holds Lokomotiv's overall appearance record—he played 348 matches over the course of 17 seasons from 1964 to 1981. Lokomotiv's all-time leading scorer again is Atanas Mihaylov, who scored 145 goals. The most goals scored by a player in a single match is six; Tsvetan Genkov have achieved this feat in 2007.[2]

Lokomotiv's biggest victory is 11–1 against Chavdar Byala Slatina in 1991 for Bulgarian Cup. Lokomotiv's 9–0 defeat of Chernomorets Burgas Sofia on 27 May 2007 was its largest league win.[3] Lokomotiv's heaviest defeat, 0–8, came against Levski Sofia in 1994. Lokomotiv's 6–0 win against Neftchi Baku in the UEFA Cup was the largest victory in the Europe competition's history at the time.

Lokomotiv Sofia Reserves and Academy[edit]

Except the main representative team, Lokomotiv Sofia has a youth academy, which consists of 11 football teams of about 300 children at an age between 8 and 18 years. The children at this school are entrusted to qualified football coaches. The majority of them are products of the youth academies and their football career has passed exactly in the representative man squad of the club. Of all 11 teams, 6 teams at age between 8 and 18 years take part in the Sofia tournaments and the republican tournaments of Bulgaria. In these tournaments the teams finish at awarded places at their age. As an example, the juvenile team (born 1984–1985) won the title of state champion of 2003. The players at age between 8 and 11 years are preparatory groups and after 3–4 years of teaching start their participation in the preliminary tournaments and correspondingly in the city and national tournaments, organized be the Bulgarian Football Union and the country.

Honours[edit]

Domestic[edit]

Bulgarian State Football Championship:

  • Winners (1): 1940 (as RSC)
  • Runners-up (1): 1941 (as RSC)

A Group:

Bulgarian Cup:

  • Winners (4): 1948, 1953, 1982, 1995
  • Runners-up (2): 1975, 1977

European[edit]

UEFA Cup

European Railways Cup

  • Winners (2): 1961, 1963

Balkans Cup:

European record[edit]

Competition S P W D L GF GA GD
UEFA Champions League / European Cup 2 8 3 1 4 19 21 – 2
UEFA Cup Winners' Cup / European Cup Winners' Cup 3 8 3 0 5 8 17 – 9
UEFA Europa League / UEFA Cup 8 34 12 11 11 49 37 + 12
Total 13 50 18 12 20 76 75 + 1

Current squad[edit]

As of 15 December 2014 Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Bulgaria GK Bozhidar Mitrev
2 Bulgaria DF Ivan Gogov
5 Serbia DF Marko Ranđelović
6 Bulgaria DF Aleksandar Branekov (captain)
7 Bulgaria MF Daniel Genov
8 Bulgaria DF Rumen Trifonov
9 Bulgaria FW Preslav Yordanov
10 Bulgaria MF Georg Vasilev
11 Bulgaria MF Vladislav Romanov
13 Bulgaria GK Kristiyan Katsarev
14 Bulgaria MF Daniel Vasev
15 Bulgaria DF Trayan Trayanov
16 Bulgaria DF Kamen Hadzhiev
No. Position Player
18 Bulgaria MF Valentin Yochev
19 Bulgaria MF Dimitar Velkovski
20 Bulgaria MF Anton Slavchev
21 Bulgaria MF Daniel Gadzhev
23 Bulgaria MF Aleksandar Manolov
26 Bulgaria MF Ivo Ivanov
29 Tunisia FW Lamjed Chehoudi
33 Brazil MF Tom
47 Portugal MF Fernando Livramento
69 France DF Helton
77 Bulgaria DF Yordan Todorov
84 Bulgaria GK Valentin Galev

For recent transfers, see Transfers summer 2014 and Transfers winter 2014–15.

Foreign players[edit]

Up to three non-EU nationals can be registered and given a squad number for the first team in the A PFG. 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.

EU Nationals

EU Nationals (Dual citizenship)

Non-EU Nationals

Notable players[edit]

The following players, which are included were either playing for their respective national teams or left good impression among the fans.

Former foreign players[edit]

Albania
  • Albania Zenun Selimi
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Brazil
Chad
Croatia
France
 
Georgia
Germany
Ghana
Guinea-Bissau
Macedonia
Malta
Montenegro
Morocco
 
Serbia
Slovenia
South Africa
 
Switzerland
Ukraine
  • Ukraine Igor Shelist
United States

Managers[edit]

UEFA Ranking[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The most popular Bulgarian football clubs – Lokomotiv Sofia". bnr.bg. 
  2. ^ "Genkov scored six against Chernomorets Burgas Sofia". pfl.bg. 
  3. ^ "Lokomotiv's biggest league win". pfl.bg. 
  4. ^ [1] lokosf.info, (Bulgarian)
  5. ^ [2] lokosf.info, (Bulgarian)
  6. ^ "UEFA Club Rankings". UEFA.com. 2013-05-15. Retrieved 2013-05-15. 

External links[edit]