|Full name||Valeri Bozhinov|
|Date of birth||15 February 1986|
|Place of birth||Gorna Oryahovitsa, Bulgaria|
|Height||1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)|
|Current club||Free Agent|
|2006–2007||→ Juventus (loan)||18||(5)|
|2009–2010||→ Parma (loan)||30||(8)|
|2012||→ Lecce (loan)||10||(1)|
|2012||→ Verona (loan)||13||(1)|
|2013||→ Vicenza (loan)||18||(4)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 1 October 2013.
† Appearances (Goals).
Valeri Emilov Bozhinov (Bulgarian: Валери Божинов, pronounced [vɐˈlɛri boˈʒinof]; born 15 February 1986), also known as Valeri Bojinov, is Bulgarian football player. A well-rounded player, Bojinov is known for his vision, ability to hold the ball, heading and set piece skills.
Born in Gorna Oryahovitsa, Bulgaria, Bojinov moved to Malta at the age of 12 with his mother Pepa, a former Bulgarian national basketball team player and stepfather Sasho Angelov, who had played for the Bulgarian national football team during the 1990s.
A promising youngster, Bojinov settled in Lecce and continued his studies there while playing for U.S. Lecce youth teams. He debuted in Italian Serie A on 22 January 2002, at the age of 15 years and 11 months for U.S. Lecce, becoming the youngest foreign player to make an appearance in the top level of Italian football. He scored his first goal in the top division on 6 January 2004 in a home 1–2 defeat against Bologna, becoming the youngest non-national to score in Serie A.
For the 2006–07 season, Fiorentina loaned Bojinov to Juventus, who had just been relegated to Serie B.
He was ruled out for five months, after suffering a knee ligament injury against Manchester United in August 2007. He returned to full training on 22 January 2008, scoring five goals in a bounce game. On 11 February 2008, Bojinov played in a Manchester City reserve game, where he came on as a substitute and scored a header from a cross by Emile Mpenza. Manchester City manager Sven-Göran Eriksson told Bojinov that he would not be ready to play in the game against Everton on 25 February 2008. He did not manage to make a come-back to the first team squad in the 2007/08 season, but he did make some appearances for the Reserve squad and was included in City's tour of Asia.
He scored his first goal for the club over a year after joining in a pre-season friendly against Stockport County. He also scored the winning goal in a friendly against Milan on 9 August 2008. On 17 August 2008, Bojinov was ruled out for six months after suffering an Achilles injury as he was running on to the pitch to warm up against Aston Villa. He has been labelled 'unlucky' as this is his second long term injury. By mid-January 2009, the club announced that he was nearing full training.
In mid-February 2009, Manchester City manager Mark Hughes declared that Bojinov was going to play a practice match "Behind closed doors" as he was nearing his return to first team football. He played 65 minutes for the reserves on 17 February 2009. He even scored a penalty against rivals Manchester United in a reserve game while regaining match fitness.
Bojinov made his long-awaited return to Premier League football, by coming on as an 89th minute substitute against West Ham United on 1 March 2009. He then appeared again as a late substitute for Manchester City by coming on as an 83rd minute substitute in place of Elano against Aston Villa. Valeri made his first start since 2007 in the 1–0 home win over Sunderland on 22 March 2009, but was substituted in the 65th minute which saw the return of injured Craig Bellamy. He finally scored his first league goal in the 2–1 loss against Tottenham on 16 May 2009, four minutes after coming on as a substitute for compatriot Martin Petrov in the 61st minute.
It was announced on 29 July 2009 that Bojinov would be joining Italian side Parma, on a season long loan. He decided to wear number 86. On 23 September 2009 he scored his first official goal for Parma against Lazio. He also won a penalty for his team. The match ended in a 1–2 away win for Parma.
On 4 July 2010 it was confirmed that Parma have completed the permanent signing of Bojinov. However, Bojinov endured a difficult season, largely restricted to the bench thanks to a combination of his own sub-par performances; the regular use of just one forward in the team; and regular goals coming from Hernan Crespo and Amauri in the early and late parts of the season, respectively.
On 6 July 2011, Sporting signed Bojinov in a 5-year contract, paying €2.6million for 80% of his registration rights, which could rise to €3.5 million depending on his performance at the Portuguese side. His transfer to Sporting, saw Chilean midfielder Jaime Valdés move on loan to Parma as part of the exchange.
During his time with the Lisbon outfit, he was primarily used by coach Domingos Paciência as a substitute. He made his first team debut on 25 August, against Danish side FC Nordsjælland in a UEFA Europa League play-off tie. Bojinov would score for Sporting for the first time on 24 October, against Gil Vicente. A brace against the Barcelos side saw Bojinov help his side demolish the opposition 6–1 in a gameweek eight Primeira Liga fixture.
On 20 January 2012, Sporting CP declared Bojinov persona non-grata, forbidding the player from entering the stadium or the training academy, due to his actions in the league Cup match game against Moreirense F.C. that was played the previous day. At 92 minutes Sporting was conceded a decisive penalty kick that would, if scored, give the team the victory. The regular penalty taker for Sporting, Matias Fernandez, prepared to take the shot, but Bojinov took the ball from him, pushing him away and insisting that he would do it, even though the player had never taken a penalty for Sporting, and hadn't scored a penalty during an official game since 2006. He failed to score, infuriating the supporters and Sporting's managers, which have subsequently banned the player on the basis that the player disrespected the decision of the coach and therefore the rules of the club. He then joined his former team Lecce on a loan.
Loan spells to Verona and Vicenza
On 31 August 2012, it was announced that he is officially a Verona player, on a year long loan.
On 17 January 2013, he signed with second-division side Vicenza on a six-month loan. Bojinov scored his first goal in his second game for Vicenza against Juve Stabia on 2 February. Bojinov would score again on 26 February, a brace against Grosseto in a 2–1 away win.
- As of 1 October 2013
|Club||Season||League||Cup||League Cup||Europe||Other[nb 1]||Total|
Bojinov made his debut for the national side during Euro 2004 – on 22 June 2004, he came on as a substitute in the 1–2 loss against Italy. He earned his second cap on 19 August 2004 in the 1–1 away draw against Ireland in a friendly match, during which he also scored his first international goal.
- As of 30 June 2013
|Bulgaria national team|
- As of 29 February 2012
|1||19 August 2004||Lansdowne Road, Dublin, Republic of Ireland||Republic of Ireland||1–1||1–1 (draw)||Friendly|
|2||17 November 2005||Reliant Stadium, Houston, USA||Mexico||2–0||3–0 (win)||Friendly|
|3||6 September 2006||Vasil Levski, Sofia, Bulgaria||Slovenia||1–0||3–0 (win)||UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying|
|4||18 November 2009||Hibernians Ground, Paola, Malta||Malta||1–0||4–1 (win)||Friendly|
|5||24 May 2010||Orlando Stadium, Johannesburg, South Africa||South Africa||1–1||1–1 (draw)||Friendly|
|6||29 February 2012||ETO Park, Győr, Hungary||Hungary||1–1||1–1 (draw)||Friendly|
On October 2013, Bojinov made the headlines in his native Bulgaria, but for good reason. While shopping with his family at a mall in Sofia, Bojinov saved a man reportedly choking on his tongue by helping to pull his tongue out of his throat and stabilising him until medics arrived.
- Coppa Italia Primavera: 2001–02
- "Valeri Bojinov". Transfermarkt. Retrieved 24 January 2010.
- "Bozhinov, Valeri". nationalfootballteams.com. Retrieved 13 September 2011.
- "The Boj Is Back, Valeri Bojinov, Just What Manchester City Needs". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
- "Che cazzo Valeri?!". bgfootball.com. Retrieved 31 August 2012.
- "Bojinov bound to Lecce". uefa.com. Retrieved 2 December 2004.
- Football Italia – Player of the Week: Born-again Bojinov
- "Bojinov seals switch to Man City". BBC Sport. 3 August 2007. Retrieved 3 August 2007.
- "Bojinov signs for City". Manchester City FC official site. 3 August 2007. Retrieved 3 August 2007.
- "Man City rocked by Bojinov injury". BBC Sport. 20 August 2007. Retrieved 20 August 2007.
- "Seventh heaven for Zola's Hammers". TEAMtalk. 28 February 2009. Retrieved 3 March 2009.
- Sporting CP (6 July 2011). "COMUNICADO" [Communication] (in Portuguese). CMVM. Retrieved 30 July 2011.
- "Bojinov até 2016 com cláusula de 25 milhões". A Bola (abola.pt). 6 July 2011. Retrieved 13 July 2011.
- "Valdés cedido ao Parma". A Bola (abola.pt). 6 July 2011. Retrieved 13 July 2011.
- "Sporting 2–1 Nordsjaelland". ZeroZero (in Portuguese). 25 August 2011. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
- "Sporting 6–1 Gil Vicente". ZeroZero (in Portuguese). Retrieved 18 April 2013.
- "Sporting soma nona vitória consecutiva com goleada de 6x1" [Sporting adds nininth consecutive victory with a thrashing of 6x1]. ZeroZero (in Portuguese). 24 October 2011. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
- "Sporting CP to take disciplinary action against Valeri Bojinov". Goal.com. 20 January 2012. Retrieved 22 January 2012.
- "Bojinov muda-se para o Vicenza" [Bojinov goes to Vicenza]. A Bola (in Portuguese). 17 January 2013. Retrieved 18 April 2013.
- "Vicenza 1–2 Juve Stabia". ZeroZero (in Portuguese). Retrieved 18 April 2013.
- "Grosseto 1–2 Vicenza". ZeroZero (in Portuguese). Retrieved 18 April 2013.
- "Стоичков дебютира с равенство". NDT Newspaper. 9 August 2004. Retrieved 13 March 2010.
- "Валери и Алисия направиха бебе в Париж" (in Bulgarian). 7sport.net. Retrieved 18 April 2007.
- "Валери Божинов стана татко на момче" (in Bulgarian). Sportal.bg. Retrieved 12 September 2007.
- "Валери и Николета вече са семейство.Те имат дъщеря,която се казва Никол." (in Bulgarian). Sportni.bg. Retrieved 10 October 2011.
- "Ex-Man City flop Valeri Bojinov saves man's life". inside World Soccer. 6 October 2013.
- Valeri Bojinov career stats at Soccerbase
- Juventus.com – Profile and Stats
- FootballDatabase.com – Profile and Stats
- Goal.com profile
- Stats and profile at Zerozero
- Stats at ForaDeJogo