Bulgaria national football team

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Bulgaria
Nickname(s) Лъвовете (The Lions)
Association Bulgarian Football Union
Confederation UEFA (Europe)
Head coach Ivaylo Petev
Captain Svetoslav Dyakov
Most caps Stiliyan Petrov (105)[1]
Top scorer Dimitar Berbatov (48)
FIFA code BUL
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 66 Increase 12 (5 November 2015)
Highest 3 (June 1995)
Lowest 96 (August 2012)
First international
 Austria 6–0 Bulgaria 
(Vienna, Austria; 21 May 1924)
World Cup
Appearances 8 (First in 1962)
Best result Semi-Final: 1994
Euro Cup
Appearances 2 (First in 1996)
Best result Quarter-Final: 1968
Summer Olympics
Appearances 5 (First in 1924)
Best result Runners-Up: 1968
Olympic medal record
Men’s Football
Silver medal – second place 1968 Mexico City Team
Bronze medal – third place 1956 Melbourne Team

The Bulgaria national football team (Bulgarian: Национален отбор по футбол на България) is an association football team fielded by the Bulgarian Football Union, a member association[clarification needed] of UEFA. The team's home ground is Vasil Levski in Sofia and Ivaylo Petev is national manager. Their best World Cup performance was in the 1994 World Cup in the United States, where they beat defending champions Germany to reach the semi-finals, losing to Italy. Although defeating strong top ranked teams in international friendlies throughout the years, the team's strength has diminished slowly, failing to qualify for any major tournament since 2004.

Contents

History[edit]

The beginning[edit]

The Bulgarian national football team was formed in 1922. In 1923 The Bulgarian Football Union was formed and the team's first match was held in Vienna on 21 May 1924, with a 6–0 defeat to Austria.[2]

Bulgaria was invited to the 1930 World Cup in Uruguay, but declined participation because the players could not take such an extended leave from work.[3]

Years in international wilderness[edit]

The Bulgarian side, at this time, could not progress in qualifying to any major tournaments from the time of 1930 to 1960. This period of time was the international wilderness for Bulgaria. They would end up on many occasions getting 2nd or 3rd in their qualifying group and proceeding to the play offs, but in the end not able to qualify. Bulgaria although, did defeat many great teams in international friendlies during those years. The only tournaments they seemed to qualify for were smaller tournaments, such as the Balkan Cup, which they have won four times. Finally, their time came, when they qualified for the World Cup for the second time, in Chile, 1962.

1960s and 1970s[edit]

Bulgaria qualified for the World Cup for the first time in 1962 and followed that up with consecutive appearances in 1966, 1970 and 1974. The team, however, did not have much success and finished third in their group three out of the four times.

The team qualified for its first UEFA European Championship in 1968 and went on to win their group with wins over Norway (4-2), Sweden (3-0) and Portugal (1-0) before losing to eventual champion and host Italy in a two-legged quarterfinal. Bulgaria won the first leg 3-2, but lost the second by a 2-0 score to lose 4-3 on aggregate.

At the 1968 Summer Olympics, the team won the silver medal. They finished first in Group D by beating Thailand 7–0, Guatemala 2–1, and drawing 2–2 against Czechoslovakia. They advanced to the quarterfinals by beating Israel and the semifinals by beating host Mexico. In the final, the team was defeated by Hungary.

In 1976, the team won the Balkan Cup by beating Romania in the two-legged final 1–0 and 3–2.

1962 World Cup[edit]

Bulgaria finally would qualify after a while to their second world cup, although this is the first one they would be competing in. Bulgaria was drawn in a tough group with tough opponents England, power machine Argentina and super power house Hungary. Bulgaria would open up their campaign with a narrow 0-1 loss to Argentina. Later on, misery would strike, as Bulgaria would lose their second group match by a 1-6 score to Hungary. Bulgaria’s hopes of qualifying were over, but with one world cup match left, they gave it a shot. They would end up drawing with England 0-0 and finish fourth in the group with only one point.

1966 World Cup[edit]

As 4 years passed, so did another chance of world cup success. Bulgaria would qualify for their second straight world cup. They were drawn into an even harder group than last world cup. They would end up in a group of death with super powers Hungary, Portugal and Brazil with Pele at the helm. Bulgaria would open their campaign match with a 0-2 loss to Brazil thanks to two free kick goals by Pele and Garrincha. Later on Bulgaria would lose 0-3 to Euseibo and Portugal. Finally Bulgaria, once again with no chance of next round qualification, would finish their last match with a 1-3 loss to Hungary. Bulgaria would finish fourth with zero points in the group. This being Bulgaria’s worst world cup performance yet in Bulgaria’s history.

1968 Euro Cup: Quarter-finals[edit]

After their poor world cup performance, Bulgaria was determined to redeem themselves somehow. So when the time finally came, they did. Bulgaria was drawn in a group with Scandinavian Giants Norway and Sweden along with King Euseibo and Portugal. Bulgaria started off very well with a 4-2 win over Norway. They would add to their winning streak with a 3-0 destruction of Sweden. There final match would determine who would win the group. Bulgaria were downed in the past world cup by Portugal 3-0, and they were determined not to happen again. When the game finally came, Bulgaria would defeat Portugal by a 1-0 score. This would seal Bulgaria as group winners and a shot at the two legged quarterfinal. When that time finally came Bulgaria would have to face Italy, the hosts. Bulgaria would start off well, with a 3-2 victory over the Italians. When the second match came, Bulgaria would fall 2-0, also causing them to lose in aggregate and getting eliminated from the tournament. Italy would go on to win the European Championship, and Bulgaria would get the 5th-place ranking, for being the only team in the tournament able to defeat the champions Italy, in a match.

1968 Summer Olympics[edit]

A month and a half after the European Championship came the Olympics, which Bulgaria had qualified for the 5th time in their history. They were drawn in a simple group with minnows Thailand, tough opponents Guatemala and giants Czechoslovakia. Bulgaria would start off with a 7-0 thrashing of Thailand. They would later go on and draw with Czechoslovakia 2-2 to increase their point standards. Their final match would determine if they would go on to the quarterfinals. As the time came Bulgaria would defeat Guatemala 2-1 and win their first round Olympic group. They would pass on to the Quarterfinals to face underdogs Israel. That game would remain 1-1 for most of the match until a drawing of lots would determine who would go to the semifinals of the tournament. Bulgaria would with the draw and advance to play Mexico. They would have a hard fought match, but overtime they would come out on top with a 3-2 victory. Bulgaria would advance to the finals for the first time in their Olympic history. They were determined to win the gold medal, but would fall short badly with a 1-4 loss to Hungary. Bulgaria worked hard but could only come out with a silver medal. It was a good performance but not enough for the final and most important game of the tournament.

1970 World Cup[edit]

Bulgaria qualified for their third straight world cup. This time it was in Mexico just like the Olympics two years before it. Bulgaria was hoping for another great result like in the Olympics but this time in world cup standards. They were drawn in a medially tough group with power giants Germany, South American powers Peru and African underdogs Morocco. Bulgaria played their first match against Peru. They were leading the match 2-0 until near the end when the Peruvians woke up and began to score. Bulgaria would clumsily fall to Peru 2-3, and start their group in slow fashion. The second match didn’t change much for Bulgaria as they would fall to the giants Germany 5-2. Bulgaria still had a chance to qualify for the next round but they would need a win against Morocco to do that. When that time came Bulgaria would lead Morocco for most of the game until the 61st minute. Bulgaria would end up drawing with Morocco 1-1. They would finish the group in 3rd place but fall short of next round qualification.

1974 World Cup[edit]

Four years later, in Germany, Bulgaria would qualify for their fourth straight world cup. They were drawn in a decently tough group, with destroyers the Netherlands, up setters Sweden and shockers Uruguay. Bulgaria would start off with Sweden and after 90 minutes the game would remain goalless in a 0-0 draw. Although no goals, Bulgaria were down set from the disallowed goal they scored, that was ruled offside by the side ref. Later on though Bulgaria would tie with Uruguay 1-1 after a hard fought match. Bulgaria remained in good qualifying contention; all they needed to do was tie against the Netherlands. As the final match came, Bulgaria would fall by a 1-4 score. The ironic thing though was that Netherlands scored all the goals including an own goal for Bulgaria. Bulgaria would remain in 3rd place in the group and sadly fall short of the next round once again. The good thing was that this was their best performance at a world cup since 1930; with 2 draws and 1 loss. Though, their best performances were soon to come.

The 1980s and 1990s[edit]

1986 World Cup: The knockout rounds[edit]

Bulgaria qualified for the World Cup in Mexico by finishing second in Group Four, behind France with 11 points, but worse goal difference, ahead of the teams of Yugoslavia, East Germany, and Luxembourg. This was their fifth World Cup appearance. They were drawn in Group A with Italy, Argentina, and South Korea. In the opening match of the World Cup, the Bulgarians held the defending champions Italy to a 1–1 draw. Alessandro Altobelli gave the Italians the lead, but an 85th minute equalizer by Nasko Sirakov gave the Bulgarians the point. The next match was another 1–1 draw against South Korea with the goal for Bulgaria coming from Plamen Getov in the 11th minute. They lost the final match of the group 2–0 against Argentina, who ended up winning the tournament. Despite not recording a win, the Bulgarians advanced to the knockout stage by being the third-best third placed team. That way, Bulgaria and also Uruguay became the first nations to qualify for the knockout stage without winning a game in the first round. In the Round of 16, they faced World Cup hosts Mexico and lost the match 2–0. Ivan Vutsov was the manager of the team.

1994 World Cup: Semi-final triumph[edit]

Certainly one of the most important dates in Bulgarian football history is 17 November 1993, a date where Emil Kostadinov scored two goals to beat France in Paris, allowing Bulgaria to qualify for the World Cup in the United States in 1994. Under the management of Dimitar Penev, the Bulgarians, led by players such as Hristo Stoichkov, Yordan Lechkov, and Krasimir Balakov — along with a multitude of other talented players remembered in Bulgaria as the "Golden Generation" — made a strong impression by reaching the semi-finals. They entered Group D with Argentina, Nigeria, and Greece. Before that, the Bulgarians hadn't won a single match in five World Cup finals appearances. The first match ended with a 3–1 defeat by Nigeria at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas. Despite the bad start, the team won 4–0 against World Cup-debuting Greece at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois and then returned to Dallas to win 2–0 against Argentina. Argentina had actually been winning the group going into injury-time. A 91st-minute strike from Nasko Sirakov, however, meant that they dropped two places and finished third. Bulgaria continued to the next round, where they faced Mexico at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey near New York City. The match ended 1–1 and after no goals were scored in extra time, penalties would decide which team would go through. Team captain Borislav Mihaylov made a good performance saving the first three penalty kicks, making it a world cup record. Bulgaria won 3–1 on penalties with Mihaylov becoming the hero for the Bulgarian team. In the quarter-finals, Bulgaria faced the then-defending World Cup champions Germany, again in New Jersey. Lothar Matthäus scored from a penalty. The Bulgarians, however, managed to turn the game over with two goals by Hristo Stoichkov and Yordan Lechkov, giving them a 2–1 win and recording one of the most memorable wins for the team. Having reached the semi-finals, this was the best Bulgarian performance in the World Cup. In the semi-finals, they lost 2–1 to Italy once again at Giants Stadium, and they then had to travel 2,700 mi (4,320 km) across three time zones to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California near Los Angeles for the third-place match against Sweden. Bulgaria lost 4-0 and ended up finishing in 4th place—their best ever result at a FIFA World Cup. Hristo Stoichkov was awarded the Golden Boot as the top scorer in the tournament with six goals. Later in December, Stoitchkov was also awarded the FIFA Ballon d'or, becoming the first Bulgarian and third Barcelona Player to win it in history. Krasimir Balakov was named in the all-star team along with Stoichkov.

1996 Euro Cup: Group stage or quarter-final?[edit]

In 1996, the team qualified for the European Football Championship for the first time, after some good results in the qualifying group, including a stunning 3–2 turnaround win against future Euro 1996 champions Germany. They were drawn in Group B with France, Spain, and Romania. Bulgaria started with a 1–1 draw against the Spanish. They would score a second with a wonderful volley by Stoitchkov but it would be ruled offsides even though the cameras showed it clearly wasn't. After there rob of a win over Spain, Bulgaria went on to a 1–0 win against Romania. Stoitchkov scoring in the 3rd minute adding a second goal to the list. In the final group match, they lost 3–1 against France, Stoitchkov scoring from an amazing freekick to give Bulgaria there only goal of the game. At the same time, Spain defeated Romania 2–1 with the winner coming in the 84th minute, and the Bulgarians subsequently failed to qualify and robbed of the quarter-finals.

1998 World Cup: The last stand of the "Golden Team"[edit]

Bulgaria qualified for the World Cup in France by finishing first in the Group 5, followed by Russia. They entered the competition with a new manager Hristo Bonev. Bulgaria drew Spain, Nigeria, and Paraguay in Group D. The first match ended in a 0–0 goalless draw against Paraguay. In the second match, the Bulgarians lost 1–0 for a second-straight World Cup to Nigeria. The final match ended with a disappointing 6–1 defeat to Spain, even though two offsides goals were ruled out. Following the bad results, Bulgaria finished fourth in the group, with only one point, and didn't go through the next round. This was the last major appearance at World Cup level for Bulgaria.

2000 Euro Cup qualification: The end of a legendary era[edit]

Bulgaria was drawn in a tough qualifying group with teams like England, Sweden, and Poland. The campaign started bad with a draw and a defeat by Poland and Sweden. The most memorable match for Bulgaria in the group was the 1–1 draw against England, which was also the last one for Bulgarian legend Hristo Stoichkov before his international retirement. Bulgaria finished third with eight points and failed to make the final stages of Euro 2000.

Berbatov's Era[edit]

2002 World Cup qualification: Beginning of the World Cup drought[edit]

Bulgaria, Denmark, and Czech Republic amongst the main contenders for the qualifying spots. This is also the debut of Bulgaria's top scoring legend Dimitar Berbatov. Bulgaria won the matches against the weaker teams, but lost 2–0 to Denmark and one match with the Czech Republic. That way, Bulgaria finished third with 17 points and three points behind second-placed Czech Republic, thus failing to make the World Cup in South Korea and Japan.

2004 Euro Cup[edit]

Bulgaria managed to qualify for the Euro 2004 in Portugal by finishing first in the group ahead of teams like Croatia and Belgium with 17 points. They drew Sweden, Italy, and Denmark in Group C. They started very disappointing with a defeat to Sweden, followed by a 2–0 defeat to Denmark. The last match against Italy was a reasonable 2–1 defeat. The match was looking to end 1–1 after goals from Bulgarian winger Martin Petrov and Simone Perrotta, but a last minute goal by Antonio Cassano gave the Italians the win. They finished fourth with zero points and were sent home without reaching the knockout round. This has been the last Euro appearance of the Bulgarian national team.

2006 World Cup qualification: Failure[edit]

Bulgaria failed to qualify for the World Cup in Germany after a run of poor results,they started off good with wins over Hungary and other weaker teams. They tied with Sweden and Croatia the first run but lost the other meetings to the two sides. Although Berbatov scored many key goals in the qualifier including a last minute eqaulizer against Croatia, Bulgaria still finished third in Group Eight, behind Sweden and Croatia with 15 points.

2006 Kirin Cup[edit]

Although not making it to the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Bulgaria found themselves in a minor tournament in Japan. Known as the Kirin Cup, Bulgaria entered for the first time. They started off well with a 2-1 victory over the hosts Japan. Later on though, things went downhill as they lost 5-1 to Scotland, the eventual champions of the Kirin Cup. Bulgaria became the Runners Up and received the silver medal.

2008 Euro Cup qualification: Euro Cup near miss[edit]

Group G had Netherlands, Romania, and Bulgaria as the main contestants for a qualifying spot for the Euro 2008 in Switzerland and Austria. Bulgaria performed well after a run of good results from Romania that gave them the first place. Bulgaria would go on to the playoffs but draw the first match 1-1 with a goal by Petrov in the 10th minute and lose the second 2-0. The Bulgarians were robbed of a Euro and finished with 25 points, after Romania and Netherlands, with only one lost match against the Dutch.

2010 World Cup qualification: Close call[edit]

Bulgaria National Football Team in 2010.

Bulgaria were drawn against Italy and Ireland in qualifying Group Eight. Bulgaria started the campaign with a series of draws in the 2010 qualifiers. After the unconvincing start, the manager Plamen Markov was replaced by Stanimir Stoilov in January 2009. The Bulgarians then recorded their first win in the group against Cyprus, and also won against Montenegro and Georgia. They finished in third place in the group with 14 points, therefore failing to qualify directly or for a play-off place. Bulgarian top scorer Berbatov resigned from the national side after this result.[citation needed]

The 2010s[edit]

2012 Euro Cup qualification: Upset[edit]

The National Team in 2012.

Bulgaria were drawn in Group G along with England, Switzerland, Wales, and Montenegro. Bulgaria started off bad with a loss to England. They would later on draw with Switzerland and defeat Wales and Montenegro, but sadly Bulgaria finished in bottom behind Montenegro, Switzerland and Wales. This was the first time in the 2010s that Bulgaria has finished bottom in their qualifying group.

2014 World Cup qualification: World Cup near miss[edit]

In the qualification phase for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Bulgaria were placed in Group B together with the teams of Italy, Denmark, Czech Republic, Armenia and Malta. Under the guidance of former player Lyuboslav Penev as head coach, Bulgaria enjoyed a revival and put in credible performance in friendly matches before the start of the qualifications, most notably a 1-2 victory over World Cup 2010 runners-up Netherlands in Amsterdam. The qualifications started with a well-earned 2-2 draw against the Euro 2012 runner-up Italy on home soil. Bulgaria then edged a tight match against Armenia which ended 1-0. Later on Bulgaria narrowly drew 1-1 against Denmark. Another good performance followed four days later, Bulgaria earning a hard-fought 0-0 draw away to the Czech Republic. As a result of these performances when Penev took over the team climbed from 96th in the FIFA Ranking, their lowest position ever, to 40th in November 2012. Nevertheless, Penev's players hosted and defeated Malta 6-0 under a heavy snowfall for their next qualifier. Four days later, Bulgaria once again set a draw with Denmark 1-1 in Copenhagen.. This result left Bulgaria second in the group with 10 points and still undefeated. Bulgaria travelled to Italy 3, a game where they narrowly lost 1-0. Further on, the lions secured three more points with a 1-2 away win against Malta, leaving them hopeful of securing their second place in the group and a spot in the play-offs. However, after Bulgaria was defeated by Armenia 2-1 and the Czech Republic 1-0 at home, the dream of qualifying ended.

2016 Euro Cup qualification: In progress[edit]

Bulgaria have been placed in a group with Italy, Croatia, Norway, Azerbaijan, and Malta. Bulgaria opened up there first match with a 2-1 victory over Azerbaijan. They were narrowly defeated 1-0 by Croatia, following another tight 2-1 defeat to Norway. To add to the misery, Bulgaria drew with Malta 1-1 at home. This ultimately cost Head Coach Lyuboslav Penev his position, which was replaced by former Ludogorets Razgrad Coach Ivaylo Petev. On his debut match, Petev's squad drew Romania 0-0, this later led to a hard fought 2-2 draw with Italy, which Bulgaria led till the end of the match. When June came around Bulgaria took down Malta 1-0 to edge 2 points ever closer to that third place playoff position. Their chances of qualifying to the finals tournament in France are very slim, essentially theoretical. Bulgaria currently is ranked fourth in the group with their next match away against Croatia.

Standings[edit]
Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  Italy 10 7 3 0 16 7 +9 24 Qualify for final tournament
2  Croatia[a] 10 6 3 1 20 5 +15 20
3  Norway 10 6 1 3 13 10 +3 19 Advance to play-offs
4  Bulgaria 10 3 2 5 9 12 −3 11
5  Azerbaijan 10 1 3 6 7 18 −11 6
6  Malta 10 0 2 8 3 16 −13 2
Source: UEFA
Rules for classification: Qualification tiebreakers
Notes:
  1. ^ Croatia were deducted one point after charges for racist behaviour in the match against Italy at Stadion Poljud. In addition, the Croatian Football Federation were ordered to play their next two home matches of UEFA competition behind closed doors and not to play any of its remaining qualifying games at Poljud. A fine of €100,000 was also imposed.[4] The Croatian Football Federation appealed against the decision and a hearing was scheduled for 17 September 2015. Croatia's appeal was rejected.[5]

2018 World Cup qualification: The qualifying group of death[edit]

Bulgaria have been drawn in a tough world cup qualification group with powerhouses Netherlands, France, Sweden along with other members Belarus and Luxembourg. Bulgaria has already had a recent meeting with the Netherlands within the year 2013 in which Bulgaria came out on top with a 2-1 victory. Bulgaria has also had a 100 percent record history against Luxembourg while recently defeating Belarus 2-1 in a friendly in 2014. To add to this aspect, the last time Bulgaria was drawn within a world cup qualification group with Sweden and France was in 1994. Bulgaria drew level with Sweden once, and defeated France twice, decisively, to reach the 1994 World Cup in the U.S. where Bulgaria reached its all-time high of going to the Semi-Finals. Although placed with tough opponents, Bulgaria has luckily drawn Luxembourg at home for their first match in September. This will give them the brief opportunity to re-group hopeing to earn an early victory. This can lead the team on to starting off their qualifying campaign on a very positive level at the top of the group while building momentum overtime for when the time comes to face the stronger and tougher opponents.

Standings[edit]
Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  Netherlands 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Qualification to 2018 FIFA World Cup 10 Oct '16 10 Oct '17 3 Sep '17 7 Oct '16 9 Jun '17
1  France 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Possible second round[a] 31 Aug '17 13 Nov '16 7 Oct '16 10 Oct '17 3 Sep '17
1  Sweden 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 Sep '16 9 Jun '17 10 Oct '16 25 Mar '17 7 Oct '17
1  Bulgaria 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 25 Mar '17 7 Oct '17 31 Aug '17 13 Nov '16 6 Sep '16
1  Belarus 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 Oct '17 6 Sep '16 3 Sep '17 9 Jun '17 10 Oct '16
1  Luxembourg 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 13 Nov '16 25 Mar '17 7 Oct '16 10 Oct '17 31 Aug '17
First match(es) will be played on 6 September 2016. Source: FIFA
Rules for classification: Qualification tiebreakers
Notes:
  1. ^ The eight best runners-up across all groups will advance to the second round (play-offs). The ninth-ranked runners-up will be eliminated.

Team image[edit]

Colours[edit]

Traditionally the squad of Bulgarian plays at home entirely in colours of the Bulgarian tricolore, with predominantly white. This explains the very commonly used nickname The Lions.

Historical kits[edit]

Throughout the football nation's sartorial history, the outfield players wore equipments with the following colour patterns:

Home kits Away kits Third kit
1924-1975
1975-1978
1993-1994
2005-2008
2008-2011
1924–1975
1975-1984
1984–1993
1993–1994
2006-2008
2012-current

National stadium[edit]

The National Stadium

Normally, the Bulgarian national football team's home stadium is the Vasil Levski National Stadium with a capacity of 43,632. Vasil Levski was officially opened in 1953 and reconstructed in 1966 and 2002.It is currently eligible to host UEFA Europa League final matches. It is the second largest stadium in Bulgaria just behind the Plovdiv Stadium with a capacity 55,000. During the 2006–07 UEFA Champions League, the stadium was used for the games of Levski Sofia with Barcelona, Chelsea, and Werder Bremen. It was also given three stars for its excellence in art construction of the stadium. The Bulgarian national football team's home matches and the Bulgarian Cup finals are held at the venue, as well as athletics competitions. The stadium also offers judo, artistic gymnastics, basketball, boxing, aerobics, fencing and table tennis halls, as well as a general physical training hall, two conference halls, and three restaurants.

On November 4, 2011 it was announced that Bulgaria's new national stadium is going to be built in the Sofia suburb of Vrazhdebna, the Minister of Youth and Sports, Svilen Neykov, has announced. The new national stadium will be called "Arena of the Rose" and will be constructed near the International Airport where Vrazhdebna is located. It will have 60,000 seats and seen from above it will appear in the structure of a rose.

Competition history[edit]

World Cup record[edit]

Year Result Position GP Won Drawn* Lost GS GA
Uruguay1930 Did Not Enter
Italy 1934 Did Not Qualify
France 1938
Brazil1950 Did Not Enter
Switzerland1954 Did Not Qualify
Sweden 1958
Chile 1962 Group Stage 15th 3 0 1 2 1 7
England 1966 15th 3 0 0 3 1 8
Mexico 1970 13th 3 0 1 2 5 9
West Germany 1974 12th 3 0 2 1 2 5
Argentina 1978 Did Not Qualify
Spain 1982
Mexico 1986 Round of 16 15th 4 0 2 2 2 6
Italy 1990 Did not qualify
United States 1994 Fourth Place 4th 7 3 1 3 10 11
France 1998 Group Stage 29th 3 0 1 2 1 7
JapanSouth Korea 2002 Did Not Qualify
Germany 2006
South Africa 2010
Brazil 2014
Russia 2018 To Be Determined
Qatar 2022 To Be Determined
Total Fourth Place 7/20 26 3 8 15 19 53

European Championship record[edit]

UEFA European Championship record
Year Round Position GP W D* L GS GA
France 1960 Did Not Qualify
Spain 1964
Italy 1968
Belgium 1972
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia 1976
Italy 1980
France 1984
West Germany 1988
Sweden 1992
England 1996 Group Stage 11th 3 1 1 1 3 4
Belgium Netherlands 2000 Did Not Qualify
Portugal 2004 Group Stage 16th 3 0 0 3 1 9
Austria Switzerland 2008 Did Not Qualify
Poland Ukraine 2012
France 2016
Europe 2020 To Be Determined
Total Group Stage 2/15 6 1 1 4 4 13

Since 1992 the olympic roster may consist out of under-23 year old players, plus three over the age players.[6]

Host Nation(s) - Year Result GP W D* L GS GA
Greece 1896 no Olympic football tournament - - - - - -
France 1900 Did not enter - - - - - -
United States 1904 Did not enter - - - - - -
United Kingdom 1908 Did not enter - - - - - -
Sweden 1912 Did not enter - - - - - -
Belgium 1920 Did not enter - - - - - -
France 1924 Round 1 1 0 0 1 0 1
Netherlands 1928 Did not qualify - - - - - -
United States 1932 no Olympic football tournament - - - - - -
Nazi Germany 1936 Did not qualify - - - - - -
United Kingdom 1948 Did not qualify - - - - - -
Finland 1952 Preliminary Round 1 0 0 1 1 2
Australia 1956 Bronze medal 3 2 0 1 10 3
Italy 1960 Group stage 3 2 1 0 8 3
Japan 1964 Did not qualify - - - - - -
Mexico 1968 Silver medal 6 3 2 1 16 10
West Germany 1972 Did not qualify - - - - - -
Canada 1976 - - - - - -
Soviet Union 1980 - - - - - -
United States 1984 - - - - - -
South Korea 1988 - - - - - -
Spain 1992 - - - - - -
United States 1996 - - - - - -
Australia 2000 - - - - - -
Greece 2004 - - - - - -
China 2008 - - - - - -
United Kingdom 2012 - - - - - -
Total 5/23 14 7 3 4 35 19

Honours[edit]

Competition 1st 2nd 3rd Total
Olympic Games 0 1 1 2
World Cup 0 0 0 0
European Championship 0 0 0 0
Balkan Cup 3 2 1 6
Total 3 3 2 8

Recent results[edit]

2014[edit]

2015[edit]

2016[edit]

2017[edit]

Ranking history[edit]

Rank Date
Worst Rank 96 August 2012
Best Rank 3 June 1995
Current Rank 68 September 2015

Players[edit]

Current squad[edit]

The following players are in the squad for the match against  Bulgaria U21 on 13 November.
Caps and goals updated as of 13 October 2015 after the match against Azerbaijan.

0#0 Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Vladislav Stoyanov (1987-06-08) 8 June 1987 (age 28) 14 0 Bulgaria Ludogorets Razgrad
12 1GK Blagoy Makendzhiev (1988-06-11) 11 June 1988 (age 27) 0 0 Bulgaria Beroe Stara Zagora
6 2DF Yordan Minev (1980-10-14) 14 October 1980 (age 35) 24 0 Bulgaria Ludogorets Razgrad
3 2DF Aleksandar Aleksandrov (1986-04-13) 13 April 1986 (age 29) 9 0 Bulgaria Ludogorets Razgrad
4 2DF Mihail Venkov (1983-07-28) 28 July 1983 (age 32) 7 0 Bulgaria Cherno More Varna
5 2DF Kiril Kotev (1982-04-18) 18 April 1982 (age 33) 6 0 Bulgaria Lokomotiv Plovdiv
16 2DF Ivo Ivanov (1985-03-11) 11 March 1985 (age 30) 3 0 Bulgaria Beroe Stara Zagora
14 2DF Asen Georgiev (1993-07-09) 9 July 1993 (age 22) 0 0 Bulgaria Montana
2 2DF Stefan Stanchev (1989-04-26) 26 April 1989 (age 26) 0 0 Bulgaria Cherno More Varna
17 2DF Plamen Krumov (1985-11-04) 4 November 1985 (age 30) 0 0 Bulgaria Lokomotiv Plovdiv
7 3MF Mihail Aleksandrov (1989-06-11) 11 June 1989 (age 26) 11 1 Bulgaria Ludogorets Razgrad
8 3MF Nikolay Dimitrov (1987-10-15) 15 October 1987 (age 28) 8 0 Greece Skoda Xanthi
22 3MF Stefan Velev (1989-05-02) 2 May 1989 (age 26) 3 0 Bulgaria Lokomotiv Plovdiv
9 3MF Anton Karachanakov (1992-01-17) 17 January 1992 (age 24) 0 0 Bulgaria Slavia Sofia
15 3MF Milen Gamakov (1994-04-12) 12 April 1994 (age 21) 0 0 Bulgaria Botev Plovdiv
18 3MF Dimo Bakalov (1988-12-09) 9 December 1988 (age 27) 0 0 Bulgaria Lokomotiv Plovdiv
19 3MF Antonio Vutov (1996-06-06) June 6, 1996 (age 19) 0 0 Italy Cosenza
21 3MF Radoslav Tsonev (1995-04-29) 29 April 1995 (age 20) 0 0 Bulgaria Levski Sofia
11 3MF Daniel Genov (1989-05-19) 19 May 1989 (age 26) 0 0 Bulgaria Botev Plovdiv
10 3MF Lachezar Baltanov (1988-07-11) 11 July 1988 (age 27) 0 0 Bulgaria Botev Plovdiv
20 4FW Aleksandar Kolev (1992-12-08) 8 December 1992 (age 23) 0 0 Bulgaria Botev Plovdiv
23 4FW Ismail Isa (1989-06-26) 26 June 1989 (age 26) 0 0 Bulgaria Beroe Stara Zagora

Recent call-ups[edit]

The following players have also been called up to the Bulgarian squad within the last 12 months and are still available for selection.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Bozhidar Mitrev (1987-03-31) 31 March 1987 (age 28) 6 0 Moldova Sheriff Tiraspol v.  Azerbaijan, 13 October 2015
GK Plamen Iliev (1991-11-30) 30 November 1991 (age 24) 2 0 Romania Botoșani v.  Azerbaijan, 13 October 2015
GK Nikolay Mihaylov (1988-06-28) 28 June 1988 (age 27) 31 0 Turkey Mersin İdmanyurdu v.  Norway, 3 September 2015
DF Radoslav Terziev (1994-08-06) 6 August 1994 (age 21) 0 0 Bulgaria Botev Plovdiv v.  Bulgaria, 13 November 2015 INJ
DF Strahil Popov (1990-08-31) 31 August 1990 (age 25) 2 0 Bulgaria Litex Lovech v.  Bulgaria, 13 November 2015
DF Anton Nedyalkov (1993-04-30) 30 April 1993 (age 22) 0 0 Bulgaria Litex Lovech v.  Bulgaria, 13 November 2015
DF Ivan Goranov (1992-06-10) 10 June 1992 (age 23) 0 0 Bulgaria Litex Lovech v.  Bulgaria, 13 November 2015
DF Ivan Ivanov (1988-02-25) 25 February 1988 (age 27) 39 3 Switzerland Basel v.  Azerbaijan, 13 October 2015
DF Zhivko Milanov (1984-07-15) 15 July 1984 (age 31) 25 0 Cyprus APOEL v.  Azerbaijan, 13 October 2015
DF Georgi Terziev (1992-04-18) 18 April 1992 (age 23) 6 0 Bulgaria Ludogorets Razgrad v.  Croatia, 10 October 2015
DF Stanislav Manolev (1985-12-16) 16 December 1985 (age 30) 45 4 Russia Kuban Krasnodar v.  Italy, 6 September 2015
DF Nikolay Bodurov (1986-05-30) 30 May 1986 (age 29) 33 1 England Fulham v.  Italy, 6 September 2015
DF Veselin Minev (1980-10-14) 14 October 1980 (age 35) 24 0 Bulgaria Levski Sofia v.  Italy, 6 September 2015
DF Ivan Bandalovski (1986-11-23) 23 November 1986 (age 29) 16 0 Serbia Partizan v.  Italy, 6 September 2015
DF Petar Zanev (1985-10-18) 18 October 1985 (age 30) 26 0 Russia Amkar Perm v.  Malta, 12 June 2015
DF Borislav Stoychev (1986-11-26) 26 November 1986 (age 29) 0 0 Israel Hapoel Ra'anana v.  Malta, 12 June 2015
DF Ventsislav Vasilev (1988-07-08) 8 July 1988 (age 27) 1 0 Bulgaria Beroe Stara Zagora v.  Italy, 28 March 2015
DF Iliya Milanov (1992-02-19) 19 February 1992 (age 23) 6 0 Bulgaria Litex Lovech v.  Italy, 28 March 2015
MF Atanas Zehirov (1989-02-13) 13 February 1989 (age 26) 0 0 Bulgaria Beroe Stara Zagora v.  Bulgaria, 13 November 2015 INJ
MF Georgi Kostadinov (1990-09-07) 7 September 1990 (age 25) 0 0 Bulgaria Levski Sofia v.  Bulgaria, 13 November 2015 INJ
MF Kristiyan Malinov (1994-03-30) 30 March 1994 (age 21) 1 0 Bulgaria Litex Lovech v.  Bulgaria, 13 November 2015
MF Georgi Milanov (1992-02-19) 19 February 1992 (age 23) 28 2 Russia CSKA Moscow v.  Azerbaijan, 13 October 2015
MF Svetoslav Dyakov (1984-05-31) 31 May 1984 (age 31) 27 0 Bulgaria Ludogorets Razgrad v.  Azerbaijan, 13 October 2015
MF Aleksandar Tonev (1990-02-03) 3 February 1990 (age 26) 20 3 Italy Frosinone v.  Azerbaijan, 13 October 2015
MF Hristo Zlatinski (1985-01-22) 22 January 1985 (age 31) 12 0 Romania CSU Craiova v.  Azerbaijan, 13 October 2015
MF Todor Nedelev (1993-02-07) 7 February 1993 (age 22) 10 0 Germany Mainz 05 v.  Azerbaijan, 13 October 2015
MF Simeon Slavchev (1993-09-25) 25 September 1993 (age 22) 6 0 Cyprus Apollon Limassol v.  Azerbaijan, 13 October 2015
MF Ivaylo Chochev (1993-02-18) 18 February 1993 (age 22) 4 0 Italy Palermo v.  Croatia, 10 October 2015
MF Vladimir Gadzhev (1987-07-18) 18 July 1987 (age 28) 28 1 Bulgaria Levski Sofia v.  Malta, 12 June 2015
MF Georgi Iliev (1981-09-05) 5 September 1981 (age 34) 24 2 China Shijiazhuang Ever Bright v.  Malta, 16 November 2014
MF Marquinhos (1982-04-30) 30 April 1982 (age 33) 6 0 Bulgaria Pirin Blagoevgrad v.  Malta, 16 November 2014
FW Spas Delev (1989-09-22) September 22, 1989 (age 26) 9 0 Bulgaria Beroe Stara Zagora v.  Bulgaria, 13 November 2015 INJ
FW Georgi Minchev (1995-04-20) April 20, 1995 (age 20) 0 0 Bulgaria Litex Lovech v.  Bulgaria, 13 November 2015
FW Ivelin Popov (Captain) (1987-10-26) 26 October 1987 (age 28) 58 10 Russia Spartak Moscow v.  Azerbaijan, 13 October 2015
FW Dimitar Rangelov (1983-02-09) 9 February 1983 (age 32) 34 4 Turkey Konyaspor v.  Azerbaijan, 13 October 2015
FW Ventsislav Hristov (1988-11-09) 9 November 1988 (age 27) 6 1 Albania Skënderbeu Korçë v.  Azerbaijan, 13 October 2015
FW Andrey Galabinov (1988-11-27) 27 November 1988 (age 27) 6 2 Italy Novara v.  Croatia, 10 October 2015
FW Iliyan Mitsanski (1985-12-20) 20 December 1985 (age 30) 17 4 South Korea Suwon Samsung Bluewings v.  Italy, 6 September 2015
FW Valeri Bojinov (1986-02-15) 15 February 1986 (age 29) 43 6 Serbia Partizan v.  Norway, 3 September 2015
FW Radoslav Vasilev (1990-10-12) 12 October 1990 (age 25) 2 0 Bulgaria Slavia Sofia v.  Malta, 12 June 2015
FW Kiril Despodov (1996-11-11) 11 November 1996 (age 19) 0 0 Bulgaria Litex Lovech v.  Romania, 8 February 2015
FW Georgi Bozhilov (1987-02-12) 12 February 1987 (age 28) 1 0 Bulgaria Beroe Stara Zagora v.  Malta, 16 November 2014

Coaching staff[edit]

Head coach Bulgaria Ivaylo Petev
Team captain Bulgaria Svetoslav Dyakov
BFU president Bulgaria Borislav Mikhailov

Previous squads[edit]

FIFA World Cup Squads
UEFA European Football Championship squads

International match records[edit]

Opponents Played Won Drawn Lost
 Albania 11 5 4 2
 Algeria 6 3 2 1
 Andorra 2 2 0 0
 Argentina 9 3 0 6
 Armenia 2 1 0 1
 Australia 4 2 2 0
 Austria 8 2 2 4
 Azerbaijan 2 1 1 0
 Belarus 5 4 0 1
 Belgium 14 6 2 6
 Bosnia and Herzegovina 1 1 0 0
 Brazil 8 2 0 6
 Bolivia 1 1 0 0
 Cameroon 1 1 0 0
 Chile 2 1 0 1
 Croatia 6 2 2 2
 Cyprus 13 12 0 1
 Czech Republic 18 6 5 7
 Denmark 16 4 9 3
 Ecuador 2 1 0 1
 Egypt 6 1 2 3
 England 9 2 2 5
 Estonia 2 1 1 0
 Finland 8 7 1 0
 France 20 8 4 8
 Georgia 5 3 1 1
 Germany 19 4 2 13
 Ghana 1 1 0 0
 Greece 21 12 2 7
 Guatemala 1 1 0 0
 Hungary 18 4 4 10
 Iceland 5 4 1 0
 India 1 1 0 0
 Northern Ireland 7 4 1 2
 Republic of Ireland 8 5 1 2
 Israel 6 4 1 1
 Italy 17 2 8 7
 Jamaica 1 0 1 0
 Japan 4 3 1 0
 Kazakhstan 1 1 0 0
 South Korea 2 1 1 0
 Kuwait 4 2 2 0
 Latvia 3 3 0 0
 Lebanon 1 1 0 0
 Luxembourg 12 12 0 0
 Lithuania 1 1 0 0
 Macedonia 5 3 1 1
 Malta 10 8 2 0
 Mexico 12 4 5 3
 Moldova 2 2 0 0
 Montenegro 4 1 2 1
 Morocco 5 1 2 2
 Netherlands 10 4 2 4
 Nigeria 3 1 0 2
 Norway 12 6 4 2
 Oman 1 0 1 0
 Paraguay 1 0 1 0
 Peru 5 2 1 2
 Poland 16 5 7 4
 Portugal 11 5 2 4
 Romania 29 10 10 9
 Russia 19 4 5 10
 San Marino 2 2 0 0
 Saudi Arabia 2 1 0 1
 Scotland 6 2 2 2
 Serbia 5 2 1 2
 Slovakia 7 3 1 3
 Slovenia 2 2 0 0
 South Africa 1 0 1 0
 Spain 5 1 1 3
 Sweden 11 3 2 6
  Switzerland 10 3 4 3
 Thailand 1 1 0 0
 Tunisia 3 1 1 1
 Turkey 21 8 7 6
 United States 1 1 0 0
 Ukraine 6 2 2 2
 United Arab Emirates 6 5 0 1
 Uruguay 1 0 1 0
 Wales 8 4 1 3

Player records[edit]

Head coaches[edit]

Kit supplier[edit]

Bulgaria's kit are currently supplied by Spanish brand Joma. They replaced Italian company Kappa who supplied Bulgaria's kits between 2011 to 2014.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Croatia were deducted one point after charges for racist behaviour in the match against Italy at Stadion Poljud. In addition, Croatian Football Federation were ordered to play next two home matches in UEFA competition behind closed doors and not to play any of its remaining qualifying games at Poljud. A fine of €100,000 was also imposed.[15]

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ http://eu-football.info/_team.php?id=32
  2. ^ Павлов, Стоимен (2014-06-24). "Българският футбол чества исторически годишнини на фона на нерадостна реалност". Radio Bulgaria (in Bulgarian) (София: Българско национално радио). Retrieved 1 August 2015. 
  3. ^ Банов, Георги (2014-03-23). "Българският флаг на картичка от първото световно по футбол". 24 часа (in Bulgarian) (София: МГБХ). Retrieved 1 August 2015. 
  4. ^ "Croatia deducted one European Qualifiers point". UEFA.com. 23 July 2015. 
  5. ^ "Point deduction stands for Croatia". UEFA.com. 18 September 2015. 
  6. ^ Olympic tournaments
  7. ^ "Malta make their mark in Sofia". UEFA. 16 November 2014. Retrieved 30 July 2015. 
  8. ^ "International Friendlies: Romania - Bulgaria". Goal. Retrieved 30 July 2015. 
  9. ^ "Italy debutant Éder thwarts Bulgaria". UEFA. 28 March 2015. Retrieved 30 July 2015. 
  10. ^ "Turkey vs. Bulgaria 4 - 0". Soccerway. Perform Group. Retrieved 30 July 2015. 
  11. ^ "Popov earns points for Bulgaria in Malta". UEFA. 12 June 2015. Retrieved 30 July 2015. 
  12. ^ "Norway beat Bulgaria thanks to Forren's first". UEFA. Retrieved 3 September 2015. 
  13. ^ "De Rossi penalty edges Italy closer to finals". UEFA. Retrieved 6 September 2015. 
  14. ^ "Croatia defeat Bulgaria in Čačić's first game". UEFA. Retrieved 10 October 2015. 
  15. ^ "Croatia deducted one European Qualifiers point". UEFA.com. 23 July 2015. 
  16. ^ "UEFA Euro 2016 Qualifying: Pre-match Head-to-head - Bulgaria vs. Azerbaijan". UEFA. Retrieved 30 July 2015. 

External links[edit]