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 (106)
Top scorer Dimitar Berbatov (48)
FIFA code BUL
FIFA ranking 68 Increase 1 (3 September 2015)
Highest FIFA ranking 3 (June 1995)
Lowest FIFA ranking 96 (August 2012)
Elo ranking 28
Highest Elo ranking 2 (August 1975)
Lowest Elo ranking 40 (August 1955)
First colours
Second colours
First international
 Bulgaria 2–0 Austria Austria
(Vienna, Austria; 21 May 1924)
Biggest win
Bulgaria Bulgaria 10–0 Ghana 
(Leon, Mexico; 14 October 1968)
Biggest defeat
 Bulgaria 1–9 Spain Spain
(Madrid, Spain; 21 May 1933)
World Cup
Appearances 8 (First in 1930)
Best result Semi-Finals: 1994
Euro Cup
Appearances 3 (First in 1968)
Best result Quarter-Finals: 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 FIFA 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

The beginning

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 Viena on 21 May 1924, with a 2–0 defeat of Austria. Bulgaria later on qualified to the 1930 World Cup in Uruguay, but had to withdraw due to strong storms on the Atlantic at that time. Bulgaria’s power would overtime grow and eventually reach its peak.

1930 World Cup withdrawal

Bulgaria's first appearance in a World Cup was the 1930 World Cup in Uruguay, but failed to enter because delay of flights, during typhoon and hurricane storms on the Atlantic Ocean. There original group stage opponents were set as Brazil, Yugoslavia and Bolivia. This was a major disappointment to the national side. Bulgaria’s next major tournament was the entrance to the 1962 world cup.

Teams Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
Kingdom of Yugoslavia Yugoslavia 2 2 0 0 6 1 +5 4
 Brazil 2 1 0 1 5 2 +3 2
 Bulgaria 0 0 0 0 0 0 +0 0
 Bolivia 2 0 0 2 0 8 −8 0

Years in international wilderness

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: Four consecutive World Cup appearances, first time Euro, Olympic final and Balkan triumph

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

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.

Teams Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
 Hungary 3 2 1 0 8 2 +6 5
 England 3 1 1 1 4 3 +1 3
 Argentina 3 1 1 1 2 3 -1 3
 Bulgaria 3 0 1 2 1 7 -6 1

30 May 1962
15:00 CLT (UTC-04)
Bulgaria  0 – 1  Argentina
Report[1] Facundo Goal 4'
Estadio El Teniente, Rancagua
Attendance: 7,134
Referee: Juan Gardeazábal Garay (Spain)

3 June 1962
15:00 CLT (UTC-04)
Bulgaria  1 – 6  Hungary
Asparuhov Goal 64'[note 1] Report[2] Albert Goal 1'6'53'
Tichy Goal 8'70'
Solymosi Goal 12'
Estadio El Teniente, Rancagua
Attendance: 7,442
Referee: Juan Gardeazábal Garay (Spain)

7 June 1962
15:00 CLT (UTC-04)
Bulgaria  0 – 0  England
Report[3]
Estadio El Teniente, Rancagua
Attendance: 5,700
Referee: Antoine Blavier (Belgium)

1966 World Cup

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.

Teams Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
 Portugal 3 3 0 0 9 2 +7 6
 Hungary 3 2 0 1 7 5 +2 4
 Brazil 3 1 0 2 4 6 -2 2
 Bulgaria 3 0 0 3 1 8 -7 0

12 July 1966
19:30 BST
Bulgaria  0 – 2  Brazil
Report[4] Pelé Goal 15'
Garrincha Goal 63'
Goodison Park, Liverpool
Attendance: 48,000
Referee: Kurt Tschenscher (West Germany)

16 July 1966
15:00 BST
Bulgaria  0 – 3  Portugal
Report[5] Vutsov Goal 17' (o.g.)
Eusébio Goal 38'
Torres Goal 81'
Old Trafford, Manchester
Attendance: 26,000
Referee: José María Codesal (Uruguay)

20 July 1966
19:30 BST
Bulgaria  1 – 3 Hungary 
Asparuhov Goal 15' Report[6] Davidov Goal 43' (o.g.)
Mészöly Goal 45'
Bene Goal 54'
Old Trafford, Manchester
Attendance: 22,000
Referee: Roberto Goicoechea (Argentina)

1968 Euro Cup: Quarter-finals

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.

Teams Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
 Bulgaria 3 3 0 0 8 2 +6 9
 Portugal 3 1 1 1 3 3 +0 4
 Sweden 3 1 1 1 6 6 +0 3
 Norway 3 0 0 3 5 11 -6 0


13 November 1966
15:00
Bulgaria  4 – 2  Norway
Tsanev 18', 43'
Zhekov 42', 85'
Hasund 59', 86'
Vasil Levski Stadium, Sofia
Attendance: 30,000
Referee: Muzaffer Sarvan (Turkey)

12 November 1967
15:00
Bulgaria  3 – 0  Sweden
Vasel Mitkov
Vasil Levski Stadium, Sofia
Attendance: 28,000
Referee: Josip Drago Horvat (Yugoslavia)

26 November 1967
14:30
Bulgaria  1 – 0  Portugal
Dermendjiev 63'
Vasil Levski Stadium, Sofia
Attendance: 55,000
Referee: Anvar Zverev (RUS)

Two-legged quarter-final

6 April 1968
17:00
First Leg
Bulgaria  3 – 2  Italy
Kotkov 12' (pen)
Dermendzhiev 66'
Zhekov 73'
Penev 60' (og)
Prati 83'
Vasil Levski, Sofia
Attendance: 70,000
Referee: Gerhard Schulenburg (FRG)

20 April 1968
16:00
Second Leg
Bulgaria  0 – 2 Italy 
Prati 14'
Domenghini 55'
Stadio San Paolo, Naples
Attendance: 95,000
Referee: Gottfried Dienst (SUI)

Italy won 4 – 3 on aggregete

1968 Summer Olympics

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.

Teams Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
 Bulgaria 3 2 1 0 11 3 +8 5
 Guatemala 3 2 0 1 6 3 +3 4
 Czechoslovakia 3 1 1 1 10 3 +7 3
 Thailand 3 0 0 3 1 19 −18 0

14 October 1968
12:00
Bulgaria  7 – 0  Thailand
M.Gyonin Goal 25'
P.Zhekov Goal 55'
A.Mihaylov "Natchko" Goal 56' Goal 61'
I.Zafirov "Kopata" Goal 73'
A.Nikodimov "Paro" Goal 85'
K.Ivkov Goal 88'
Report[7]
Estadio Nou Camp, León
Referee: Guillermo Velasquez Colombia

16 October 1968
12:00
Bulgaria  2 – 2  Czechoslovakia
I.Georgiev Goal 44'
P.Zhekov Goal 77'
Report[8] Jarabinský Goal 25'
Petráš Goal 42'
Estadio Jalisco, Guadalajara
Referee: Abel Aguilar Elizalde Mexico

18 October 1968
12:00
Bulgaria  2 – 1  Guatemala
A.Nikodimov "Paro" Goal 50'
P.Zhekov Goal 84'
Report[9] López Oliva Goal 88'
Estadio Nou Camp, León
Referee: Raul Osorio Mexico

Quarter-finals

20 October 1968
12:00
Bulgaria  1 – 1  Israel
Hristakiev Goal 5' Report[10] Feigenbaum Goal 89'
Estadio Nou Camp, León
Referee: Michel Kitabdjian France

Bulgaria progressed after a drawing of lots.

Semi-finals

22 October 1968
12:00
Bulgaria  3 – 2  Mexico
P.Zhekov Goal 8'
A.Mihaylov Goal 9'
Ts. Veselinov Goal (58)
Report[11] Morales Goal 39'
Pulido Rodríguez Goal 48'
Estadio Jalisco, Guadalajara
Referee: Seyoum Tarekegn Ethiopia

Gold Medal match

26 October 1968
12:00
Bulgaria  1 – 4  Hungary
Ts. Veselinov Goal 22' Report[12] Menczel Goal 40'
A. Dunai Goal 41' Goal 49'
Juhász Goal 62'
Azteca Stadium, Mexico City
Attendance: 75,000
Referee: Diego De Leo Mexico

1970 World Cup

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.

Teams Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
 Germany 3 3 0 0 10 4 +6 6
 Peru 3 2 0 1 7 5 +2 4
 Bulgaria 3 0 1 2 5 9 −4 1
 Morocco 3 0 1 2 2 6 −4 1

2 June 1970
16:00 (CST)
Bulgaria  2 – 3  Peru
Dermendzhiev Goal 13'
Bonev Goal 49'
Report[13] Gallardo Goal 50'
Chumpitaz Goal 55'
Cubillas Goal 73'
Estadio Nou Camp, León
Attendance: 13,765
Referee: Antonio Sbardella (Italy)

7 June 1970
12:00 (CST)
Bulgaria  2 – 5  Germany
Nikodimov Goal 12'
Kolev Goal 89'
Report[14] Libuda Goal 20'
Müller Goal 27'52' (pen.)88'
Seeler Goal 67'
Estadio Nou Camp, León
Attendance: 12,710
Referee: José María Ortiz de Mendibil (Spain)

11 June 1970
16:00 (CST)
Bulgaria  1 – 1  Morocco
Zhechev Goal 40' Report[15] Ghazouani Goal 61'
Estadio Nou Camp, León
Attendance: 12,299
Referee: Antonio Ribeiro Saldanha (Portugal)

1974 World Cup

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.

Teams Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
 Netherlands 3 2 1 0 6 1 +5 5
 Sweden 3 1 2 0 3 0 +3 4
 Bulgaria 3 0 2 1 2 5 −3 2
 Uruguay 3 0 1 2 1 6 −5 1

15 June 1974
16:00 CET
Bulgaria  0 – 0  Sweden
Report[16]
Rheinstadion, Düsseldorf
Attendance: 22,500
Referee: Edison Perez Nunez (Peru)

19 June 1974
19:30 CET
Bulgaria  1 – 1  Uruguay
Bonev Goal 75' Report[17] Pavoni Goal 87'
Niedersachsenstadion, Hanover
Attendance: 12,000
Referee: Jack Taylor (England)

23 June 1974
16:00 CET
Bulgaria  1 – 4  Netherlands
Krol Goal 78' (o.g.) Report[18] Neeskens Goal 5' (pen.)44' (pen.)
Rep Goal 71'
de Jong Goal 88'
Westfalenstadion, Dortmund
Attendance: 52,100
Referee: Tony Boskovic (Australia)

1986 World Cup: The knockout rounds

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.

Teams Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
 Argentina 3 2 1 0 6 2 +4 5
 Italy 3 1 2 0 5 4 +1 4
 Bulgaria 3 0 2 1 2 4 −2 2
 South Korea 3 0 1 2 4 7 −3 1

31 May 1986
12:00 CST
Bulgaria  1 – 1  Italy
Sirakov Goal 85' Report[19] Altobelli Goal 43'
Estadio Azteca, Mexico City
Attendance: 96,000
Referee: Erik Fredriksson (Sweden)

5 June 1986
16:00 CST
Bulgaria  1 – 1  South Korea
Getov Goal 11' Report[20] Kim Jong-Boo Goal 70'
Estadio Olímpico Universitario, Mexico City
Attendance: 45,000
Referee: Fallaj Al Shanar (Saudi Arabia)

10 June 1986
12:00 CST
Bulgaria  0 – 2  Argentina
Report[21] Valdano Goal 3'
Burruchaga Goal 79'
Estadio Olímpico Universitario, Mexico City
Attendance: 65,000
Referee: Berny Ulloa Morera (Costa Rica)

Round of 16

15 June 1986
12:00 CST
Bulgaria  0 – 2  Mexico
Report[22] Negrete Goal 34'
Servín Goal 61'
Estadio Azteca, Mexico City
Attendance: 114,580
Referee: Romualdo Arppi Filho (Brazil)

Stoitchkov's reign and the "Golden Generation"

1994 World Cup: Semi-final triumph

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. Despite the bad start, the team won 4–0 against World Cup-debuting featherweights Greece and 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. 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. 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. Millions of Bulgarians celebrated this win in the Bulgarian capital city of Sofia and other Bulgarian cities. 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 and were eventually given the bronze medals. Hristo Stoichkov was awarded the Golden Boot as the top scorer in the tournament with six goals. Later in December, Stoitchkov was awarded the FIFA Ballon D'or trophy for his great skill and leadership, 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. Starting 11: GK-Mihaylov(c); RB-Kiryakov/Kremenliev, CB/SW-Hubchev, CB-Ivanov, LB-Tsvetanov; DM-Yankov, CM-Lechkov, CM-Balakov, AM/CF-Sirakov/Borimirov; CF/RW-Kostadinov, CF/LW-Stoichkov.

Teams Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
 Nigeria 3 2 0 1 6 2 +4 6
 Bulgaria 3 2 0 1 7 3 +4 6
 Argentina 3 2 0 1 6 3 +3 6
 Greece 3 0 0 3 0 10 −10 0

21 June 1994
18:35 CDT
Bulgaria  1 – 3  Nigeria
Stoichkov Goal 32' Report[23] Yekini Goal 21'
Amokachi Goal 43'
Amuneke Goal 55'
Cotton Bowl, Dallas
Attendance: 44,132
Referee: Rodrigo Badilla (Costa Rica)

26 June 1994
11:35 CDT
Bulgaria  4 – 0  Greece
Stoichkov Goal 5' (pen.)55' (pen.)
Letchkov Goal 65'
Borimirov Goal 90'
Report[24]
Soldier Field, Chicago
Attendance: 63,160
Referee: Ali Bujsaim (United Arab Emirates)

30 June 1994
18:35 CDT
Bulgaria  2 – 0  Argentina
Stoichkov Goal 61'
Sirakov Goal 90'
Report[25]
Cotton Bowl, Dallas
Attendance: 63,998
Referee: Neji Jouini (Tunisia)

Round of 16

5 July 1994
16:35
Bulgaria  1 – 1
(a.e.t.)
 Mexico
Stoichkov Goal 6' Report[26] García Aspe Goal 18' (pen.)
  Penalties  
Balakov Penalty missed
Guentchev Penalty scored
Borimirov Penalty scored
Letchkov Penalty scored
3 – 1 Penalty missed García Aspe
Penalty missed Bernal
Penalty missed Rodríguez
Penalty scored Suárez
Giants Stadium, East Rutherford
Attendance: 71,030
Referee: Jamal Al Sharif (Syria)

Quarter-finals

10 July 1994
12:05
Bulgaria  2 – 1  Germany
Stoichkov Goal 75'
Letchkov Goal 78'
Report[27] Matthäus Goal 47' (pen.)
Giants Stadium, East Rutherford
Attendance: 72,000
Referee: José Torres Cadena (Colombia)

Semi-finals

13 July 1994
16:05
Bulgaria  1 – 2  Italy
Stoichkov Goal 44' (pen.) Report[28] R. Baggio Goal 21'25'
Giants Stadium, East Rutherford
Attendance: 74,110
Referee: Joël Quiniou (France)

1996 Euro Cup: Group stage or quarter-final?

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.

Teams Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
 France 3 2 1 0 5 2 +3 7
 Spain 3 1 2 0 4 3 +1 5
 Bulgaria 3 1 1 1 3 4 –1 4
 Romania 3 0 0 3 1 4 –3 0

9 June 1996
14:30
Bulgaria  1 – 1  Spain
Stoichkov Goal 65' (pen.) Report[29] Alfonso Goal 74'
Elland Road, Leeds
Attendance: 24,006
Referee: Piero Ceccarini (Italy)

13 June 1996
16:30
Bulgaria  1 – 0  Romania
Stoichkov Goal 3' Report[30]
St James' Park, Newcastle upon Tyne
Attendance: 19,107
Referee: Peter Mikkelsen (Denmark)

18 June 1996
16:30
Bulgaria  1 – 3  France
Stoichkov Goal 69' Report[31] Blanc Goal 21'
Penev Goal 63' (o.g.)
Loko Goal 90'
St James' Park, Newcastle
Attendance: 26,976
Referee: Dermot Gallagher (England)0Substituted off 28'

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

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.

Teams Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
 Nigeria 3 2 0 1 5 5 0 6
 Paraguay 3 1 2 0 3 1 +2 5
 Spain 3 1 1 1 8 4 +4 4
 Bulgaria 3 0 1 2 1 7 −6 1

12 June 1998
14:30
Bulgaria  0 – 0  Paraguay
Report[32]
Stade de la Mosson, Montpellier
Attendance: 27,650
Referee: Abdul Rahman Al-Zeid (Saudi Arabia)

19 June 1998
17:30
Bulgaria  0 – 1  Nigeria
Report[33] Ikpeba Goal 26'
Parc des Princes, Paris
Attendance: 45,500
Referee: Mario Sánchez Yanten (Chile)

24 June 1998
21:00
Bulgaria  1 – 6  Spain
Kostadinov Goal 56' Report[34] Hierro Goal 5' (pen.)
Luis Enrique Goal 18'
Morientes Goal 53'80'
Kiko Goal 88'90'
Stade Félix-Bollaert, Lens
Attendance: 38,100
Referee: Mario van der Ende (Netherlands)

The 2000s: Playoffs and close calls

2000 Euro Cup qualification: The end of a legendary era

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

2002 World Cup qualification: Beginning of the World Cup drought

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

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.

Teams Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
 Sweden 3 1 2 0 8 3 +5 5
 Denmark 3 1 2 0 4 2 +2 5
 Italy 3 1 2 0 3 2 +1 5
 Bulgaria 3 0 0 3 1 9 −8 0

14 June 2004 (2004-06-14)
19:45
Bulgaria  0 – 4  Sweden
Report[35] Ljungberg Goal 32'
Larsson Goal 57'
Ibrahimović Goal 78' (pen.)
Allbäck Goal 90+1'
Estádio José Alvalade, Lisbon
Attendance: 31,652
Referee: Mike Riley (England)

18 June 2004 (2004-06-18)
17:00
Bulgaria  0 – 2  Denmark
ReportReport[36] Tomasson Goal 44'
Grønkjær Goal 90+2'
Estádio Municipal de Braga, Braga
Attendance: 24,131
Referee: Lucílio Batista (Portugal)

22 June 2004 (2004-06-22)
19:45
Bulgaria  1 – 2  Italy
M. Petrov Goal 45' (pen.) Report[37] Perrotta Goal 48'
Cassano Goal 90+4'
Estádio D. Afonso Henriques, Guimarães
Attendance: 16,002
Referee: Valentin Ivanov (Russia)

2006 World Cup qualification: Failure

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

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.

Teams Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
 Scotland 2 1 1 0 5 1 +4 4
 Bulgaria 2 1 0 1 3 6 -3 4
 Japan 2 0 1 1 1 2 -1 4

9 May 2006
Bulgaria  2 – 1  Japan
S. Todorov Goal 1'
Yanev Goal 90+1'
Report[38] Maki Goal 76'
Nagai Stadium, Osaka
Attendance: 44,851
Referee: Carlos Megia Davila Spain

Kirin Cup group final

11 May 2006
Bulgaria  1 – 5  Scotland
Y. Todorov Goal 26' Report[39] Boyd Goal 13' Goal 43'
McFadden Goal 69'
Burke Goal 77' Goal 88'
Kobe Wing Stadium, Kobe
Attendance: 5,780
Referee: Toru Kamikawa Japan

2008 Euro Cup qualification: Euro Cup near miss

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

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. Sadly, Bulgarian top scorer Berbatov resigned from the national side because of family problems and qaurrels with the coach. He although does still have a mindset of returning to the national side in the future.

2012 Euro Cup qualification: Upset

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 third behind Switzerland. This was the fourth time in the 2000s that Bulgaria has finished third in there qualifier group.

2014 World Cup qualification: World Cup near miss

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 runner-ups 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 progess

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.Bulgaria currently is rank fourth in the group with their next match at home against Norway. A match in which could secure them a potential playoff spot if they come away with a decisive victory.

Current standings

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  Italy 7 4 3 0 10 5 +5 15 Advance to final tournament
2  Croatia[a] 7 4 3 0 16 3 +13 14
3  Norway 7 4 1 2 8 8 0 13 Final tournament or play-offs
4  Bulgaria 7 2 2 3 7 8 −1 8
5  Azerbaijan (Y) 7 1 2 4 4 11 −7 5
6  Malta (E) 7 0 1 6 1 11 −10 1
Updated to match(es) played on 3 September 2015. Source: UEFA
Rules for classification: Qualification tiebreakers
(E) Eliminated; (Y) Cannot qualify directly as one of the top two teams, but may still qualify as third-placed team.
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.[40]

2018 World Cup qualification: The qualifying group of death

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

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
2  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
3  Sweden 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 Sep '16 9 Jun '17 10 Oct '16 25 Mar '17 7 Oct '17
4  Bulgaria 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 25 Mar '17 7 Oct '17 31 Aug '17 13 Nov '16 6 Sep '16
5  Belarus 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 Oct '17 6 Sep '16 3 Sep '17 9 Jun '17 10 Oct '16
6  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

Colours

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

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

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

World Cup record

FIFA World Cup Record
Year Result Position Pld W D* L GF GA
Uruguay1930 Qualified but withdrew 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1934 to 1958 Years in international wilderness
Chile 1962 Group stage 13th 3 0 1 2 1 7
England 1966 Group stage 12th 3 0 0 3 1 8
Mexico 1970 Group stage 12th 3 0 1 2 5 9
West Germany 1974 Group stage 11th 3 0 2 1 2 5
Mexico 1986 Round of 16 10th 4 0 2 2 2 6
United States 1994 Semi-finals 3rd 7 5 0 2 12 7
France 1998 Group stage 22nd 3 0 1 2 1 7
Russia 2018 To be determined
Qatar 2022 To be determined
Total 8/20 26 5 7 15 20 53

Euro Cup record

UEFA Euro Cup record
Year Result Position Pld W D* L GF GA
Italy 1968 Quarter-finals 5th 5 4 0 1 8 6
England 1996 Group stage 9th 3 1 1 1 3 4
Portugal 2004 Group stage 14th 3 0 0 3 1 9
France 2016 To be determined
Europe 2020 To be determined
Total 3/14 10 5 1 5 16 19

Olympic record

Olympic record
Year Result Position Pld W D* L GF GA
France 1924 Round of 16 12th 1 0 0 1 0 1
Finland 1952 Round of 16 13th 1 0 0 1 1 2
Australia 1956 Semi-finals 3rd 3 2 0 1 10 3
Italy 1960 Group stage 8th 3 2 1 0 8 3
Mexico 1968 Runners-up 2nd 6 3 2 1 16 10
Japan 2020 To be determined
Total 5/23 14 7 3 4 35 19

Balkan Cup record

Balkan Cup record
Year Result Position Pld W D* L GF GA
Romania 1930 Group stage 4th 6 2 0 4 10 19
Bulgaria 1931 Champions 1st 2 2 0 0 8 3
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia 1932 Champions 1st 3 3 0 0 7 2
Romania 1933 Semi-finals 3rd 3 1 0 2 2 11
Greece 1934 Group stage 4th 3 1 0 2 7 8
Bulgaria 1935 Runners-up 2nd 3 2 1 0 12 5
Romania 1936 Runners-up 2nd 2 1 0 2 6 8
Albania 1946 Group stage 4th 2 0 1 2 4 7
Hungary 1947 Group stage 4th 4 1 0 3 5 14
Bulgaria 1948 Champions 1st 5 2 1 2 6 7
Romania 1976 Champions 1st 4 2 0 2 9 9
Turkey 1980 Semi-finals 3rd 4 1 1 2 4 8
Total 12/12 41 19 4 19 80 101

Honours

Competition 1st 2nd 3rd Total
World Cup 0 0 1 1
Euro Cup 0 0 0 0
Olympic Games 0 1 1 2
Balkan Cup 4 2 2 8
Total 4 3 4 11


  • Balkan Cup
    • Med 1.png Winners (4): 1931, 1932, 1935, 1976
    • Med 2.png Runners-up (2): 1935, 1936
    • Med 3.png Third place (2) : 1933, 1980

Undefeated run

Bulgaria has 21 undefeated matches all together in a row. Spain and Brazil hold the longest string of 35 unbeaten matches.

Opponent Type Date Result
 Wales Friendly 15 August 2006 0 – 0
 Romania Friendly 2 September 2006 2 – 2
 Slovenia Qualifier 6 September 2006 3 – 0
 Netherlands Qualifier 7 October 2006 1 – 1
 Luxembourg Qualifier 11 October 2006 1 – 0
 Latvia Friendly 15 November 2006 2 – 0
 Cyprus Friendly 7 February 2007 3 – 0
 Albania Qualifier 28 March 2007 0 – 0
 Belarus Qualifier 2 June 2007 2 – 0
 Belarus Qualifier 6 June 2007 2 – 1
 Wales Friendly 22 August 2007 1 – 0
 Luxembourg Qualifier 12 September 2007 3 – 0
 Albania Qualifier 17 October 2007 1 – 1
 Romania Qualifier 21 November 2007 1 – 0
 Slovenia Qualifier 6 February 2008 2 – 0
 Northern Ireland Friendly 26 March 2008 1 – 0
 Finland Friendly 20 August 2008 2 – 1
 Bosnia and Herzegovina Friendly 6 September 2008 2 – 1
 Montenegro Qualifier 11 October 2008 2 – 2
 Italy Qualifier 12 October 2008 0 – 0
 Georgia Qualifier 15 October 2008 0 – 0

Recent results

2014

2015

2016

Ranking history

Rank Date
Worst Rank 96 August 2012
Best Rank 3 June 1995
Current Rank 69 September 2015

Players

Current squad

The following players are in the squad for the UEFA Euro 2016 qualification matches against Norway on 3 September and Italy on 6 September.
Caps and goals updated as of September 3, 3015 after the match against Norway.

0#0 Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
12 1GK Bozhidar Mitrev (1987-03-31) 31 March 1987 (age 28) 3 0 Moldova Sheriff Tiraspol
13 1GK Blagoy Makendzhiev (1988-06-11) 11 June 1988 (age 27) 0 0 Bulgaria Beroe Stara Zagora
1GK Nikolay Mihaylov (1988-06-28) 28 June 1988 (age 27) 31 0 Turkey Mersin İdmanyurdu
2 2DF Ivan Bandalovski (1986-11-23) 23 November 1986 (age 28) 15 0 Serbia Partizan
3 2DF Aleksandar Aleksandrov (1986-04-13) 13 April 1986 (age 29) 6 0 Bulgaria Ludogorets Razgrad
4 2DF Georgi Terziev (1992-04-18) 18 April 1992 (age 23) 5 0 Bulgaria Ludogorets Razgrad
5 2DF Nikolay Bodurov (1986-05-30) 30 May 1986 (age 29) 32 1 England Fulham
6 2DF Veselin Minev (1980-10-14) 14 October 1980 (age 34) 23 0 Bulgaria Levski Sofia
11 2DF Stanislav Manolev (1985-12-16) 16 December 1985 (age 29) 45 4 Russia Kuban Krasnodar
14 2DF Yordan Minev (1980-10-14) 14 October 1980 (age 34) 22 0 Bulgaria Ludogorets Razgrad
16 2DF Ivo Ivanov (1985-03-11) 11 March 1985 (age 30) 1 0 Bulgaria Beroe Stara Zagora
7 3MF Mihail Aleksandrov (1989-06-11) 11 June 1989 (age 26) 8 0 Bulgaria Ludogorets Razgrad
15 3MF Ivaylo Chochev (1993-02-18) 18 February 1993 (age 22) 3 0 Italy Palermo
17 3MF Georgi Milanov (1992-02-19) 19 February 1992 (age 23) 25 2 Russia CSKA Moscow
18 3MF Simeon Slavchev (1993-09-25) 25 September 1993 (age 21) 4 0 Cyprus Apollon Limassol
20 3MF Aleksandar Tonev (1990-02-03) 3 February 1990 (age 25) 19 3 Italy Frosinone
21 3MF Svetoslav Dyakov (Captain) (1984-05-31) 31 May 1984 (age 31) 25 0 Bulgaria Ludogorets Razgrad
22 3MF Todor Nedelev (1993-02-07) 7 February 1993 (age 22) 7 0 Germany Mainz 05
23 3MF Hristo Zlatinski (1985-01-22) 22 January 1985 (age 30) 10 0 Romania CSU Craiova
8 4FW Dimitar Rangelov (1983-02-09) 9 February 1983 (age 32) 31 3 Turkey Konyaspor
9 4FW Ventsislav Hristov (1988-11-09) 9 November 1988 (age 26) 5 1 Albania Skënderbeu Korçë
10 4FW Ivelin Popov (1987-10-26) 26 October 1987 (age 27) 55 10 Russia Spartak Moscow
19 4FW Iliyan Mitsanski (1985-12-20) 20 December 1985 (age 29) 16 4 South Korea Suwon Samsung Bluewings
4FW Aleksandar Kolev (1992-12-08) 8 December 1992 (age 22) 0 0 Bulgaria Botev Plovdiv

Recent call-ups

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 Vladislav Stoyanov (1987-06-08) 8 June 1987 (age 28) 14 0 Bulgaria Ludogorets Razgrad v.  Norway, 3 September 2015 INJ
GK Plamen Iliev (1991-11-30) 30 November 1991 (age 23) 2 0 Romania Botoșani v.  Malta, 12 June 2015
GK Ivan Čvorović (1985-09-21) 21 September 1985 (age 29) 1 0 Bulgaria Ludogorets Razgrad v.  Azerbaijan, 9 September 2014
DF Petar Zanev (1985-10-18) 18 October 1985 (age 29) 26 0 Russia Amkar Perm v.  Malta, 12 June 2015
DF Borislav Stoychev (1986-11-26) 26 November 1986 (age 28) 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 INJ
DF Mihail Venkov (1983-07-28) 28 July 1983 (age 32) 7 0 Bulgaria Cherno More Varna v.  Romania, 8 February 2015
DF Strahil Popov (1990-08-31) 31 August 1990 (age 25) 1 0 Bulgaria Litex Lovech v.  Romania, 8 February 2015
DF Radoslav Terziev (1994-08-06) 6 August 1994 (age 21) 0 0 Bulgaria Botev Plovdiv v.  Romania, 8 February 2015
DF Yordan Hristov (1984-02-12) 12 February 1984 (age 31) 4 0 Bulgaria Botev Plovdiv v.  Norway, 13 October 2014
DF Apostol Popov (1982-12-22) 22 December 1982 (age 32) 4 0 Romania CSU Craiova v.  Norway, 13 October 2014
DF Ivan Ivanov (1988-02-25) 25 February 1988 (age 27) 39 3 Switzerland Basel v.  Azerbaijan, 9 September 2014 INJ
MF Vladimir Gadzhev (1987-07-18) 18 July 1987 (age 28) 28 1 Unattached v.  Malta, 12 June 2015
MF Kristiyan Malinov (1994-03-30) 30 March 1994 (age 21) 1 0 Bulgaria Litex Lovech v.  Malta, 12 June 2015
MF Atanas Zehirov (1989-02-13) 13 February 1989 (age 26) 0 0 Bulgaria Beroe Stara Zagora v.  Turkey, 8 June 2015
MF Stefan Velev (1989-05-02) 2 May 1989 (age 26) 3 0 Unattached v.  Romania, 8 February 2015
MF Lachezar Baltanov (1988-07-11) 11 July 1988 (age 27) 0 0 Bulgaria Botev Plovdiv v.  Romania, 8 February 2015
MF Daniel Genov (1989-05-19) 19 May 1989 (age 26) 0 0 Bulgaria Botev Plovdiv v.  Romania, 8 February 2015
MF Georgi Iliev (1981-09-05) 5 September 1981 (age 33) 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
MF Milen Gamakov (1994-04-12) 12 April 1994 (age 21) 0 0 Bulgaria Botev Plovdiv v.  Malta, 16 November 2014
FW Valeri Bojinov (1986-02-15) 15 February 1986 (age 29) 43 6 Serbia Partizan v.  Norway, 3 September 2015 INJ
FW Andrey Galabinov (1988-11-27) 27 November 1988 (age 26) 6 2 Italy Novara v.  Malta, 12 June 2015
FW Radoslav Vasilev (1990-10-12) 12 October 1990 (age 24) 2 0 Bulgaria Slavia Sofia v.  Malta, 12 June 2015
FW Kiril Despodov (1996-11-11) 11 November 1996 (age 18) 0 0 Bulgaria Litex Lovech v.  Romania, 8 February 2015
FW Ismail Isa (1989-06-26) 26 June 1989 (age 26) 0 0 Moldova Sheriff Tiraspol 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
FW Emil Gargorov (1981-02-15) 15 February 1981 (age 34) 22 3 Unattached v.  Croatia, 10 October 2014 INJ
Notes

INJ Player withdrew from the squad due to an injury.
SUS Player withdrew from the squad due to a suspension.

Coaching staff

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

Previous squads

FIFA World Cup Squads
UEFA European Football Championship squads

International match records

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

Head coaches

See also

Notes

  1. ^ RSSSF credits this goal to Georgi Asparuhov.

Sources

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  2. ^ "1962 FIFA World Cup Chile Match Report: Hungary - Bulgaria". FIFA. Archived from the original on 22 October 2007. Retrieved 28 July 2015. 
  3. ^ "1962 FIFA World Cup Chile Match Report: England - Bulgaria". FIFA. Archived from the original on 22 October 2007. Retrieved 28 July 2015. 
  4. ^ "1966 FIFA World Cup England Match Report: Brazil - Bulgaria". FIFA. Archived from the original on 16 October 2007. Retrieved 28 July 2015. 
  5. ^ "1966 FIFA World Cup England Match Report: Portugal - Bulgaria". FIFA. Archived from the original on 16 October 2007. Retrieved 28 July 2015. 
  6. ^ "1966 FIFA World Cup England Match Report: Hungary - Bulgaria". FIFA. Archived from the original on 16 October 2007. Retrieved 28 July 2015. 
  7. ^ "Olympic Football Tournament Mexico City 1968 Match Report: Bulgaria - Thailand". FIFA. Archived from the original on 21 February 2009. Retrieved 28 July 2015. 
  8. ^ "Olympic Football Tournament Mexico City 1968 Match Report: Bulgaria - Czechoslovakia". FIFA. Archived from the original on 21 February 2009. Retrieved 28 July 2015. 
  9. ^ "Olympic Football Tournament Mexico City 1968 Match Report: Bulgaria - Guatemala". FIFA. Archived from the original on 21 February 2009. Retrieved 28 July 2015. 
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External links