|Full name||Lyuboslav Mladenov Penev|
|Date of birth||31 August 1966|
|Place of birth||Dobrich, Bulgaria|
|Height||1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)|
|Playing position||Centre forward|
|CSKA Sofia (manager)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
Penev's first professional team was CSKA Sofia of the Bulgarian capital. He made his first team debut in 1984, when he was only 18 years old. CSKA of the late 1980s was the football "alma mater" to several Bulgarian players like Hristo Stoichkov who made it to the international top in the 1990s. During those days Lubo's teammates included defender Trifon Ivanov, winger Emil Kostadinov, and striker Hristo Stoichkov. With CSKA Penev won the Bulgarian A Football Group twice (in 1987 and 1989) and the Bulgarian Cup three times (in 1987, 1988 and 1989). He was also voted as the Bulgarian Footballer of the Year in 1988.
In 1989, after reaching stardom in the Bulgarian football, he took an important step in his career by moving to the Spanish League. In Primera Penev played for four different clubs: Valencia CF, Atlético Madrid, SD Compostela and Celta Vigo. The highlight of the Spanish years was the 1995–1996 season with Atlético, when the club conquered both the league championship and the Spanish Cup. Penev was the most efficient player of the "double squad" by scoring 22 goals in 44 games (including both league and cup matches).
Penev's favourite position on the pitch was centre forward. With an impressive stature of 188 cm, he roamed as a target man dominating in air battles. In addition to his abilities as a goalscorer, Penev was also known for his fighting spirit both on and off the pitch.
Penev represented Bulgaria in 1996 European Football Championship in England and in the 1998 World Cup in France. He could not take part in the 1994 World Cup, as he had been diagnosed with testicular cancer since the beginning of 1994. For the same reason he was replaced by Nasko Sirakov during the match Bulgaria vs Romania at UEFA Euro 1996 in England.
- Bulgarian Championship (2) 1987, 1989
- Bulgarian Cup (4) 1985, 1987, 1988, 1989
- Cup of the Soviet Army (3) 1985, 1986, 1989
- Bulgarian Super Cup (1) 1989
- La Liga 1989–90 Runners-up
In March 2009, he succeeded his uncle Dimitar Penev as manager of CSKA Sofia and under his guidance the team qualified for the group stages of the UEFA Europa League, defeating FC Dynamo Moscow – 2–1 on aggregate. On 6 November 2009, he gave his resignation, after a 1–3 loss to Swiss side FC Basel due to a conflict with the club's owners. CSKA finished 4th in the group behind Roma, Basel and Fulham. CSKA won its single point in the opening game against the future finalist Fulham (1–1 after a good strike from Michel Platini and a mistake from CSKA goalkeeper Ivan Karadzhov). However, Penev's resignation was not accepted, because the CSKA fans wanted him to stay.
The club was leader in the Bulgarian championship before the last round, when Litex Lovech took the leadership. On 13 January 2010, after another clash with the owners, he was fired. After the lost game against Minyor Pernik he withdrew nine players from training sessions for breaking the club's rules, this led to the conflict with the owners.
During the summer many rumours connected him with a transfer to a Spanish clubs (mainly from Liga Adelante, but from Liga BBVA sides too), but he remained a free agent. On 2 September 2010, he became manager of Litex Lovech and won the 2010–2011 A PFG Group championship.
On 23 October 2011, he resigned as Litex Lovech coach and was appointed manager of the national team. In his first game in charge, on 29 February 2012, Bulgaria earned a 1–1 draw away to Hungary. On 26 May 2012 his team defeated the runners-up of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Netherlands in Amsterdam by a score of 2–1. Under his management, Bulgaria's fortunes picked up and the team put in credible performances against Italy, Denmark and the Czech Republic in the qualifications for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. As a result, Bulgaria climbed from 96th in the FIFA World rankings when Penev took over, to 40th in November 2012. Currently, Bulgaria stand second in Group B on 13 points. Their next game was against the Czech Republic in Sofia on 15 October 2013, a match which Bulgaria lost 0–1.
On 1 November 2013, Lyuboslav Penev extended his contract with the national team of Bulgaria for two years. During this period, he will be able to qualify the team for the UEFA Euro 2016 in France.
On 6 June 2014, Penev was unveiled as the new manager of Botev Plovdiv, emphasizing that his new duties will not in any way affect his commitment to the national team. The sudden financial troubles of the club, however, led to the quick termination of his contract in early July after only one game (4:0 home victory against Libertas at the first qualifying round for UEFA Europa League).
On 20 November 2014, Penev was sacked by Bulgaria National Team following a run of poor results that culminated in a frustrating 1-1 home draw with Malta. In late April 2015, Penev took over as coach of former club CSKA Sofia until the end of the season, replacing Galin Ivanov after the club had found itself in a difficult situation due to a string of unsuccessful performances that had started at the beginning of 2015.
|G||W||D||L||Win %||F||A||Goal +/-|
|CSKA Sofia||March 2009||January 2010||25||18||4||3||72.00||49||13||+36|
|Litex Lovech||September 2010||October 2011||41||28||7||6||68.29||72||25||+47|
|Bulgaria||October 2011||November 2014||24||9||7||8||37.50||29||24||+5|
- As of 16 November 2014, includes all official matches – Bulgarian League, Bulgarian Cup (+ overtime) and international tournament games.
Lyuboslav Penev was born on 31 August 1966 in Dobrich, Bulgaria, the only son of Mladen Penev and his wife, a qualified nurse. He is the nephew of former footballer and coach Dimitar Penev. During the 1990s, Lubo Penev was in a relationship with supermodel Daniela Serdanova from whom he has one son named also Lyuboslav. Since 2006, he has been living with Kristina, from whom he has a second son. Тhey live in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria.
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|Bulgarian Footballer of the Year