|Full name||Valentin Iliev Ivanov|
|Date of birth||11 July 1980|
|Place of birth||Knezha, Bulgaria|
|Height||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Playing position||Centre back|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 31 May 2016|
- 1 Personal life
- 2 Playing career
- 3 International career
- 4 Managerial career
- 5 Outside football
- 6 Career statistics
- 7 Honours
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Iliev started his career in his home town Vratsa, where he played for the local team Botev Vratsa. In June 2001 he signed with Ukrainian club Metalurg from Zaporizhzhya, where he played 21 matches and scored one goal.
On 23 August 2005, Iliev scored a goal, which helped CSKA secure a historic 1–0 away win over Liverpool in the third qualifying round of the Champions League. However, it did not help them qualify for the Champions League group phase, as the "armymen" were eliminated after an aggregate score of 2–3, having lost their home game. He developed a knack for scoring key goals for CSKA making good use of his powerful heading ability. In April 2006, Iliev was given the captain's armband, as Emil Gargorov was stripped from that role as a result of loss in the Eternal derby of Bulgarian football against Levski Sofia.
In July 2006, it was announced that Iliev would be CSKA's permanent club captain. On 30 July, he captained the team that won the 2006 Bulgarian Supercup against Levski Sofia. Iliev helped CSKA to keep a clean sheet throughout the match, as they defeated Levski 3–0 on penalties. On 28 September 2006, he scored his second-ever European goal in a 2–2 home draw (after extra time) against Beşiktaş in the first round of the 2006–07 UEFA Cup.
Despite some disciplinary issues, most notably his physical confrontation with Jose Emilio Furtado in May 2007, resulting in Iliev being stripped of the CSKA captaincy, he remained a cult figure for CSKA fans.
Iliev signed with Russian side Terek Grozny in February 2008 on a two-and-a-half-year deal for a reported fee of €750,000. His first goal in the Russian Premier League came on 3 August, scoring the only goal in a 1–0 home win over Saturn Ramenskoye. On 23 August, he scored the winning goal for a 2–1 win against Lokomotiv Moscow. On 2 November 2008, Iliev scored another vital goal, this time a last-minute equaliser, in a 1–1 home draw against FC Moscow.
Iliev left Terek in February 2010, cancelling his contract by mutual agreement two months before it expired.
In February 2011, Iliev signed a contract for one and a half years with Steaua Bucureşti. On 19 December 2011, Iliev scored his first goal for Steaua against CSU Vointa Sibiu in a Liga 1 match, goal which proved to be decisive.
On 12 July 2012, Iliev joined Ukrainian club Volyn Lutsk on a two-year deal.
Return to CSKA Sofia
On 16 July 2013, Iliev re-signed with CSKA Sofia and was announced as CSKA's new club captain. He made his second CSKA debut in a 0–0 home draw against Cherno More on 3 August. Iliev scored his first goal since his return to the club on 24 August, scoring an equaliser, away to Lokomotiv Sofia in a 1–1 draw. On 16 April 2014, he signed a one-year contract extension, keeping him at CSKA until 30 June 2015. He ended 2013–14 season with 4 goals in 28 matches.
In October 2014, Iliev underwent an ankle surgery on his right foot. Following surgery, he was ruled out for about three months. He returned to first team action in April 2015.
On 29 September 2015, Iliev signed a one-year contract with Romanian club Universitatea Craiova as a free agent.
In October 2010, after a long absence from the national team, Iliev was recalled to the national side by the new manager Lothar Matthäus for the Euro 2012 qualifier against Wales. On 8 October 2010, he started the match, but sustained an injury during the first half and was replaced by Pavel Vidanov.
- As of 31 May 2015
|CSKA Sofia||2004–05||A Group||18||4||0||0||–||–||18||4|
|Terek Grozny||2008||Russian Premier League||25||3||0||0||–||–||25||3|
|Universitatea Craiova||2009–10||Liga I||15||3||0||0||–||–||15||3|
|Steaua Bucureşti||2010–11||Liga I||4||0||1||0||0||0||–||5||0|
|Volyn Lutsk||2012–13||Ukrainian Premier League||18||0||0||0||–||–||18||0|
|CSKA Sofia||2013–14||A Group||28||4||4||0||–||–||32||4|
- Bulgarian Championship – 2 times 2005, 2008
- Bulgarian Cup – 1 time 2006
- Bulgarian Super Cup – 1 time 2006
- Romanian Cup – 1 time 2011
- Best A PFG defender – 2005
- "Българите с половин сантиметър по-високи" (in Bulgarian). 7sport.net. 1 September 2011. Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 3 May 2015.
- "Валентиновците от "Ботев" Враца". Шанс Експрес (in Bulgarian). Archived from the original on 9 April 2012. Retrieved 25 April 2009.
- "Разжалваха Гъргоров като капитан на ЦСКА". sportal.bg (in Bulgarian). 3 April 2006.
- "ЦСКА отпадна след 2:2 с Бешикташ". topsport.bg (in Bulgarian). 28 September 2006.
- "Фуртадо – аут от ЦСКА, капитанът Илиев – в тъч". Sega bg (in Bulgarian). 10 May 2007. Archived from the original on 9 April 2012. Retrieved 20 June 2013.
- "Вальо Илиев подписа за 2,5 г. с Терек" (in Bulgarian). 7sport.net. 23 February 2008.
- "Вальо Илиев донесе точка на Терек с гол в последната минута" (in Bulgarian). sporta.bg. 3 November 2008.
- "Вальо Илиев се раздели с Терек" (in Bulgarian). gong.bg. 6 February 2010.
- "Valentin Iliev a semnat pentru Craiova" (in Romanian). craiova-maxima.ro. 11 February 2010.
- "Iliev a semnat cu Steaua" (in Romanian). steauafc.com. 19 February 2011.
- "Вальо Илиев преподписа с ЦСКА" (in Bulgarian). gong.bg. 16 April 2014.
- "Удар за ЦСКА - Вальо Илиев аут до края на годината" (in Bulgarian). sportal.bg. 6 October 2014.
- "Concediat! Fotbalistul preferat de Becali, dat afară la prima experienţă de antrenor principal". ProSport. 21 August 2018. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
- Tasev, Dimitar (18 February 2018). "Валентин Илиев между футбола и църквата (ВИДЕО)". btvnovinite.bg. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
- "Povestea incredibilă a fostului stelist Iliev. Lucrează la o biserică! • Fanatik.ro". Fanatik.ro. 19 February 2018. Retrieved 2018-08-22.
- "Иван Иванов е футболист на годината" (in Bulgarian). sportni.bg. Retrieved 2013-12-28.