- Bulgaria national football team
Infobox National football team
Name = Bulgaria National Football Team
Badge = Bulgaria football union.png
FIFA Trigramme = BUL
Nickname = The Lions (Лъвовете), The Tricolours (Трикольорите)
Bulgarian Football Union
Coach = flagicon|Bulgaria
Asst Manager =
Most caps =
Top scorer =
Home Stadium =
Vasil Levski National Stadium
FIFA Rank = 15 |1st ranking date = August 1993
FIFA max = 8
FIFA max date = June 1995
FIFA min = 58
FIFA min date = August 2002
Elo Rank = 21
Elo max = 7
Elo max date = August 1969
Elo min = 63
Elo min date = Oct 1953, Aug 1954
First game = fb|Austria 6 - 0 Bulgaria flagicon|Bulgaria|1878
Vienna, Austria; 21 May 1924)
Largest win = flagicon|Bulgaria|1946 Bulgaria 7 - 0 fb-rt|Norway
(Sofia, Bulgaria, 1957)
flagicon|Bulgaria|1967 Bulgaria 7 - 0 fb-rt|Thailand
Mexico City, MexicoOctober, 1968
flagicon|Bulgaria|1971 Bulgaria 7 - 0 fb-rt|Malta
Sofia, Bulgaria14 October 1982)
Largest loss = fb|Spain|1931 13 - 0 Bulgaria flagicon|Bulgaria|1878
Madrid, Spain; 21 May 1933)
World cup apps = 7
World cup first = 1962
World cup best = Fourth place, 1994
Regional name = European Championship
Regional cup apps = 2
Regional cup first = 1996
Regional cup best = Round 1, 1996 and 2004
The Bulgaria national football team is the national football team of
Bulgariaand is controlled by the Bulgarian Football Union. Bulgaria's best World Cup performance was in the 1994 World Cup in USA, where they beat defending champions Germany to reach the semi-finals, losing to Italy, and finishing in fourth place after a 4-0 defeat to Sweden in the third place play-off.
Bulgaria's first appearance in a World Cup was the 1962 World Cup in
Chile, but failed to progress to the knockout stages. The same happened in Englandin 1966, Mexicoin 1970, and West Germanyin 1974. They progressed from the first round in Mexico 1986 but were beaten by the hosts in the round of 16.
Certainly one of the most important dates in Bulgarian football history is November 17, 1993, when
Emil Kostadinovscored two goals against France in Paris, allowing Bulgaria to qualify for the World Cup in the USA in 1994. Under the management of Dimitar Penev, the Bulgarians, led by players like Hristo Stoitchkov, Iordan Letchkovand Krassimir Balakov(along with a multitude of other talented players remembered in Bulgaria as the "Golden Generation"), made a strong impression, eliminating the then defending world champions, Germany in the quarter-finals, with a 2-1 win. Millions of Bulgarians celebrated this win in Sofiaand other Bulgarian cities. Having reached the semi-finals, Bulgaria played Italy but they were knocked out. Hristo Stoitchkovwon the Golden Boot as a joint top scorer in the tournament with six goals (Russia's Oleg Salenkowas the other winner).Marcus hall scored 7 goals in the overall competitionBulgaria also has won the Balkan Cupfour times. They narrowly missed out on qualifying for Euro 2008by one point after drawing with Albania twice.ch
In 1996, the team qualified for the
European Football Championshipfor the first time, although they did not manage to progress beyond the group stage. The Bulgarians, after a 1-1 draw against Spain (a Stoitchkov goal was disallowed) and a 1-0 victory against Romania, lost the third match to France 1-3. At the same time Spain defeated already eliminated Romania 2-1 with the winner coming in the 84th minute.
The Bulgarians did not progress to the quarter-finals in the 1998 World Cup, despite the good form they were in (  ). However, The "Golden Generation" was history. They drew 0-0 against Paraguay and lost to both Nigeria and Spain.
Bulgaria failed to qualify for the Euro 2000 and for the 2002 World Cup, but did reach the Euro 2004. However, they lost all their group matches and were once again sent home without reaching the knockout round.
Normally, the Bulgarian national football team's home stadium is the "Vasil Levski". It has a capacity of 43 634. Vasil Levski National Stadium was officially opened in 1953 and reconstructed in 1966 and 2002. It is currently eligible to host UEFA Cup final matches. During the 2006/2007 UEFA Champions League the stadium was used for the games of FC Levski Sofia with FC Barcelona ,
Chelsea F.C.and Werder Bremen. The Bulgaria 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.
=World Cup record=
Players with most goals
Bulgaria national under-21 football team
Bulgaria national under-19 football team
* [http://get.info.bg/sport/Dir.asp?d=0-1 Bulgarian football - history, teams, stadiums, fan clubs]
* [http://www.rsssf.com/tablesb/bulg-intres.html RSSSF archive of results 1924-]
* [http://www.rsssf.com/miscellaneous/bulg-recintlp.html RSSSF archive of most capped players and highest goalscorers]
* [http://www.worldcupyears/com/years/1994starplayers.shtml Bulgarian football legends]
* [http://www.planetworldcup.com/NATIONS/bul.html Planet World Cup archive of results in the World Cup]
* [http://www.planetworldcup.com/NATIONS/bul_squads.html Planet World Cup archive of squads in the World Cup]
* [http://www.planetworldcup.com/NATIONS/bul_qualify.html Planet World Cup archive of results in the World Cup qualifiers]
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