The Bulgaria national football team (Bulgarian: Български национален отбор по футбол) is an association football team fielded by the Bulgarian Football Union, a member association of UEFA. The team's home stadium is Vasil Levski in Sofia and Petar Hubchev is the current national manager. Their best achievements are — one FIFA World Cup semi-final in 1994, one UEFA Euro quarter-final in 1968, one Summer Olympics final in 1968, and three Balkan Cup titles. Although defeating strong top ranked teams in many international friendlies throughout the years, the team's strength has slowly fallen, failing to qualify for any major tournament since 2004.


The beginning

The Bulgaria national team was founded in 1922. In 1923, the Bulgarian Football Union was established and the team's first match was held in Vienna on 21 May 1924, against Austria[1] a 6–0 defeat.[2] The result was not surprising since Austria was at that time an avangarde of the Central–European school which dominated football in that period. To bring Bulgaria closer to that level, the Bulgarian FA has brought Austrian coaches Nitsch and Stejskal in the 1920s, and Hungarians Nemes, Fogl and German Feist in the 1930s.

Bulgaria was invited to participate in the 1930 FIFA World Cup in Uruguay, but eventually rejected the invitation because the players were incapable of having an extended leave of absence from work.[3]

1930 to 1960

The Bulgarian team at this time could not progress in qualifying for any major tournaments from 1930 to 1960. They would end up finishing, on many occasions, in second or third place in their qualifying group and proceeding to the play-offs, but in the end, failing to qualify. Bulgaria, however, did defeat many strong teams in international games during those years. The only tournaments they were able to qualify for were smaller tournaments, such as the Balkan Cup, which they have won four times. They qualified for the World Cup for the first time in 1962

1960s and 1970s

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 finished third in their group three out of the four times.

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 qualified to their first international tournament, the 1962 World Cup, and this would be the first time that they qualified, after not doing so for 32 years. Bulgaria was placed in a group alongside England, Argentina and Hungary. Bulgaria would open up their campaign with a narrow 0–1 loss to Argentina then would lose their second match 1–6 to Hungary. Mathematically eliminated from progressing to the next round, Bulgaria drew England 0–0 to finish fourth in the group with only one point.

1966 World Cup

Bulgaria would qualify for their second World Cup in 1966. They were placed in a group, alongside Hungary, Portugal and a Pelé-led Brazil. Bulgaria would open their campaign match with a 0–2 loss to Brazil thanks to two free-kick goals by Pelé and Garrincha. Later on, Bulgaria would lose 0–3 to the Eusébio-led Portugal, then lost again to Hungary (1–3). They would finish fourth in their group zero points earned.

1968 Summer Olympics

A month-and-a-half after the Euro came the Olympics, which Bulgaria had qualified for the fifth time in their history. They were drawn in a group with Thailand, Guatemala and Czechoslovakia. Bulgaria began with a 7–0 win over Thailand. They would later go on and draw with Czechoslovakia 2–2. Their final match would determine if they would go on to the quarterfinals. Bulgaria defeated Guatemala 2–1 and win their first round Olympic group. They passed on to the Quarterfinals to face Israel. That game would remain 1–1 for most of the match until a drawing of lots determined who would go to the semi-finals of the tournament. Bulgaria won the draw and advanced to play Mexico. They won in overtime with a 3–2 victory. Bulgaria advanced to the finals for the first time in their Olympic history. They then suffered a 1–4 loss to Hungary. Bulgaria won the silver medal in the end.

1970 World Cup

Bulgaria qualified for their third-straight World Cup in 1970, held in Mexico. They were drawn in a group with Western Germany, Peru, and Morocco. Playing their first match against Peru, Bulgaria were leading 2–0 until near the end when the Peruvians came back to win Peru 2–3. In the second match, Bulgaria would fall to West Germany 5–2, ensuring Bulgaria would need to defeat Morocco to progress to the next round. A 1–1 draw, however, resulted in a third-place group finish and elimination from the tournament.

1974 World Cup

Four years later, in Germany, Bulgaria would qualify for their fourth-straight World Cup. They were drawn in a group with the Netherlands, Sweden and 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 referee. Later on, Bulgaria tied with Uruguay 1–1. Bulgaria remained in contention; all they needed to do was tie against the Netherlands. As the final match came, Bulgaria fell by a 1–4 score. The Netherlands scored all the goals including an own goal for Bulgaria. Bulgaria remained in 3rd place in the group and did not move on to the next round.

The 1980s and 1990s

1986 World Cup

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: Final Four Triumph

The retired jersey and Ballon D'or of Bulgarian football legend Hristo Stoichkov. Considered Bulgaria's all-time Greatest Player, Stoichkov led his team to a 1994 World Cup Final Four Finish alongside winning the European Golden Boot.

On 17 November 1993, Emil Kostadinov scored two goals to beat France in Paris, thus allowing Bulgaria to qualify for the World Cup in the United States in 1994, and disallowing France to qualify for that tournament.[4] Under the management of Dimitar Penev, the team led by players such as Hristo Stoichkov, Yordan Lechkov and Krasimir Balakov was referred to as the "Golden Generation".[5] They entered Group D with Argentina, Nigeria and Greece.[6] Prior to 1994, the Bulgarians had not won a single match in the previous five World Cup finals appearances. The first match ended with a 3–0 defeat by Nigeria in Dallas.[7] Later, the team won 4–0 against World Cup-debuting Greece in Chicago[8] and 2–0 against Argentina in Dallas.[9] Bulgaria continued to the next round, where they faced Mexico at Giants Stadium just outside 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 saved two penalty kicks and Bulgaria won 3–1 on penalties.[10] In their quarter-final match, again in New York City, Bulgaria faced defending World Cup champions Germany. Lothar Matthäus scored in a penalty kick. The Bulgarians, however, managed to turn the game over with two goals by Stoichkov and Yordan Lechkov, giving them a 2–1 win.[11] Millions of Bulgarians celebrated this win in the Bulgarian capital city of Sofia and other Bulgarian cities. In their semi-final match again in New York, they lost 2–1 to Italy.[12] Bulgaria then traveled across the country and three time zones to the Pasadena Rose Bowl just outside Los Angeles to play Sweden, who did not have to travel because their semi-final match against Brazil had been held in the Rose Bowl.[13] Sweden beat Bulgaria 4–0, so the team finished the tournament in 4th place.[14] Stoichkov was awarded the Golden Boot (along with Russia's Oleg Salenko) for scoring six goals and finishing as joint top goal scorer of the tournament.[15] Later in December, Stoitchkov was awarded the FIFA Ballon d'Or, becoming the first ever Bulgarian to win it.[16] Krasimir Balakov was named in the all-star team along with Stoichkov.

European Football Championship 1996

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 volley by Stoitchkov. After losing against Spain, Bulgaria went on to a 1–0 win against Romania. Stoitchkov scoring in the third minute adding a second goal to the list. In the final group match, they lost 3–1 against France, Stoitchkov scoring from a free kick to give Bulgaria there only goal of the game. At the same time, Spain defeated Romania 2–1 with the winning goal coming in the 84th minute, and the Bulgarians subsequently failed to qualify for the quarter-finals.

1998 World Cup

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 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 offside 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

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.

New millennium

Berbatov training with Bulgaria Right Before Euro 2004

2002 World Cup qualification: Beginning of a drought

Bulgaria, Denmark, and Czech Republic were among the main contenders for the qualifying spots. This is also the debut of Bulgaria's top scoring player 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.

Euro 2004

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 off with a defeat by Sweden, followed by a 2–0 defeat by Denmark. The last match against Italy was a 2–1 defeat. Near the end of the match, the score was 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.

2006 World Cup qualification: Failure

Bulgaria failed to qualify for the World Cup in Germany after a run of poor results. They began with a win over Hungary and "weaker" teams in the group. 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 equaliser against Croatia, Bulgaria 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, which Bulgaria entered for the first time. They started off well with a 2–1 victory over the hosts Japan. Later, they lost 5–1 to Scotland, the eventual champions of the Kirin Cup. Bulgaria became the Runners Up and received the silver medal.

2008 European qualification: 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 tenth minute and lose the second 2–0. Bulgaria failed to qualify to the competition, finishing with 25 points, after Romania and the Netherlands, with only one lost match against the Dutch.

2010 World Cup qualification: Close call

The Bulgaria National Football Team in 2010

Bulgaria were drawn against Italy and the Republic of Ireland in qualifying Group Eight. Bulgaria started the campaign with a series of draws in the 2010 qualifiers. 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]

Era of Decline

2012 European qualification

The Bulgaria National Team in 2012

Bulgaria were drawn in Group G along with England, Switzerland, Wales and Montenegro. Bulgaria started off horribly with an opening away loss to England. They later on drew level with Switzerland along with defeating Wales and Montenegro. However, Bulgaria finished fifth in their group reaching their nadir in their football history, marking the fourth instance during 2000s that the nation had failed to finish in third (or better).

2014 World Cup Qualification

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 2–1 victory over 2010 World Cup runners-up Netherlands in Amsterdam. The qualifications started with a 2–2 draw against the Euro 2012 runners-up Italy. Bulgaria then defeated Armenia, which ended 1–0. Later on Bulgaria drew 1–1 against Denmark. Four days later, Bulgaria earned a 0–0 draw away against the Czech Republic. As a result of these performances, the team climbed from 96th in the FIFA Ranking, their lowest position in history, to 40th in November 2012, earning FIFA best mover of the year. Penev's players hosted and defeated Malta 6–0 under heavy snowfall. Four days later, Bulgaria once again set a draw with Denmark 1–1 in Copenhagen. This result left Bulgaria second in the group with ten points and still undefeated. Bulgaria traveled to Italy, a game where they lost 1–0. Further on, the lions secured three more points with a 2–0 away win against Malta. After that Bulgaria was defeated by Armenia 2–1 and the Czech Republic 1–0 at home.

2016 Euro Cup Qualification: Continuation of the drought

Bulgaria were placed in a group with Italy, Croatia, Norway, Azerbaijan and Malta.[17] Bulgaria opened up their first match with a 2–1 victory over Azerbaijan.[18] They were defeated 1–0 by Croatia,[19] which was followed by a 2–1 defeat to Norway.[20] Bulgaria then drew with Malta 1–1 at home,[21] but this cost Head Coach Lyuboslav Penev his position and he was replaced by former Ludogorets Razgrad Coach Ivaylo Petev.[22] In his debut match in February 2015, Petev's squad drew Romania 0–0 in a friendly,[23] which was then followed at the end of March by a 2–2 qualifier match draw with Italy, a match which Bulgaria had led till the 84th minute.[24] In June, Bulgaria defeated Malta 1–0 to move within 2 points of the third place playoff position.[25] They then, however, lost their next three matches against Norway,[26] Italy[27] and Croatia[28] before winning their final match 2–0 over Azerbaijan, thus failing to qualify for the finals tournament.[29].

2018 World Cup qualification - Resurgence

Bulgaria have been drawn in a World Cup qualification group with Netherlands, France and Sweden, 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. Bulgaria has luckily drawn Luxembourg at home for their first match in September. This will give them the brief opportunity to re-group hoping 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. In the beginning, Bulgaria earned a hard-fought 4-3 win against Luxembourg at home, a frustrating scoreline despite the victory.[30] It was followed by two heavy 1-4 and 0-3 losses to France and Sweden, respectively.[31][32] In November 2016, the Lions secured the three points against Belarus in Sofia with a narrow 1-0 win.[33] On Matchday 5, the Bulgarian team put up arguably its' best performance in recent years, beating the Netherlands 2-0, thus claiming the 3rd spot in the group.[34] On Thursday the 31st of August, 2017 Bulgaria pulled off another famous shock result defeating 1st place Sweden who had recently defeated heavy favourites France, 3-2 in Sofia. This result sent Bulgaria to 3rd place, 1 point below now second-placed Sweden and put them in a really good position to claim a play-off place which could assure them a ticket for Russia 2018.[35] However, the Lions lost the key match against the Netherlands at Amsterdam Arena by the scoreline of 1-3, thus falling back to 4th place and possibly putting an end to their hopes of qualifying, as now Bulgaria is 4 points away from second-placed Sweden and 5 behind leaders France. Bulgaria then lost 0-1 at home to France, ending their undefeated-at-home streak, and missing yet another tournament.[36] This not so bad qualifying campaign, the brightest moments being the wins against the Netherlands and Sweden, however ended in a disappointing way, as Bulgaria failed to beat Luxembourg for the first time in history, with the match at Stade Josy Barthel ending 1-1.[37]

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts Qualification
1  France 10 7 2 1 18 6 +12 23 Qualification to 2018 FIFA World Cup 2–1 4–0 4–1 0–0 2–1
2  Sweden 10 6 1 3 26 9 +17 19 Advance to second round 2–1 1–1 3–0 8–0 4–0
3  Netherlands 10 6 1 3 21 12 +9 19 0–1 2–0 3–1 5–0 4–1
4  Bulgaria 10 4 1 5 14 19 −5 13 0–1 3–2 2–0 4–3 1–0
5  Luxembourg 10 1 3 6 8 26 −18 6 1–3 0–1 1–3 1–1 1–0
6  Belarus 10 1 2 7 6 21 −15 5 0–0 0–4 1–3 2–1 1–1
Source: FIFA
Rules for classification: Qualification tiebreakers

Team image


Traditionally the Bulgarian squad plays at home entirely in the colours of the Bulgarian tricolore. Their nickname is The Lions, in tribute of the lions represented in the Bulgarian coat of arms.

Kit suppliers

Kit Provider Period
Germany Adidas 1974–1994
Germany Puma 1995–2010
Italy Kappa 2010–2014
Spain Joma 2014–

National Stadium

The National Stadium

Normally, the Bulgarian national football team's home stadium is the Vasil Levski National Stadium with a capacity of 45,000. 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.

Competition History

World Cup Record

     Champions       Runners-up       Third Place       Fourth Place  

FIFA World Cup record FIFA World Cup qualification record
Year Round Position Pld W D L GF GA Position Pld W D L GF GA
Uruguay 1930 Did not enter Was not invited
Kingdom of Italy 1934 Did not qualify 3rd 3 0 0 3 3 14
France 1938 2nd 2 0 1 1 1 7
Brazil 1950 Did not enter -
Switzerland 1954 Did not qualify 3rd 4 0 1 3 3 7
Sweden 1958 2nd 4 2 0 2 11 7
Chile 1962 Group stage 13th 3 0 1 2 1 7 1st 5 4 0 1 7 4
England 1966 12th 3 0 0 3 1 8 1st 5 4 0 1 11 7
Mexico 1970 12th 3 0 1 2 5 9 1st 6 4 1 1 12 7
West Germany 1974 11th 3 0 2 1 2 5 1st 6 4 2 0 13 3
Argentina 1978 Did not qualify 2nd 4 1 2 1 5 6
Spain 1982 3rd 8 4 1 3 11 10
Mexico 1986 Round of 16 10th 4 0 2 2 2 6 2nd 8 5 1 2 13 5
Italy 1990 Did not qualify 4th 6 1 1 4 6 8
United States 1994 Fourth Place 4th 7 3 1 3 10 11 2nd 10 6 2 2 19 10
France 1998 Group stage 22nd 3 0 1 2 1 7 1st 8 6 0 2 18 9
South KoreaJapan 2002 Did not qualify 3rd 10 5 2 3 14 15
Germany 2006 3rd 10 4 3 3 17 17
South Africa 2010 3rd 10 3 5 2 17 13
Brazil 2014 4th 10 3 4 3 14 9
Russia 2018 4th 10 4 1 5 14 19
Qatar 2022 To be determined To be determined
Total Fourth Place 7/21 26 3 7 15 22 53 Total 129 60 27 42 209 177

European Championship Record

     Champions       Runners-up       Third Place       Fourth Place  

UEFA Championship record UEFA qualification record
Year Round Position Pld W D L GF GA Position Pld W D L GF GA
France 1960 Did Not Qualify FR 2 0 1 1 1 3
Spain 1964 FR 5 3 0 2 7 7
Italy 1968 P/O 8 5 2 1 13 6
Belgium 1972 2nd 6 3 1 2 11 7
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia 1976 3rd 6 2 2 2 12 7
Italy 1980 4th 8 2 1 5 6 14
France 1984 3rd 6 2 1 3 7 8
West Germany 1988 2nd 8 4 2 2 12 6
Sweden 1992 4th 8 3 3 2 15 8
England 1996 Group Stage 11th 3 1 1 1 3 4 2nd 10 7 1 2 24 10
Belgium Netherlands 2000 Did Not Qualify 4th 8 2 2 4 6 8
Portugal 2004 Group Stage 16th 3 0 0 3 1 9 1st 8 5 2 1 13 4
Austria Switzerland 2008 Did Not Qualify 3rd 12 7 4 1 18 7
Poland Ukraine 2012 5th 8 1 2 5 3 13
France 2016 4th 10 3 2 5 9 12
Europe 2020 To be determined To be determined
Total Group Stage 2/16 6 1 1 4 4 13 Total 113 49 26 38 157 120

UEFA Nations League Record

     Champions       Runners-up       Third Place       Fourth Place  

UEFA Championship record
Year League Round Position Pld W D L GF GA
2018–19 League C To be determined
Total 1/1 To be determined

Olympic Record

     Gold medal        Silver medal        Bronze medal  

Olympic Record
Year Result Position Pld W D L GF GA
19001920 Did not participate
France 1924 Round of 16 12th 1 0 0 1 0 1
19281948 Did not participate
Finland 1952 Round of 16 13th 1 0 0 1 1 2
Australia 1956 Bronze Semi-Finals 3rd 3 2 0 1 10 3
Italy 1960 Group Stage 8th 3 2 1 0 8 3
1964 Did not qualify
Mexico 1968 Silver Runners-Up 2nd 6 3 2 1 16 10
19721988 Did not qualify
1992–present See Bulgaria U23 football team
Total 5/23 14 7 3 4 35 19

Balkan Cup Record

     Gold medal        Silver medal        Bronze medal  

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 Gold medal with cup.svg Champions 1st 2 2 0 0 8 3
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia 1932 Gold medal with cup.svg Champions 1st 3 3 0 0 7 2
Romania 1933 Bronze medal with cup.svg Semi-Finals 3rd 3 1 0 2 2 11
Greece 1934 Group Stage 4th 3 1 0 2 7 8
Bulgaria 1935 Silver medal with cup.svg Runners-Up 2nd 3 2 1 0 12 5
Romania 1936 Silver medal with cup.svg 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 Group Stage 4th 5 2 1 2 6 7
Romania 1976 Gold medal with cup.svg Champions 1st 4 2 0 2 9 9
Turkey 1980 Bronze medal with cup.svg Semi-Finals 3rd 4 1 1 2 4 6
Total 12/12 41 19 4 19 80 99


Competition 1st, gold medalist(s) 2nd, silver medalist(s) 3rd, bronze medalist(s) Total
Gold medal.svg Olympics 0 1 1 2
Gold medal with cup.svg Balkan Cup 3 2 2 7
Total 3 3 3 9

Recent Results

  Win   Draw   Loss

Ranking history

Rank Date
Best Rank 3 June 1995
Current Rank 40 March 2018
Worst Rank 96 May 2012


The following players were called up in the squad for the Friendly matches against Bosnia and Herzegovina on March 23, and Kazakhstan on 26 March 2018.[38]
Caps and goals updated as of 26 March 2018 after the match against Kazakhstan.

0#0 Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Bozhidar Mitrev (1987-03-31) 31 March 1987 (age 31) 9 0 Bulgaria Levski Sofia
13 1GK Plamen Iliev (1991-11-30) 30 November 1991 (age 26) 9 0 Romania Astra Giurgiu

5 2DF Nikolay Bodurov (1986-05-30) 30 May 1986 (age 31) 41 2 Bulgaria CSKA Sofia
3 2DF Petar Zanev (1985-10-18) 18 October 1985 (age 32) 34 0 Russia Amkar Perm
2 2DF Strahil Popov (1990-08-31) 31 August 1990 (age 27) 18 0 Turkey Kasımpaşa
15 2DF Vasil Bozhikov (1988-06-02) 2 June 1988 (age 29) 14 0 Slovakia Slovan Bratislava
4 2DF Bozhidar Chorbadzhiyski (1995-08-01) 1 August 1995 (age 22) 5 0 Bulgaria CSKA Sofia
12 2DF Kamen Hadzhiev (1991-09-22) 22 September 1991 (age 26) 0 0 Bulgaria Beroe Stara Zagora
20 2DF Tsvetomir Panov (1989-04-17) 17 April 1989 (age 28) 1 0 Bulgaria Ludogorets Razgrad

11 3MF Stanislav Manolev (1985-12-16) 16 December 1985 (age 32) 51 5 Bulgaria CSKA Sofia
17 3MF Georgi Milanov (1992-02-19) 19 February 1992 (age 26) 40 2 Russia CSKA Moscow
7 3MF Mihail Aleksandrov (1989-06-11) 11 June 1989 (age 28) 21 3 Russia Arsenal Tula
18 3MF Ivaylo Chochev (1993-02-18) 18 February 1993 (age 25) 17 3 Italy Palermo
8 3MF Todor Nedelev (1993-02-07) 7 February 1993 (age 25) 17 0 Bulgaria Botev Plovdiv
6 3MF Simeon Slavchev (1993-09-25) 25 September 1993 (age 24) 17 0 Poland Lechia Gdańsk
14 3MF Georgi Kostadinov (1990-09-07) 7 September 1990 (age 27) 10 3 Israel Maccabi Haifa
22 3MF Martin Raynov (1992-04-25) 25 April 1992 (age 25) 5 0 Bulgaria Beroe Stara Zagora
21 3MF Ivan Minchev (1991-05-28) 28 May 1991 (age 26) 1 0 Bulgaria Slavia Sofia
19 3MF Kiril Despodov (1996-08-11) 11 August 1996 (age 21) 1 0 Bulgaria CSKA Sofia

10 4FW Ivelin Popov (Captain) (1987-10-26) 26 October 1987 (age 30) 74 14 Russia Rubin Kazan
9 4FW Spas Delev (1989-09-22) 22 September 1989 (age 28) 20 2 Poland Pogoń Szczecin
23 4FW Radoslav Kirilov (1992-06-29) 29 June 1992 (age 25) 2 0 Bulgaria Pirin Blagoevgrad

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 Blagoy Makendzhiev (1988-07-11) 11 July 1988 (age 29) 0 0 Bulgaria Cherno More Varna v.  Saudi Arabia, 13 November 2017
GK Georgi Kitanov (1995-03-06) 6 March 1995 (age 23) 0 0 Bulgaria CSKA Sofia v.  Netherlands, 3 September 2017
GK Nikolay Mihaylov (1988-06-28) 28 June 1988 (age 29) 33 0 Cyprus Omonia v.  Belarus, 9 June 2017

DF Anton Nedyalkov (1993-04-30) 30 April 1993 (age 24) 5 0 United States FC Dallas v.  Saudi Arabia, 13 November 2017
DF Aleksandar Dyulgerov (1990-04-19) 19 April 1990 (age 27) 0 0 Bulgaria CSKA Sofia v.  Saudi Arabia, 13 November 2017
DF Georgi Terziev (1992-04-18) 18 April 1992 (age 25) 10 0 Bulgaria Ludogorets Razgrad v.  Netherlands, 3 September 2017
DF Atanas Zehirov (1989-02-13) 13 February 1989 (age 29) 1 0 Bulgaria Cherno More Varna v.  Netherlands, 3 September 2017

MF Aleksandar Tonev (1990-02-02) 2 February 1990 (age 28) 28 5 Unattached v.  Saudi Arabia, 13 November 2017
MF Aleksandar Tsvetkov (1990-08-31) 31 August 1990 (age 27) 2 0 Bulgaria Cherno More Varna v.  Saudi Arabia, 13 November 2017
MF Bozhidar Kraev (1997-06-23) 23 June 1997 (age 20) 4 0 Denmark Midtjylland v.  Luxembourg, 10 October 2017
MF Kristiyan Malinov (1994-03-30) 30 March 1994 (age 24) 1 0 Bulgaria CSKA Sofia v.  Luxembourg, 10 October 2017
MF Orlin Starokin (1987-01-08) 8 January 1987 (age 31) 0 0 Bulgaria Vitosha Bistritsa v.  Netherlands, 3 September 2017
MF Svetoslav Dyakov (1984-05-31) 31 May 1984 (age 33) 36 0 Bulgaria Ludogorets Razgrad v.  Belarus, 9 June 2017
MF Aleksandar Bashliev (1989-11-16) 16 November 1989 (age 28) 0 0 Bulgaria Pirin Blagoevgrad v.  Belarus, 9 June 2017

FW Andrey Galabinov INJ (1988-11-13) 13 November 1988 (age 29) 10 2 Italy Genoa v.  Bosnia and Herzegovina, 23 March 2018
FW Ivaylo Dimitrov (1989-03-26) 26 March 1989 (age 29) 2 0 Bulgaria Slavia Sofia v.  Saudi Arabia, 13 November 2017

INJ Player withdrew from the squad due to an injury.
PRE Preliminary squad.

Current technical staff

Head coach Bulgaria Petar Hubchev
Assistant coach Bulgaria Georgi Donkov
Assistant coach Bulgaria Levon Apkaryan
Goalkeepers coach Armenia Armen Ambartsumyan
BFU president Bulgaria Borislav Mikhailov
Team captain Bulgaria Svetoslav Dyakov

Previous squads

FIFA World Cup Squads
UEFA European Football Championship Squads
Summer Olympics Football Tournament Squads

Player records