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Stoichkov returns to Bulgaria as Litex coach

Published: Thursday 5 January 2012, 12.50CET
Hristo Stoichkov, regarded as Bulgaria's greatest ever player and a former national team coach, has returned to his home country to take charge of reigning champions PFC Litex Lovech.
Stoichkov returns to Bulgaria as Litex coach
Hristo Stoichkov (right) is unveiled as the new Litex coach ©Stoyan Georgiev
Published: Thursday 5 January 2012, 12.50CET

Stoichkov returns to Bulgaria as Litex coach

Hristo Stoichkov, regarded as Bulgaria's greatest ever player and a former national team coach, has returned to his home country to take charge of reigning champions PFC Litex Lovech.

Bulgaria's greatest ever player and former national team coach Hristo Stoichkov has taken the helm at reigning champions PFC Litex Lovech.

Stoichkov succeeds Luboslav Penev and Atanas Dzhambazki as Litex's third coach of the season. The club's owner, Grisha Ganchev, said "Stoichkov's contract will never expire as world stars cannot be sacked" before adding: "We are very delighted Hristo has decided to come to the club in a very tough period and we wish him good luck and success."

The 45-year-old takes over with Litex seventh in the Bulgarian table, 11 points adrift of leaders PFC Ludogorets Razgrad. "The realistic target is winning the Bulgarian Cup," the new coach said. "Of course, we will try to defend the title, but it will be very hard."

As a player, Stoichkov scored 38 goals in 84 games for Bulgaria at a time when the country was enjoying golden era in international football that included reaching the 1994 FIFA World Cup semi-finals. At club level Stoichkov is probably best known for his two spells at FC Barcelona where he lifted the European Champion Clubs' Cup in 1992. He also enjoyed six successful years at PFC CSKA Sofia before moving to Spain.

Stoichkov began his coaching career in charge of the national team between 2004 and 2007 before a short spell at Spanish side RC Celta de Vigo. His first game in charge of Litex will be on 3 Feburary at lowly PFC Kaliakra Kavarna.

Last updated: 05/01/12 15.10CET

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