Bulgarian football is in mourning after PFC Lokomotiv Sofia hero Atanas 'Nachko' Mihailov died at the age of 57 on Sunday.
One of the best loved players in Bulgarian history, the skilful forward spent his entire career with Lokomotiv, setting club records with 145 goals in 348 appearances between 1965 and 1981. His finest hour with the club came as he led them to the most recent of their four national titles in 1978. Mihailov also made his mark in European club competition by notching up four goals in a match against AS Monaco FC in a UEFA Cup second round game on 24 October 1979.
He scored the only goal in a 1-0 first leg win against FC Dynamo Kyiv, and while Lokomotiv lost 2-1 in the second leg, it was enough to send them through to the quarter-finals on away goals - their best ever achievement in Europe. Blessed with sublime skills, the free-kick master scored 23 goals in 45 games for the national team. He played in the final of the 1968 Olympic Games tournament as Bulgaria lost 4-1 against Hungary in Mexico, and having missed the 1970 FIFA World Cup finals through injury, played in West Germany four years later.
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