Former Bulgaria captain Ivan Dimitrov mourned

Ivan Dimitrov, who captained Bulgaria at the 1970 FIFA World Cup, has passed away at the age of 83.

Former Bulgaria captain Ivan Dimitrov passed away on 1 January at the age of 83
Former Bulgaria captain Ivan Dimitrov passed away on 1 January at the age of 83 ©Getty Images

Ivan Dimitrov, who captained Bulgaria at the 1970 FIFA World Cup, has passed away at the age of 83.

A central defender, Dimitrov was born in Sofia on 14 May 1935 and began his playing career with Akademik Sofia, before representing fellow capital-city sides Stroitel and Zavod 12.

He remained in the Bulgarian capital and joined Lokomotiv Sofia in 1956, going on to make 215 league appearances for the Railwaymen. His finest moment came when he captained the club to the domestic title in 1964.

Dimitrov moved to Spartak Sofia the following year, winning the Soviet Army Cup in 1968, before ending his career with Akademik in 1971 after a total of 340 league outings.

A 70-cap international, Dimitrov made his Bulgaria debut in 1957 and captained his nation nine times, including at the 1970 FIFA World Cup in Mexico. The defender was also part of the squad for the 1962 World Cup in Chile and the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome.

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