UEFA EURO - 2019/20 SeasonMatch press kits
|Montenegro||Friday 11 October 2019|
20.45CET (20.45 local time) Group A - Matchday -6
Date of birth: 29 March 1966
Playing career: Etar Veliko Turnovo, Sporting CP, Stuttgart
Coaching career: Grasshopper-Club, St Gallen, Chernomorets Burgas, Hajduk Split, Kaiserslautern, Litex Lovech, Etar Veliko Turnovo, Bulgaria
• Made his name in the late 1980s as a midfielder with hometown side Etar, who won the Bulgarian title in 1990/91, but Balakov had already departed for Portuguese giants Sporting CP during the winter break.
• Under Sir Bobby Robson Balakov developed into a fine playmaker, and helped Sporting to win the 1995 Portuguese Cup; he moved to Stuttgart that summer, and the club won the German Cup in 1997 before reaching the final of the European Cup Winners' Cup a year later.
• Balakov was a key member of the Bulgaria side that reached the semi-finals of the 1994 FIFA World Cup – still regarded as the nation's biggest footballing achievement – and was named in the official Team of the Tournament. Bulgarian Player of the Year in 1995 and 1997, he scored 16 goals in 92 internationals between 1988 and 2003, captaining the side in the last three years.
• Hung up his boots in 2003 and moved into coaching in Switzerland, leading Zurich-based Grasshoppers and then St Gallen. He was the first Bulgarian to coach in the Bundesliga when Kaiserslautern hired him in March 2012.
• Ended a 16-month spell back at Etar to become Bulgaria coach on 14 May 2019, succeeding his former international team-mate Petar Hubchev.
:: Previous meetings
Goals for/against: Goal totals include the outcome of disciplinary decisions (e.g. match forfeits when a 3-0 result is determined). Goals totals do not include goals scored during a penalty shoot-out after a tie ended in a draw
:: Squad list
Qual.: Total European Qualifiers appearances/goals for UEFA EURO 2016 only.
FT: Total UEFA EURO 2016 appearances/goals in final tournament only.
Overall: Total international appearances/goals.
DoB: Date of birth
Age: Based on the date press kit was last updated
D: Disciplinary (*: misses next match if booked, S: suspended)
:: Team facts
EURO finals: The UEFA European Championship was a four-team event in 1960, 1964, 1968, 1972 and 1976 (when the preliminary round and quarter-finals were considered part of qualifying).
From 1980 it was expanded to an eight-team finals and remained in that format in 1984, 1988 and 1992 until 1996, when the 16-team format was adopted. UEFA EURO 2016 is the first tournament to be played as a 24-team finals.
Records of inactive countries
A number of UEFA associations have been affected by dissolution or splits of member associations. For statistical purposes, the records of these inactive countries have been allocated elsewhere: therefore, all Soviet Union matches are awarded to Russia; all West Germany – but not East Germany – matches are awarded to Germany; all Yugoslavia and Serbia & Montenegro matches are awarded to Serbia; all Czechoslovakia matches are allocated to both the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
For statisical purposes, when a match has been started and then abandoned but later forfeited, the result on the pitch at the time of abandonment is counted. Matches that never started and were either cancelled or forfeited are not included in the overall statistics.