Yordan Minev on Ludogorets's historic Basel win

No Bulgarian side had won a UEFA Champions League point before Ludogorets beat Basel in 2014. As the sides meet again, Yordan Minev, scorer of the only goal, recalls a famous night.

Yordan Minev celebrates after scoring a 92nd-minute winner
Yordan Minev celebrates after scoring a 92nd-minute winner ©Getty Images

I remember that the mood was positive. During the previous week we'd talked and we knew we needed a win. Although we'd lost the first two matches, we'd actually played well, so everyone had their mind set on victory.

Our coach then as he is now, Georgi Dermendzhiev, is always positive; he always believes in us and tells us we're the best and can beat any team. So it was only normal that he believed we could win. After his encouraging words and analysis, we all believed we could get at least a point.

In the 90th minute the score was still 0-0 [Basel surviving 72 minutes with ten men] when I got the ball: Wanderson played it in front of me. I had no special thoughts but when I saw there was space in front of me, I decided to run forward and shoot. To be honest, at first I couldn't believe I'd scored. I'm still coming to terms with the fact!

Ludogorets' celebrations went long into the night
Ludogorets' celebrations went long into the night©AFP/Getty Images

After the final whistle we were all very happy. And me in particular, as I had scored the goal. From a very young age footballers dream of scoring important goals to win 1-0 in front of a packed stadium – the Natsionalen Stadion Vasil Levski is always packed for Champions League matches – so my dream came true.

We went out to celebrate that night. It was a great party, but we still had one eye on the matches coming up. The result had a positive effect on the club. People started talking about Ludogorets. We became more confident as a team and more decisive on the pitch.

Actually, after full time I brought my son Alex onto the pitch to celebrate. It's a bit of a tradition at the club, but the feeling after that particular match was particularly great – out of this world. Even now it brings tears to my eyes. Playing in the Champions League has been the pinnacle of my career.

In conversation with Stoyan Georgiev

Basel v Ludogorets: their 2014 meetings
Basel v Ludogorets: their 2014 meetings
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