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Stoichkov resigns Bulgaria role

Hristo Stoichkov has stepped down as Bulgaria coach despite the team going well in UEFA EURO 2008™ qualifying, with a replacement expected in two weeks.

Hristo Stoichkov has resigned as coach of Bulgaria despite the team going well in UEFA EURO 2008™ qualifying.

Committee meeting
Bulgarian Football Union president Borislav Mihailov said: "Stoichkov has decided to resign. National team director Dimitar Dimitrov has also stepped down. The executive committee of the Bulgarian Football Union will meet on 25 April to name a new coach." The 41-year-old took over after Bulgaria failed to progress beyond the group stage at the UEFA EURO 2004™ finals, having previously helped train the strikers at FC Barcelona.

Playing career
The Plovdiv-born forward had dazzled as a player at FC Hebros Harmanli, PFC CSKA Sofia, Barcelona, Parma FC, Al Nassr, Kashiwa Reysol, Chicago Fire and DC United. Reports in Bulgaria have suggested Stoichkov could replace Fernando Vázquez, who was sacked last night, at the helm of relegation-haunted RC Celta de Vigo in Spain. The former national-team hero leaves Bulgaria third in Group G, two points behind second-placed Romania in the race to reach next summer's tournament in Austria and Switzerland. Their next games are away and home qualifiers against Belarus on 2 and 6 June.