Yordan Letchkov


Yordan Letchkov

Yordan Letchkov (also transliterated Jordan, Iordan, Lechkov) ( _bg. Йордан Лечков) (born July 9, 1967 in Sliven) is a former Bulgarian footballer, recognized as one of the best known players from the country.

A polyvalent player who played mainly as a forward and as a left lateral offensive midfielder, he was easily recognizable for his baldness; he proved to be an eclectic player but a little moody, with an essential but efficacious style of game.

Characterized by exceptional athletic accomplishments, and for this reason superable with difficulty on the field (noted for many ball recuperations), he had excellent technical and tactical skills too. His nicknames were "Dancho" Letchkov and "The Magician".

Career

Club

He began his career as a youngster with Sliven football club (Bulgaria), after a promising start to his career he secured a transfer to Bulgaria's top side CSKA Sofia (Bulgaria, 1991-92 season) and then onto Hamburger SV (Germany, from 1992-93 season to 1995-96 season), Olympique de Marseille (France, 1996-97 season) Besiktas Istanbul (Turkey, from 1997-98 season) after a two year period away from the game he finished his career in 2001-02 season back with CSKA Sofia.Letchkov is often referred to as being part of the "Golden Generation" of Bulgarian football, who along with Stoitchkov and Balakov led the national side to the semifinals of the 1994 World Cup.

International

Letchkov played 45 matches and scored 5 goals for the bulgarian national team; However his international career was limited by a series of disagreements with coaches and the Bulgarian Football Federation.He is perhaps best remembered for scoring the winner against Germany in the quarter-finals of the 94 World Cup en route to a semi final defeat to Italy.

Letchkov went on to shine in the 1996 European Championships in England despite the failure of Bulgaria to reach the quarter finals producing a man-of-the-match performance against a strong French side. He went on to contribute greatly to his nation's successful qualification campaign for the 1998 World Cup championships. However his chance to play in the tournament was blocked by FIFA due to a little publicised contractual dispute with Besiktas.

Various

Letchkov could arguably have achieved a lot more in his career. Despite his success with the national side it is often argued that his argumentative nature and difficult character hindered possible moves to one of the 'big' leagues, for example he was linked with Inter Milan in 1994 and later Bologna in 1996.After his retirement from football he has successfully started a career as a businessman (owning luxury hotels and a football academy) and politician (becoming the Mayor of his home town, Sliven).Since 2005 he has been vice president of the Bulgarian Football Union.

He also took part in a TV series called "Golden Foots" in 1998 with various other footballers. [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0149464/]

After the soccer

From 2003 Letchkov is a mayor of his birth city of Sliven.


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