PFC Levski Sofia

PFC Levski Sofia
Levski Sofia
Levski Sofia emblem
Full name Професионален футболен клуб Левски София
(Professional football club Levski Sofia)

Сините (The Blues)

Отбора на народа (The Team of the People)
Founded May 24, 1914
Ground Georgi Asparuhov Stadium,
(Capacity: 29,200)
Chairman Todor Batkov
Manager Nikolay Kostov
League A PFG
2010–11 A PFG, 2nd
Website Club home page
Home colours
Away colours
Current season

"Levski Sofia" redirects here. For the sports club, see Levski Sofia (sports club).

PFC Levski Sofia, (Bulgarian: ПФК Левски София) otherwise simply known as Levski or Levski Sofia, is a professional football club based in Sofia, Bulgaria. The club was founded on May 24, 1914 by a group of young students, and is named after Vasil Levski, a Bulgarian revolutionary renowned as the national hero of Bulgaria.

Since its establishment, Levski has won 73 major domestic trophies (a national record) including - 26 A PFG titles, 26 National Cups, 3 Supercups, 11 Sofia championships, 3 Cups of the Soviet Army, 4 Ulpia Serdika Cups and has achieved a record 13 domestic doubles. The club has a positive balance against all other Bulgarian teams in all national competitions and its a member of the European Club Association. The Blues are also the team with most seasons played in the Bulgarian football championship and has never been relegated.

Internationally, Levski has reached three European Cup Winners' Cup quarter-finals and two UEFA Cup quarter-finals. In 2006, it became the first and so far the only Bulgarian club to make it to the group stages of the UEFA Champions League.

The team's regular kit colour is all-blue. Levski's home ground is the Georgi Asparuhov Stadium in Sofia, which has a capacity of 29,200 spectators. To date, the club's biggest rivals are CSKA Sofia, and matches between the two capital sides are commonly referred to as The Eternal Derby in Bulgaria.



Sport Club Levski (1914–1969)

First kit (1914-20)

[1] Sport Club Levski was founded in 1911 by a group of students at the Second Male High School in Sofia, with football as the major sport practiced. The club was officially registered on May 24, 1914, a date, which is celebrated as Levski's birthday. The club's name was chosen in honour of the Apostle of Bulgarian freedom Vasil Levski.

In 1914 Levski lost its first official match against FC 13 Sofia by 0:2. In that period (1914–1920) football wasn't a popular sport in Bulgaria, so there isn't any other information from the period concerning the club. In the summer of 1921, the Sofia Sports League was founded. It united 10 clubs from Sofia, marking the beginning of organized football competitions in the city. The Blues won the first match in the championship for the season 1921/1922, held on September 18, 1921, against Athletic Sofia with the score of 3:1. Levski captured the first place in the league in 1923 after a dramatic 3:2 win over bitter rival Slavia Sofia and successfully defended the title in the following season.

The first National Championship was held in 1924 with Levski representing Sofia. The team went on to win the title in 1933, 1937 and 1942, and established itself as the most popular football club in Bulgaria. Levski also became the holder for all times of the Ulpia Serdica Cup by virtue of winning it for the third time in a row in 1933. In 1929 Levski became the first semi-professional football club in Bulgaria, after 12 players staged a boycott of the team in demand of financial remuneration and insurance benefits. The same year Levski met its first international opponents, losing to Gallipoli Istanbul 0:1 and winning against Kuban Istanbul 6:0.

After World War II, Levski became one of the two top clubs in Bulgaria. After winning the championship in 1946, 1947, 1949, 1950 and 1953 Levski would not capture the domestic title again until the mid 1960s. In 1949 the authorities changed the club's name to Dinamo following the Soviet traditions, but after the destalinization of Bulgaria, it was reverted back in 1957. The 1960s were marked with return to success both on the domestic and on the international stage. Levski's academy would become the most successful in national youth competitions for the years to come, and the results were first seen in the likes of Georgi Asparuhov, Georgi Sokolov, Biser Mihailov, Kiril Ivkov, Ivan Vutsov, Stefan Aladzhov and Aleksandar Kostov, assisted by experienced veterans like Stefan Abadzhiev, Dimo Pechenikov and Hristo Iliev, who celebrated winning the championship in 1965, 1968 and 1970, and the 7:2 triumph over new bitter rival CSKA in 1968. The tie against Benfica Lisbon in the European Cup in 1965 remained memorable for the Eusebio versus Georgi Asparuhov clash, and the recognition that the Portuguese great gave to his Bulgarian counterpart.

Levski Spartak (1969–1985)

Following the new wave of political reform in the Eastern Block after the Prague Spring, in 1969 and against the wishes of the majority of its supporters, Levski was merged with Spartak Sofia and put under the auspice of the Bulgarian interior ministry. The name of the club was once again changed, this time to Levski - Spartak.

A new crop of youngsters in the likes of Kiril Milanov, Dobromir Zhechev, Pavel Panov, Todor Barzov, Voyn Voynov, Ivan Tishanski, Georgi Tsvetkov, Plamen Nikolov, and Rusi Gochev not only found their place in the first team, but brought new titles in 1974, 1977 and 1979. On the international stage the quarterfinal appearances in the Cup Winners Cup in 1970 and 1977, and in the UEFA Cup in 1976.

Vitosha Sofia (1985–1989)

The name of the team was changed to Vitosha by the authorities following the disruptions during and after the Bulgarian Cup final in 1985. The game ran on high emotions fueled by the streak of consecutive victories of Levski over CSKA in the 2 years prior to the game (though CSKA won the Bulgarian Cup game 2-1). The controversial decisions of the referee led to confrontations both on the field and on the stands. By decree of the Central Committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party some of the leading players both of The Blues and the Reds were suspended from the sport for life. The championship title of the club for 1985 was suspended.

Levski Sofia (1989–present)

The suspensions were lifted shortly after, but regardless of the universal refusal of supporters to recognize and chant the new name of the team, it wasn't until 1989 and the Fall of the Berlin Wall that the club officially abolished the artificially imposed and hated title Vitosha and returned to being simply Levski. The normalization of sport activities in the country and the removal of the political influences on the football community were especially favorable to the results of The Blues. The team composed of the newcomers Plamen Nikolov, Petar Hubchev, Tsanko Tsvetanov, Emil Kremenliev, Zlatko Yankov, Georgi Slavchev, Ilian Iliev, Daniel Borimirov, Stanimir Stoilov and Velko Yotov and the return of the veterans Plamen Getov, Nikolay Todorov and Nasko Sirakov, dictated the game in the domestic championship by winning the title in 1993, 1994 and 1995. Memorable wins by big margins over challengers Lokomotiv Sofia – 8:0, CSKA – 7:1 and Botev Plovdiv – 6:1, clearly demonstrated Levski's complete superiority. Home games in European Competitions against Rangers FC and Werder Bremen turned into true holidays for supporters. Levski contributed with 5 first team players (Petar Hubchev, Tsanko Tsvetanov, Emil Kremenliev, Zlatko Yankov and Nasko Sirakov) and three reserve players (Plamen Nikolov, Petar Aleksandrov and Daniel Borimirov) to the Bulgaria national football team that ended on fourth place in the unforgettable American summer of the World Cup 1994.

Another relatively unsuccessful period lasted until 2005. Then the young new manager and former player Stanimir Stoilov organized a team of Levski's academy products Zhivko Milanov, Milan Koprivarov and Valeri Domovchiyski, the experienced Elin Topuzakov, Georgi Petkov, Stanislav Angelov and Dimitar Telkiyski, the fans' favorites Hristo Yovov, Daniel Borimirov and Georgi Ivanov, who came back after spending time abroad, reached the quarterfinal stage of the UEFA Cup, knocking out AJ Auxerre, winnings against Olympique de Marseille, Dinamo Bucharest and finishing ahead of the reigning title holder CSKA Moscow in the group stage, triumphing over Champions League participants Artmedia Bratislava and Udinese Calcio, before being knocked out by Schalke 04 in a controversial tie.

Levski against Werder Bremen at the National Stadium in the Champions League

Levski, as the champions of Bulgaria, started their UEFA Champions League 2006-07 participation from the second qualiftying round, where they eliminated Georgian champions Sioni Bolnisi, defeating them 2-0 both home and away. In the third round, Levski faced Italian team Chievo Verona who are taking part in the tournament because of other clubs' sanctions as part of the 2006 Serie A matchfixing scandal. Levski eliminated Chievo after a decisive 2-0 win in Sofia and a secure 2-2 draw on Italian soil, and becoming the first Bulgarian club to ever reach the group stage of the UEFA Champions League.[2] There they faced last year's winners FC Barcelona from Spain, English champions Chelsea F.C. and German powerhouse Werder Bremen.[3]

Levski earned a spot in the UEFA Champions League 2008-09 after domestic champion CSKA Sofia failed to secure a UEFA license because of numerous debts to creditors.[4] Levski lost to FC BATE of Belarus in the third qualifying round.

During 2009/2010 season, Levski's team started their European campaign with 9:0 (on aggregate) in the second Qualifying round of Champions League against UE Sant Julià. On the next round, Levski Sofia faced FK Baku. The blues eliminated the team from Azerbaijan with 2:0 (on aggregate). In the play-off round Levski was eliminated by Debreceni VSC with 4:1 (on aggregate). However, Levski qualified for UEFA Europa League. In the group stage, Levski faced Villarreal CF, Lazio and Red Bull Salzburg. Levski achieved only one win and 5 losses. Levski took the win against SS Lazio, after Hristo Yovov scored the winning goal in the match. The match was played at Stadio Olimpico.

Levski started the 2010/2011 season with a match against Dundalk F.C. - a second qualifying round for Europa League. Levski won the first match and the result was 6:0.[5] In the return leg at Oriel Park, a confident Levski beat Dundalk FC 2-0 with two first half goals from Garra Dembele, the first on 4 mins and the second 10 mins before half-time. In the next round Levski played against Kalmar FF. The first match ended 1-1 in Sweden. In the return leg in Sofia Levski won 5:2. In between The Blues defeated their arch rival CSKA Sofia in the Eternal derby of Bulgarian football with 1:0. Their next match in the Europa League saw them play AIK Fotboll, from Stockholm, Sweden. The first match ended with a draw, 0-0 and after the game AIK-hooligans attacked the Levski players and staff, after Levski ultras did not show at meeting place. The second match ended in a 2-1 home win for Levski. Goals scored by Daniel Mladenov and Garra Dembélé put Levski in Europa League group stage. Levski was drawn in Group C, facing Gent, Lille and Sporting CP. The first match was against Gent. Levski won the match in a 3-2 home win. The winning goal was scored by Serginho Greene. With this win Levski recorded 8 games in-a-row without losing in European competitions. After that Levski lost catastrophically from Sporting CP with 5-0. Followed by another loss against Lille. In Sofia Levski played very well against Lille and was leading 2-1 until Ivo Ivanov scored an own goal to make it 2-2. In the last match of the Group C, Levski take a win against Sporting CP with 1-0, the winning goal was scored by Daniel Mladenov.


Georgi Asparuhov Stadium

Initially, the club did not possess a field of its own and training was held on an empty space called The Hillock (Могилката/Mogilkata), where the National Palace of Culture was built later. In 1924 the Sofia Municipality provided the club with the rights to an empty field on the outskirts of the city, and a decade later the stadium named “Levski” was finally completed. It provided for 10,000 spectators and was regarded as the finest sport facility in the city.

In 1949 the stadium was nationalized and later the Vasil Levski National Stadium was built on the site. The team would move to the “Dinamo” ground, which was located at the site of the modern Spartak swimming complex. In 1961 after districting the team moved to “Suhata Reka” neighborhood. There a new stadium was completed in 1963, renamed in 1990 in honor of Levski’s most beloved former player Georgi Asparuhov.

In 1999 the stadium emerged from serious reconstruction for 29,200 spectators. The field measures 120x90 meters. However, the team plays most of its important games versus foreign teams on the national stadium "Vasil Levski". The club president Todor Batkov has recently demanded that Levski should receive "Rakovski" stadium on loan. This should be done on account that the first club stadium was nationalized and Levski have never been repaid.



Bulgarian A PFG

Bulgarian Cup

  • Winners (26 times - record): 1942, 1946, 1947, 1948-49, 1949-50, 1956, 1957, 1958-59, 1966-67, 1969-70, 1970-71, 1975-76, 1976-77, 1978-79, 1981-82, 1983-84, 1985-86, 1990-91, 1991-92, 1993-94, 1997-98, 1999-00, 2001-02, 2002-03, 2004-05, 2006-07

Bulgarian Supercup

  • Winners (3 times): 2005, 2007, 2009

Tsar's Cup / Cup of the Soviet Army

  • Winners (5 times): 1933, 1937, 1983-84, 1986-87, 1987-88

Ulpia Serdika Cup

  • Winners (4 times): 1926, 1930, 1931, 1932

Sofia Championship

  • Winners (11 times - record): 1922-23, 1923-24, 1924-25, 1928-29, 1932-33, 1936-37, 1941-42, 1942-43, 1944-45, 1945-46, 1947-48

Levski have completed a domestic double (13 times - record): 1942, 1946, 1947, 1948-49, 1949-50, 1969-70, 1976-77, 1978-79, 1983-84, 1993-94, 1999-00, 2001-02, 2006-07 and a treble twice: 1983-84 and 2006-07


UEFA Europa League

  • 1/4 Final: 1975-76 vs. FC Barcelona /Agg. 5 - 8/
  • 1/4 Final: 2005-06 vs. Schalke 04 /Agg. 2 - 4/

UEFA Cup Winners' Cup

UEFA Champions League

PFC Levski Sofia in Europe

Competition S P W D L GF GA GD
UEFA Champions League / European Cup 16 58 15 14 29 74 82 – 8
UEFA Cup Winners' Cup / European Cup Winners' Cup 12 36 14 5 17 70 55 + 15
UEFA Europa League / UEFA Cup 20 96 36 21 39 130 130 0
Total 48 190 65 40 85 274 267 + 7

Current squad

First team

As of July 20, 2011 Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
2 Netherlands DF Dustley Mulder
3 Netherlands MF Serginho Greene
4 Bulgaria DF Stefan Stanchev
5 Bulgaria DF Ivo Ivanov
6 Bulgaria DF Orlin Starokin
7 Bulgaria MF Daniel Dimov
8 Spain MF Toni Calvo
9 Netherlands FW Sjoerd Ars
10 Bulgaria MF Hristo Yovov (captain)
11 Bulgaria MF Simeon Raykov
14 Montenegro DF Marko Vidović
16 Bulgaria MF Marian Ognyanov
17 Bulgaria FW Daniel Mladenov
No. Position Player
19 Bulgaria FW Ivan Tsvetkov
20 Bulgaria DF Aleksandar Bashliev
21 Bulgaria MF Todor Hristov
22 Republic of Macedonia MF Darko Tasevski
23 Bulgaria GK Plamen Iliev
24 Bulgaria GK Bozhidar Mitrev
30 Bulgaria MF Lachezar Baltanov
33 Sweden DF Fredrik Risp
45 Bulgaria MF Vladimir Gadzhev (vice-captain)
55 Bulgaria DF Yordan Miliev
85 Bulgaria GK Kiril Akalski
Bulgaria MF Aleksandar Kirov

For recent transfers, see List of Bulgarian football transfers summer 2011.


* These are the players that was registered as a reserves for the previous season and are still in the club. The actual reserves' list is not ready yet.

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
25 Bulgaria MF Borislav Tsonev
41 Bulgaria DF Asen Georgiev
42 Bulgaria DF Georgi Pavlov
43 Bulgaria DF Iliya Munin
46 Bulgaria FW Domenik Avramov
47 Bulgaria MF Nikola Yanachkov
48 Bulgaria FW Todor Chavorski
49 Bulgaria FW Nikolay Ivanov
51 Bulgaria MF Ivelino Ivanov
53 Bulgaria MF Yanko Angelov
54 Bulgaria FW Plamen Tonev
No. Position Player
56 Bulgaria FW Stanislav Marinov
57 Bulgaria DF Georgi Stoichkov
58 Bulgaria FW Jack Koen
59 Bulgaria DF Hristo Popadiyn
61 Bulgaria GK Dimitar Iliev
Bulgaria DF Hristo Stamboliyski
Bulgaria DF Ivan Stoyanov
Bulgaria MF Radoslav Tsonev
Bulgaria MF Yanislav Ivanov
Bulgaria FW Tsvetelin Tonev
Bulgaria FW Denis Nikolov

Out on loan

As of 30 January 2011 Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player

Club officials

Board of directors

Position Name Nationality
Owner Todor Batkov Bulgaria
General director Georgi Ivanov Bulgaria
Financial director Konstantin Bazhdekov Bulgaria
Academy director Kiril Ivkov Bulgaria
Academy director Biser Hazday Bulgaria

Current technical body

Position Name Nationality
Manager Georgi Ivanov Bulgaria
Assistant Manager Miroslav Kosev Bulgaria
Assistant Manager Biser Hazday Bulgaria
Assistant Manager Antoni Zdravkov Bulgaria
Goalkeeper Coach Georgi Sheytanov Bulgaria
Fitness coach Yasen Ekimov Bulgaria
Doctor Jan Filipov Bulgaria
Psychologist Tatyana Yancheva Bulgaria

Player records

Players in bold are currently playing for the team. Statistic is correct as of match played 11 August 2010.

Most appearances for Levski

# Name Career Appearances Goals
1 Bulgaria Stefan Aladzhov 1967-81 473 4
2 Bulgaria Emil Spasov 1974-90 413 111
3 Bulgaria Pavel Panov 1969-81 380 177
4 Bulgaria Kiril Ivkov 1967-78 376 15
5 Bulgaria Aleksandar Kostov 1956-71 346 85
6 Bulgaria Elin Topuzakov 1996-08
332 23
7 Bulgaria Hristo Iliev 1954-68 329 132
8 Bulgaria Dimitar Telkiyski 1999-08
312 64
9 Bulgaria Stefan Abadzhiev 1953-68 302 45
10 Bulgaria Voyn Voynov 1977-92 297 36

Most goals scored for Levski

# Name Career Appearances Goals Goals/Game
1 Bulgaria Nasko Sirakov 1981-94 258 206 0.80
2 Bulgaria Pavel Panov 1969-81 383 177 0.46
3 Bulgaria Georgi Asparuhov 1959-71 238 153 0.64
4 Bulgaria Georgi Ivanov 1997-09 204 135 0.60
5 Bulgaria Hristo Iliev (footballer) 1974-90 415 132 0.27
6 Bulgaria Emil Spasov 1956-65 207 111 0.50
7 Bulgaria Dimitar Yordanov 1981-87 169 103 0.60
8 Bulgaria Mihail Valchev 1990-95
295 102 0.29
9 Bulgaria Asen Peshev 1924–1940 99 86 0.87
10 Bulgaria Aleksandar Kostov 1960-1968 112 85 0.69

World ranking

As of 31st July 2011 by IFFHS

  • 86.0 0 0 00Bulgaria Levski Sofia
  • 0 0 South Korea Suwon
  • 0 0 England Fulham FC

Notable managers


Notable players










Note: For a complete list of Levski Sofia players, see Category:PFC Levski Sofia players.

Bulgarian Footballer of the Year

Winners - 11 times /record/

A PFG Top goalscorers

Winners - 16 times /record/

Levski Fans

Levski Fans in Sector B at Vasil Levski Stadium

Levski Sofia is the most popular football club in Bulgaria. Sector B (south stand) is home to Levski's supporters. Sector B are divided in groups : Sofia-West (Sofia), South Division (Sofia), Ultra Varna (Varna), Torcida Kyustendil (Kyustendil), Blue Junta (Sofia), Blue Huns (Pernik), HD Boys (Sofia), Old Capital Boys (Veliko Tarnovo), Blue Boyars (Veliko Tarnovo), Vandals (Pleven), Blue Warriors (Plovdiv), Varna Crew (Varna), Ultras Burgas (Burgas) and many others.

See also


External links

Official websites

Fan websites

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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