Hristo Stoichkov, genius and character, two in one

Hristo Stoichkov, genius and character, two in one
Hristo Stoichkov, the best player in the history of Bulgaria. PHOTO: Reuters

Hristo Stoichkov was a legend of Dream Team de Johan Cruyff in the early 90. Irascible, explosive, fighter, talented, controversial.. all these adjectives could define this historical Bulgarian. An out of series that could not be missing in our collection of great footballers. One of the legends of FC Barcelona and much more.

Hristo Stoichkov, the best footballer in the history of Bulgaria

born on 8 February 1966 is considered the best Bulgarian player ever, partly thanks to its tremendous speed, his great technical quality, and truly outstanding goalscoring. Controversial as could be, his controversial character marked him throughout the race, making him suffer not a few mishaps, but also it helped him to be one of the most beloved players of the fans, especially blaugrana.

Hristo Stoichkov marked an era in the Camp Nou.
Hristo Stoichkov marked an era in the Camp Nou. PHOTO:Sport

His first steps were in the Maritsa Plovdiv, a modest team from the second division in Bulgaria who hired him 1981 with only 15 years. A season later in 1982, Hristo would become part of Zhevros Jarmanli, club where where would the great footballing leap that would allow him to play for CSKA Sofia 1984.

In the main club of the capital, Hristo Stoickvov he would live his first golden years. His scoring output was increasing, as well as its sport voracity. This would allow him to win three league titles and four cups of your country, thanks as, to have colleagues of the stature of Lubo Penev o Emil Kostadinov.

Arrival at Can Barça

His last campaign in the capital club would certainly be the most prominent, Hristo then struck 38 goals in 30 parties and star in one of the most famous games of his career. El Sredets (CSKA was politically motivated but changed the name for a few years) He visited the Camp Nou in the semifinals of the Cup Winners Cup and although Barcelona won 4-2, the Bulgarian genius starred in such a match that Johan Cruyff, the then coach of FC Barcelona club, He decided to sign him for next season, before the wonderful display provided.

That was how the indomitable Bulgarian landed in July 1990 a Can Barça, payment, yes, of 400 million pesetas. End glued to the band, second tip, Inside any position seemed to serve in the attack on Stoichkov. Its beginnings in Barcelona, but nevertheless, They were not positive, as an 5 from December to 1990, during the course of a Supercup against Real Madrid Spain, Hristo Stoichkov stepped on referee Urízar Azpitarte after disagreeing with an arbitration decision.

Hristo Stoichkov the day he arrived at Barcelona in 1990.
Stoichkov the day he arrived at Barcelona in 1990. PHOTO: Brand

An action that would entail six months of sanction and that would make it clear that we were facing a man, how much less, singular. But nevertheless, This did not prevent that during the next four seasons, demonstrate your talents and help build a winning dream team alongside Ronald Koeman, Michael Laudrup, Zubizarreta, Sergi, Ferrer, the later, Romario, would get win four consecutive league titles and a European Cup, the first of Barcelona 1992 at Wembley.

World Cup USA 94, the consecration of Hristo Stoichkov among the greatest

Spectacular performances with the Catalan club, They would also endorsed the selection, where Bulgaria would reach the semifinals of the World USA 94 leaving the way to Germany or Sweden. His great expertise in free-throws and good ball would be marked in the US championship, where only Baggio's Italy would drive them dream final. reviews, what was it worth to win the golden ball in 1994 that he would share with Roberto Baggio, partly because it was the top scorer of this World.

Hristo Stoichkov went off in the World Cup USA 94.
Hristo Stoichkov went off in the World Cup USA 94. PHOTO: Brand

It would be the high point of a career that slowly begin to start downhill. Polemics with Cruyff would lead to exit Parma 1995 to return a year later Barça and enjoy two more seasons hand Robson and Van Gaal first after.

But nevertheless, injuries and low participation in stage Dutchman, They led him to saturate again CSKA Sofia. It would be the beginning of a series of destinations that would make him pass through Arab football, Japanese or American, where he retires in 2003. Total, 574 parties to back with 278 goals. Marks a man, that once was a number 1.

Julio Muñoz

Julio Muñoz

Journalist, specialist in international football and retro. I write in and you can follow me at @ juliomv1982
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