This article is from the Bulgaria FAQ, by Dragomir R. Radev email@example.com with numerous contributions by others.
(by Iskander Ayari), last updated: 31-Jul-1994
Name: Hristo Stoichkov
Born on 08/02/1966 in Plovdiv (Bulgaria)
Weight: 73 Kg
Previous clubs: Maritza Plovdiv, USM, Youri Gagarine,
Hebross, CSKA Sofia, FC Barcelona.
Palmares: Champion of Bulgaria (1987, 89, 90), Bulgarian
cup winner (1985, 87, 88, 89), Bulgarian super-cup
winner (1989), Champion of Spain (1991, 92, 93),
Spanish super-cup winner (1992), EC1 winner (1992),
Golden boot "Soulier d'Or" 1990 (38 goals),
"Onze d'Or" 1992.
He is the son of a former employee at the Ministery of Defense.
Hristo Stoichkov started his football life in Plovdiv. As a "Number 5"
then switched to all positions. Un "exile" at Hebross Harmanli (near the
turkish frontier), and then the fabulous player moves in 1984 to the
militarians of CSKA Sofia. He was already distinguishable for his strong
Despite the incidents that occured during the 1985 cup final,
which opposed his team to Levski Spartak Sofia and that costs him to
be banned for life (PBG manager was in Bulgaria in that time and remembers
perfectly that game in which GK Mihailov from Levski was banned too).
The ban was then reduced to a 1 year suspension. "The bitch", renamed
later as "The fool" (because of all the things he says, and of his
extravagant behaviour), is going to reveal its talents.
Elected three years in a row as "best player of the year", he
is going to win almost everything with CSKA. "Golden Boot" in 1990,
tying Hugo Sanchez, he moves to Barcelona.
Despite a mitigated start, a new two month suspension and
conflictual relations with El Mister Cruijff -his past idole- (who
is going to make him be a "number 8"), the president Nunez and
the refereeing staff, "Itso" becomes quickly Camp Nou's darling.
On May 21st, 1992, he brings back the EC1 trophy to Barcelone.
Approached by Napoli, Inter and PSG, he finally decides to stay with
Barc~a (his contract runs till 96). After a terrific start of season
-he loses the "Golden Ball" (Ballon d'Or) with just a few votes
difference- he deceived last season. But this season, he rapidly
got to his optimal level, and is ready to face Milan in the final
of EC1, and to bring the Bulgarian National team its first win in
a World-Cup competition game.