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PFC Lokomotiv Sofia

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PFC Lokomotiv Sofia

Lokomotiv Sofia
Full name Професионален футболен клуб Локомотив София
(Professional football club Lokomotiv Sofia)
Nickname(s) Железничарите (The Railwaymen) .[1]
Founded 2 September 1929 (1929-09-02)
as Railway Sports Club
Ground Lokomotiv Stadium,
Sofia
Ground Capacity 22,000
Owner Ivan Vasilev
Chairman Boycho Velichkov
Manager Anton Velkov
League A OFG Sofia (city) - north (4th division)
2014–15 A Group, 3rd
Website Club home page
Lokomotiv's active sections

Football

Rugby

Water polo

Judo

Boxing

Chess

Rhythmic gymnastics

Karate

Aikido

Volleyball

Athletics

Basketball (men's)
Basketball (women's)

PFC Lokomotiv Sofia (Bulgarian: ПФК Локомотив София) is a Bulgarian football club from the capital city of Sofia, which currently competes in Bulgaria's third division, the South-Western V Group, having been denied a license for the European tournaments and A Group due to unpaid debts after the 2014–15 A Group season.

It was founded on September 2, 1929 by a group of railway workers under the name Railway Sports Club (or simply RSC). The club's home ground is the Lokomotiv Stadium in Sofia, which has a capacity of 22,000 spectators. To date, Lokomotiv has won the Bulgarian championship four times and the Bulgarian Cup on four occasions.

Contents

  • History 1
    • 1929–1994 1.1
    • 1994–2015, Nikolay Gigov era 1.2
    • 2015, Kiril Lyoskov failure 1.3
    • 2015-present, new era under legends 1.4
  • Supporters and Rivalries 2
  • Statistics and records 3
  • Lokomotiv Sofia Reserves and Academy 4
  • European record 5
  • Current squad 6
  • Notable players 7
  • Former foreign players 8
  • Managers 9
  • Honours 10
    • Domestic 10.1
    • European 10.2
  • References 11
  • External links 12

History

1929–1994

Lokomotiv was founded on 2 September 1929 as Railway Sports Club (RSC) by a group of railway workers. RSC's first competitive game was an 2–1 victory against Zora Sofia on 3 October 1929. In the 1939–40 season, RSC won the Bulgarian title for first time in the team's history. The names say enough: Stoyo Nedyalkov (captain), Sl. Videnov, K. Kostov, D. Marinov, St. Angelov, As. Milushev, Krum Milev, L. Hranov. In 1945, the club had already been renamed Lokomotiv Sofia and won the title in the first post-war championship. During season 1963–64 after 30 games, Lokomotiv won their third title after they defeated main rivals to the title Levski Sofia and Slavia Sofia. In 1969 the club was united with Slavia Sofia for a brief period to 1971 and is associated with the Bulgarian railway workers. In 1978, led by Atanas Mihaylov and Boycho Velichkov Lokomotiv won their fourth title. In Europe the club won European championship of the railwaymen two times in 1961 and 1963, and Balkans Cup in 1973. In 1980 Lokomotiv reached a quarter final in the UEFA Cup where they faced VfB Stuttgart, eliminating before that Ferencváros, AS Monaco and Dynamo Kyiv. Against Stuttgart the team lost with 0–1 in Sofia and with 1–3 in Germany.

1994–2015, Nikolay Gigov era

The new era for Lokomotiv Sofia came in 1994 with the new president Nikolay Gigov. The football club's status was turned professional. For merely one year (1994–95), from a team struggling not to lose its place in the professional league, Lokomotiv won the silver medals in the Championship and the State Cup. The club's home ground is Lokomotiv Stadium with 25,000 places, a junior training center: Lokomotiv has an enthusiastic and well-organized fan-club. The team came fourth in the 2005–06 season in A PFG and qualified for the UEFA Cup 2006-07 first qualifying round, where they face FK Makedonija Gjorče Petrov from the Republic of Macedonia. Lokomotiv beat the Macedonian side 2–0 in the first match in Sofia on 13 July 2006 and finished 1–1 as a guest in Macedonia and continued to the next round of the tournament. Next, they faced the team of Bnei Yehuda Tel Aviv, which they beat twice: 2–0 on 10 August 2006 and 4–0 on 24 August 2006. Their next opponent in the first round of the tournament was the team of Feyenoord Rotterdam. The first game in Sofia ended with a 2–2 draw, after Lokomotiv went ahead 2–0 early in the first half. The second game finished 0–0 and Lokomotiv Sofia were out of the UEFA tournament.

Domestically, Lokomotiv had an amazing run of 10 consecutive wins, before being stopped by CSKA Sofia in the direct clash for the second position. Eventually, Lokomotiv finished third with equal points with second-placed CSKA Sofia.

The 2007–08 season started promisingly for the team. In the UEFA Cup second qualifying round Lokomotiv eliminated Romanian side Oţelul Galaţi after a 3–1 win at home and a scoreless away draw. This marked 8 European games without a loss, which was a new national record for longest streak without a loss achieved by a Bulgarian team in all European competitions. The previous record of 7 games was held by Levski Sofia. In the next round, Lokomotiv faced the French Rennes and the loss 1–3 in the first leg in Sofia marked an end to the team's winning streak in Europe. The Bulgarian side showed a surprising rally in the second game in France, which they won 2–1 and were only a single goal short of making it to the extra time. For a second consecutive year, Lokomotiv were stopped short of entering the group stage of the UEFA Cup, despite being the first Bulgarian club in soccer history to snatch a victory on French soil. The team finished third during the 2014–15 season in the A PFG, but was denied a license for the European tournaments and A Group due to unpaid debts. Lokomotiv were relegated to Bulgaria's third division, the V Group.

2015, Kiril Lyoskov failure

After a lack of finances and the decision of new majority shareholders Kiril Lyoskov and Petar Kasev to leave Loko Sofia, the club lost its place in the V group (3rd division).

2015-present, new era under legends

Some of the legends of the club including Ivan Vasilev, Boycho Velichkov and Anton Velkov formed a new club in A OFG Sofia (city) - north (4th division). The youth academy is moved to the new club. Some other former players are going back to the club as well as young players from the academy are selected to the new first squad.

Supporters and Rivalries

Lokomotiv Sofia supporters make an important part of the club's image on the domestic and on the European scene. They are commonly referred as The Iron Brigades. The groups presence is mostly signaled by their banners: Red'n Black Mladost Fans, The Pain Train, Delta Force, Brigate Sofia, Fanatics Fans and many more. The official National Fan Club of Lokomotiv was established legally at the end of 1999 and to this moment is the biggest fan organization of the club.

From a historic point of view, Lokomotiv's traditional city rival is Slavia Sofia. On a national basis, Lokomotiv Sofia has also rivalries with CSKA and Levski from the capital. Outside Sofia, Lokomotiv's main rivals are Lokomotiv from Plovdiv. The derby between the two Lokomotiv sides is referred to as The Railway Derby.

Statistics and records

Lokomotiv's first competitive game was an 2–1 victory against Zora Sofia on 3 November 1929. Atanas Mihaylov holds Lokomotiv's overall appearance record—he played 348 matches over the course of 17 seasons from 1964 to 1981. Lokomotiv's all-time leading scorer again is Atanas Mihaylov, who scored 145 goals. The most goals scored by a player in a single match is six; Tsvetan Genkov have achieved this feat in 2007.[2]

Lokomotiv's biggest victory is 11–1 against Chavdar Byala Slatina in 1991 for Bulgarian Cup. Lokomotiv's 9–0 defeat of Chernomorets Burgas Sofia on 27 May 2007 was its largest league win.[3] Lokomotiv's heaviest defeat, 0–8, came against Levski Sofia in 1994. Lokomotiv's 6–0 win against Neftchi Baku in the UEFA Cup was the largest victory in the Europe competition's history at the time.

Lokomotiv Sofia Reserves and Academy

Except the main representative team, Lokomotiv Sofia has a youth academy, which consists of 11 football teams of about 300 children at an age between 8 and 18 years. The children at this school are entrusted to qualified football coaches. The majority of them are products of the youth academies and their football career has passed exactly in the representative man squad of the club. Of all 11 teams, 6 teams at age between 8 and 18 years take part in the Sofia tournaments and the republican tournaments of Bulgaria. In these tournaments the teams finish at awarded places at their age. As an example, the juvenile team (born 1984–85) won the title of state champion of 2003. The players at age between 8 and 11 years are preparatory groups and after 3–4 years of teaching start their participation in the preliminary tournaments and correspondingly in the city and national tournaments, organized be the Bulgarian Football Union and the country.

European record

Competition S P W D L GF GA GD
UEFA Champions League / European Cup 2 8 3 1 4 19 21 – 2
UEFA Cup Winners' Cup / European Cup Winners' Cup 3 8 3 0 5 8 17 – 9
UEFA Europa League / UEFA Cup 8 34 12 11 11 49 37 + 12
Total 13 50 18 12 20 76 75 + 1

Current squad

As of 25 September 2015

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
No. Position Player
GK Asen Asenov
GK Dragomir Petkov
GK Tsvetomir Vitkov
DF Kostadin Velkov
DF Valeri Drandev
DF Darko Savić
DF Yulian Petkov
DF Petar Hristov
DF Valentin Udev
MF Anton Slavchev
MF Vasil Vakadinov
No. Position Player
MF Valentin Yochev
MF Yordan Rizov
MF Grigor Andreev
MF Kaloyan Angelov
MF Rosen Yordanov
MF Denislav Petrov
MF Radostin Nguen
MF Kaloyan Karadzhinov
MF Sibil Karagyozov
FW Kaloyan Bonev

Notable players

The following players, which are included were either playing for their respective national teams or left good impression among the fans.

Former foreign players

Albania
  • Zenun Selimi
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Brazil
Chad
Croatia
France
 
Georgia
  • Sergey Churadze
Germany
Ghana
Guinea-Bissau
Macedonia
Malta
 
Montenegro
Morocco
Serbia
Slovenia
 
South Africa
Switzerland
Tunisia
Ukraine
  • Igor Shelist
United States

Managers

Honours

Domestic

Winners (1): 1939–40 (as RSC)
Runners-up (1): 1941 (as RSC)
Winners (4): 1939–40, 1945, 1963–64, 1977–78
Runners-up (5): 1946, 1947, 1957, 1964–65, 1994–95
Third Place (10): 1948–49, 1952, 1954, 1959–60, 1967–68, 1978–79, 1995–96, 2006–07, 2007–08, 2014–15
Winners (4): 1948, 1953, 1982, 1995
Runners-up (2): 1975, 1977

European

Quarter-finals (1): 1979–80
Winners (2): 1961, 1963
Winners (1): 1973

References

  1. ^ "The most popular Bulgarian football clubs – Lokomotiv Sofia". bnr.bg. 
  2. ^ "Genkov scored six against Chernomorets Burgas Sofia". pfl.bg. 
  3. ^ "Lokomotiv's biggest league win". pfl.bg. 
  4. ^ [3] lokosf.info, (Bulgarian)
  5. ^ [4] lokosf.info, (Bulgarian)

External links

  • Official website
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