HANOI (7 April 2011) – The Vietnam Football Federation (VFF) have confirmed that Bulgarian great Hristo Stoichkov has offered his service to lead the national side, to fill the vacuum left by Henrique Calisto.
Calisto left the VFF several weeks ago and has since taken up a position with Thai Premier League champions Muang Thong United.
There have been several names and possibilities being bandied about with VFF now seriously considering the offer from Stoichkov
“He did not mention remuneration or other requirements in the application letter he sent,” said Pham Ngoc Vien, the vicec-chairman of the VFF.
“We also want to choose a domestic coach but no one has agreed with VFF’s requirement that they will not coach their clubs while coaching the national team.”
Stoichkov began to play professionally for CSKA Sofia in 1984 when he was 18-years-old. In the six years that followed, he won three national championships and five National Cup titles.
In 1989, his club was defeated by Spanish giants Barcelona in the quarterfinals of the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, but Stoichkov attracted the attention of the then Barcelona coach, another legend, Johan Cruyff.
A few months later, Stoichkov joined the Spanish club with a record contract of 4.5 million pounds and won five consecutive La Liga titles.
Stoichkov was especially excellent with his left foot. He was capped a total of 84 times for Bulgaria’s national team and scored 38 goals.
At the 1994 World Cup in the USA, Bulgaria finished fourth behind champions Brazil, runners-up Italy and third-placed Sweden. Stoichkov was the top scorer of the tournament with six goals and was chosen as FIFA Player of the Year that same year.
In 1995, he moved to Parma FC in Italy’s Serie A before returning to Barcelona, but he was not very successful in his second stint. He later moved to Japan’s J-League and then to the United States.
Stoichkov became coach of Bulgaria’s national team in 2004 and worked for three years, but couldn’t take Bulgaria to the 18th World Cup in Germany in 2006.
Stoichkov became coach of La Liga strugglers Celta Vigo in April 2007 after stepping down as coach of Bulgaria’s national team. He failed to prevent Celta Vigo from being relegated to the second division.
He quit the club in October 2007 for personal reasons, and a year ago, resigned while coaching South African club Mamelodi Sundown FC.
– Europe’s Golden Ball 1994 and World Cup 1994 Golden Boots.
– Best player in Bulgaria 1989, 1990, 1992 and 1994.
– Winner, Bulgarian national championships in 1987, 1989, 1990.
– Winner, Bulgarian National Cup from 1985 till 1989.
– Winner, Spain’s top-tier league La Liga championship from 1991 till 1994.
– Winner, UEFA Super Cup in 1993
– Winner Spain’s La Copa del Rey in 1997