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Hristo Stoichkov is a legendary footballer who played mainly for CSKA Sofia, Barcelona, and the Bulgarian national team, amongst others.
He was known for his aggressive yet creative style as a left-foot-forward player. Often, he would be deployed as a striker but was equally good as an attacking midfielder and a supporting striker.
In his professional career, he has played for clubs like Barcelona and Parma Calcio and appeared in 596 games and scored a total goal of 291, winning awards like Ballon d'Or in 1994, Bulgarian League Top Scorer in 1989, and more. In his later years, he managed and coached football clubs like Celta Vigo and Mamelodi Sundowns, to name a few.
Hristo Stoichkov's net worth is approximately around $3 million.
Hristo Stoichkov's earnings per year are approximately around $400,000.
Hristo Stoichkov stands at the height of 5 ft 8 in (178 cm).
Hristo Stoichkov was born on February 8, 1966. He is 56 years old as of 2022.
Hristo Stoichkov was born in the cultural city of Plovdiv, Bulgaria. He and his brother Tsanko Stoichkov developed their love for football as ball boys in their father's local football team, where he was a goalkeeper. As a child, he was declared a player without prospects by his coach. Later at the age of 11, he started as a youth trainee at FC Maritsa Plovdiv for four years before joining FC Hebros in 1982.
Hristo Stoichkov is married to Mariana Stoichkova and has two children named Hristina Stoichkova and Mihaela Stoichkova. He also has a granddaughter named Mia.
Hristo Stoichkov is known for his fierce and passionate playing, often making him a temperamental player on the field. His passion was nurtured and guided by Johan Cryuff, then manager of FC Barcelona, where Hristo played from 1990-1995.
Hristo Stoichkov started playing for CSKA Sofia in 1985. After a brief ban of one year, he resumed playing in April 1986 in a game of the Cup of the Soviet Army with a 3-1 away win over FC Sliven. Later on May 21, 1986, his opening goal in the final match secured a 2-0 win for CSKA Sofia against Lokomotiv Sofia.
He made his debut in the Bulgarian national team in a qualifying match on September 23, 1987, against Belgium for the upcoming UEFA Euro 1988. He scored his first international goal in 1987 against Qatar in a friendly match scoring a 3-2 win. His first international goal in a competition would be against Greece in the 1990 FIFA World Cup qualifying game.
Stoichkov helped qualify the Bulgarian national team with five goals for the 1994 FIFA World Cup, its first major tournament since the 1986 World Cup. He scored six goals at the tournament finals and Oleg Salenko, earning the Bronze Ball Award and the Golden Boot Award. In the qualifying matches for Euro 1996, Bulgaria finished second, where Stoickkov scored ten goals for his team.
He joined FC Barcelona in 1990 and was spotted by Johan Cryuff. His time at FC Barcelona has seen him perform best with 14 league goals and six goals in the European Cup Winners' Cup (UEFA Champions League). His on-field chemistry with Romário in the attack made him a club's fan favorite. He was part of the FC Barcelona dream team helping the club win four consecutive years of La Liga tournaments from 1991-1994 and a European Cup in 1992 after defeating Sampdoria.
From 1995-1996 he played for Parma Calcio 1913, a club based in Italy, scoring seven goals and appearing in 30 games. He returned to Barcelona from 1996 to 1998, where he appeared for 41 games and scored nine goals.
After his five-year career with Barcelona, he started playing in international clubs like Al-Nassr FC based in Saudi Arabia, Kashiwa Reysol FC from Japan, Chicago Fire, and D.C. United from the USA.
In 1999, Stoichkov retired from an international football career with 83 game appearances and 37 goals. The Euro 2000 qualification game against England was his last game with a score of 1-1, where he assisted Georgi Markov for a goal.
He started his career as a manager with the Bulgarian national team in 2004, followed by Celta Vigo in 2007, Mamelodi Sundowns in 2009, Litech Lovech in 2012, and CSKA Sofia in 2013.
He works for the channel TUDN as a football commentator and lives in Malibu, California, as of 2022.
Hristo Stoichkov played a charity match in May 2005 which was played between the dream team of Johan Cruyff, consisting of players like Sergi Barjuán, Miguel Ángel Nadal, Jon Andoni Goikoetxea, and friends of Stoichkov's All-Star team that consisted of Dan Petrescu, Iwajlo Jordanov, Emile Kostadinov, Djalminha, Jordan Leczkow to name a few.
He was also seen in a charity match on June 18, 2022, called The Beautiful Game, as a mid-fielder hosted by Ronaldinho and Roberto Carlos, encouraging marginalized communities to play football.
Hristo Stoichkov has been awarded many honors and accolades. Amongst them are European Golden Shoe in 1990, Onze d'Or in 1992, Ballon d'Or, FIFA World Cup Golden Shoe, Onze d'Argent, and Bulgarian Sportsperson of the Year in 1994. UEFA Jubilee Awards – Greatest Bulgarian Footballer of the last 50 Years in 2004, and Golden Foot in 2007, as a football legend.
He was named by Pelé as one of the 125 Greatest Living Footballers at a FIFA Awards ceremony in 2004.
In his free time, Stoickkov likes to explore Catalonia. He would often take his car and visit the countryside or takes trips to the beaches of Calonge and Guimerà.
Main image credit: GEORGID / Shutterstock.com
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