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Lokomotiv Plovdiv

Lokomotiv Plovdiv is a football (soccer) club from Bulgaria.

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About Lokomotiv Plovdiv

PFC Lokomotiv Plovdiv is a Bulgarian football (soccer) club from the city of Plovdiv, which competes in Bulgaria's top football league, the Bulgarian A PFG. The club was founded on July 25, 1926 when two of the oldest Plovdiv clubs - Atletic and Karadzha united into a new club named Sports Club Plovdiv. Lokomotiv Plovdiv's home ground is the Lokomotiv Stadium (Plovdiv) in the city, which has a capacity of 15,000 spectators due to reconstruction works currently in progress.

In the A PFG 2003–04 season of the A PFG, Lokomotiv became champions of Bulgaria, finishing the season with three points more than the second, Levski Sofia. This title is the first one in the club's long history. So far, Lokomotiv Plovdiv has also won 2004 Bulgarian Supercup in 2004 and one Bulgarian Cup in 1983. The club's biggest success in Europe is reaching the third round of the 1964–65 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in 1965, after losing to the Italian Juventus F.C in a controversial play-off match.


- Winners (1): A PFG 2003-04
- Runners-up (1): A PFG 1972-73

- Runners-up (3): 1960, 1971, 1982

- Winners (1): 2004


Successful years

In the season 1964–65 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, Lokomotiv Plovdiv reached the quarter-final of the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, where after two draws (each ending with 1:1) with Juventus F.C (with Omar Sívori, Luis del Sol and Sandro Salvadore in their squad), a third play-off match was controversially chosen by UEFA to be played in Torino, which was lost by Loko with 1:2.
Before reaching the quarter-final of the football competition, the Smurfs eliminated the Serbian FK Vojvodina and the Romanian FC Petrolul Ploieşti. Key players during this period included forward Georgi Parvanov Vasilev, midfielder Hristo Bonev, defender Ivan Boyadzhiev and goalkeeper Stancho Bonchev.
In A PFG 1972–73, the club ended the championship table in the second place, finishing the season with 43 points, 7 less than the first, PFC CSKA Sofia. The following years, two other celebrations followed, in 1969 and 1974, with Lokomotiv finishing the seasons in the 3rd place. In this period the team was quite stable and it was very rarely standing under the 6th position in the league table.
Among the club's players are Hristo Bonev - considered by most Lokomotiv fans as being the greatest player ever for Lokomotiv, and one of the greatest Bulgarian players. In 1983, led by Hristo Bonev, Lokomotiv won the first trophy in their history - the cup of the Soviet army, beating FC Chirpan 3-1 at Vasil Levski National Stadium in Sofia on 1 June 1983.

The list of other famous players to have come from the club's youth system consists of Hristo Kolev, Eduard Eranosyan, Ayan Sadakov, Georgi Ivanov (footballer), and Vasil Kamburov. The club has a large fanbase, who are considered to be some of the most fanatic fans in all of Bulgaria. Lokomotiv Plovdiv has the oldest fanclub organization in Bulgaria, established in 1988 in football (soccer)..

Title and Supercup

The most successful season in the club's history was the 2003-04 campaign. Lokomotiv won the A PFG 2003–04, the first and so far the only in the club's history. The coach, Bulgarian Eduard Eranosyan, formerly football player of the team started the 2003–04 well, with Lokomotiv leading the league by six points halfway through the season and remaining unbeaten. In the penultimate, 29th round, The Smurfs defeated Slavia Sofia in Plovdiv by 3:2 in front of more than 17,000 spectators and Lokomotiv won the Bulgarian championship. Lokomotiv finished the season with 75 points, 3 more than the second, PFC Levski Sofia. In the team lines was recent acquisition Martin Kamburov who became the goals scorer in Bulgaria with 26 goals. Key players during the fantastic season included Vasil Kamburov, Georgi Iliev (footballer), Aleksandar Tunchev, Kiril Kotev, Vladimir Ivanov (footballer), Metodi Stoynev and the Macedonians Boban Jančevski, Vančo Trajanov and Robert Petrov.

A few months later, the team played for the first time in the 2004–05 UEFA Champions League where they faced Club Brugge from Belgium in the second qualifying round. In the first match at the Jan Breydel Stadium Lokomotiv lost with 0:4, clearly having no chances of continuing forward to the next round. In the second match in Bulgaria, Lokomotiv lost again, with 0:2.

The same year, Lokomotiv won the 2004 Bulgarian Supercup, after beating PFC Litex Lovech. In the final, Ivan Paskov scored a brilliant header in the last seconds of the game for the 1:0 win.

Recent history (2004-present)

The next A PFG 2004–05 season in the domestic league was also very successful for the team, which finished 3rd in A PFG, and qualified for the UEFA Cup. In the European club competition, Lokomotiv defeated Serbian OFK Beograd in the second qualifying round (1:0 home win and 1:2 away loss) and were drawn to play against the English Bolton Wanderers F.C. in the first round. However, the team from Plovdiv was eliminated after a 1-2 loss at the Reebok Stadium in Bolton and another 1-2 loss in a match, played at the Lazur Stadium in Burgas.

On August 25, 2005, a few hours after the match with OFK Beograd in Burgas, Lokomotiv's owner Georgi Iliev was killed by a gunshot at a restaurant in Sunny Beach, a resort town on Bulgaria's Black Sea coast nearby Burgas, by a suspected sniper. File:Loko Levski 19 03 2008.jpgIn the next few months the club had big financial problems. Because of these problems, many of the players of the champions team, as Aleksandar Tunchev, Martin Kamburov, Ivan Paskov, Georgi Iliev (footballer), Darko Spalević, Kiril Kotev and Boban Jančevski left the club.

In the A PFG 2005–06 season Lokomotiv finished 5th in A PFG and qualified for the Intertoto Cup. Loko were eliminated with a 2-3 (1-2 away loss and a 1-1 home draw) on aggregate by Romanian FC Farul Constanţa.

In the next three seasons, the team finished in the middle of the table. In December, 2009, the businessman and ex-FC Vihren Sandanski owner Konstantin Dinev acquired the club from Galina Topalova in a 2 million euro bid, with the clear intention to bring Loko back to European club competition.

As of January 23, 2012

For recent transfers, see List of Bulgarian football transfers winter 2011–12 Lokomotiv Plovdiv.

Retired numbers

- 8 Hristo Bonev, Striker (football), 1963–1967, 1968–1979, 1982–84

Managerial history

As of 3 May 2011.

Notable players

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

- Stancho Bonchev
- Hristo Bonev
- Ivan Boyadzhiev
- Krasimir Dimitrov
- Eduard Eranosyan
- Georgi Iliev (footballer)
- Vladimir Ivanov (footballer)
- Martin Kamburov
- Vasil Kamburov
- Hristo Kolev
- Zdravko Lazarov
- Ivan Paskov
- Georgi Petrov (footballer born 1974)

- Ayan Sadakov
- Aleksandar Tunchev
- Georgi Parvanov Vasilev
- Kostadin Vidolov

- Basile de Carvalho

- Boban Jančevski
- Robert Petrov
- Žarko Serafimovski
- Vančo Trajanov

- Garra Dembele

- Ivan Krizmanić
- Darko Spalević
- Saša Vukojević

- Nicolás Raimondi

Note: For a complete list of Lokomotiv Plovdiv players, see :Category:PFC Lokomotiv Plovdiv players.

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