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Lokomotiv Sofia

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

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About Lokomotiv Sofia

PFC Lokomotiv Sofia is a Bulgarian Association football club from the capital city of Sofia, which currently competes in Bulgaria's top football league, the Bulgarian A PFG. 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 (Sofia) 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.

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 National Football Division 1939-40 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 Bulgarian Republic Football Championship 1945 in the first post-war championship. In 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 in football (soccer) 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 quarter final in the UEFA Cup where they faced VfB Stuttgart, eliminating before that Ferencvárosi TC, AS Monaco FC and FC Dynamo Kyiv. Against Stuttgart the team lost with 0:1 in Sofia and with 1:3 in Germany.

1994 – present, 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 (1994–1995), from a team struggling to 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 Gorce 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.

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 PFC CSKA Sofia and PFC Levski Sofia from the capital.
Outside Sofia, Lokomotiv's main rivals are PFC Lokomotiv Plovdiv 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.

Lokomotiv's biggest victory is 11–1 against PFC Chavdar Byala Slatina in 1991 for Bulgarian Cup. Lokomotiv's 9–0 defeat of PFC Chernomorets Burgas Sofia on 27 May 2007 was its largest league win. Lokomotiv's heaviest defeat, 0–8, came against Levski Sofia in 1994. Lokomotiv's 6–0 win against Neftchi Baku PFC 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 1984–1985) 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.

Honours

Domestic

- Winners (1): 1940 (as RSC)

- Runners-up (1): 1941 (as RSC)

- Winners (4): 1945, 1946, 1964, 1978

- Runners-up (5): 1946, 1947, 1965, 1985, 1995

- Winners (4): 1948, 1953, 1982, 1995

- Runners-up (2): 1975, 1977

European

European Railways Cup
- Winners (2): 1961, 1963

- Winners (1): 1973

PFC Lokomotiv Sofia in Europe



As of February 19, 2012



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

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

Brazil
- Mario Sousa
- Rogerio Pereyra

Croatia
- Viktor Špišić

Germany
- Steffen Karl

Georgia
- Sergey Churadze

Ghana
- Derek Asamoah

Guinea-Bissau
- Adelino Lopes

Macedonia
- Vlatko Kostov
- Toni Naumovski

Malta
- Daniel Bogdanovic
- Stefan Giglio

Serbia
- Saša Antunović
- Igor Bondžulić
- Vladimir Đilas
- Dejan Djurić
- Uroš Golubović
- Ivan Radivojević
- Goran Vasilijević

Slovenia
- Tomislav Mišura

South Africa
- MacDonald Mukansi

Ukraine
- Igor Shelist

- 175 Debreceni VSC
- 176 LOKOMOTIV SOFIA
- 177 Motherwell F.C
- 177 Heart of Midlothian F.C
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