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Valeri Bozhinov

Valeri Emilov Bozhinov (, ; born 15 February 1986), commonly known as Valeri Bojinov, is a Bulgarian Association football who currently plays for Serie A side U.S. Lecce.

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Valeri Bozhinov biography

Valeri Emilov Bozhinov (, ; born 15 February 1986), commonly known as Valeri Bojinov, is a Bulgarian Association football who currently plays for Serie A side U.S. Lecce.


Born in the Bulgarian town of Gorna Oryahovitsa, Bozhinov moved to Malta at the age of 12 with Valeri Bozhinov mother Pepa, a former Bulgaria national basketball team player and stepfather Sasho Angelov, who had played for the Bulgaria national football team during the 1990s.

Bozhinov was discovered at the age of 14 by U.S. Lecce sports director Pantaleo Corvino, while playing for Pietà Hotspurs, and signed for just 30,000,000 Italian Lira (around €15,000).

Valeri Bozhinov also dates a Bulgarian singer Alisia. They were named Stars Couple of Bulgaria in 2006. Valeri Bozhinov became father of a baby son in September 2007. Valeri Bozhinov son is also named Valeri. Now Valeri Bozhinov is married for a bulgarian playmate Nikoleta Lozanova.

Valeri Bozhinov preferred foot is left.

Club career


A promising youngster, Bozhinov settled in Lecce and continued Valeri Bozhinov studies there while playing for U.S. Lecce youth teams. Valeri Bozhinov debuted in Italian Serie A on January 22, 2002, at the age of 15 years and 11 months for U.S. Lecce, becoming the youngest foreign player to make an appearance in the top level of Italian football. Valeri Bozhinov scored Valeri Bozhinov first goal in the top division on January 6, 2004 in a home 1–2 defeat against Bologna FC, becoming the youngest non-national to score in Serie A.


Bozhinov was soon picked up by A.C.F. Fiorentina in January 2005, in a transfer worth approximately €13 million (pound (currency)9 million), Valeri Bozhinov was just 18 years old at the time.


For the 2006-07 season, Fiorentina loaned Bojinov to Juventus, who had just been relegated to Serie B.

Manchester City

On 3 August 2007, it was reported that Bojinov completed Valeri Bozhinov move to Manchester City F.C., signing a four-year contract in an undisclosed fee deal, thought to be £5.75m.

Bozhinov was ruled out for five months after suffering a knee ligament injury against Manchester United F.C. in August 2007. Valeri Bozhinov returned to full training on 22 January 2008, scoring five goals in a bounce game. On the 11 February 2008, Bozhinov played in a Manchester City reserve game, where Valeri Bozhinov came on as a subtitute and scored a header from a cross by Emile Mpenza. Manchester City manager Sven-Göran Eriksson told Bozhinov that Valeri Bozhinov would not be ready to play in the game against Everton F.C. on the 25 February 2008. Valeri Bozhinov did not manage to make a come-back to the first team squad in the 2007/08 season, but Valeri Bozhinov did make some appearances for the Reserve squad and was included in City's tour of Asia.

Valeri Bozhinov scored Valeri Bozhinov first goal for the club over a year after joining in a pre-season friendly against Stockport County. Valeri Bozhinov also scored the winning goal in a friendly against AC Milan on 9 August 2008. On the 17 August 2008, Bozhinov was ruled out for six months after suffering an Achilles injury as Valeri Bozhinov was running on to the pitch to warm up against Aston Villa F.C.. Valeri Bozhinov has been labelled 'unlucky' as this is Valeri Bozhinov second long term injury. By mid-January 2009 the club announced that Bozhinov was nearing full training.

In mid-February 2009, Manchester City manager Mark Hughes declared that Bozhinov was going to play a practice match "Behind closed doors" as Valeri Bozhinov was nearing Valeri Bozhinov return to first team football. Bozhinov played 65 minutes for the reserves on 17 February 2009. Valeri Bozhinov even scored a penalty against rivals Manchester United F.C. in a reserve game while regaining match fitness.

Bozhinov made Valeri Bozhinov long-awaited return to Premier League football by coming on as an 89th minute substitute against West Ham United on 1 March 2009. Bozhinov then appeared again as a late substitute for Manchester City by coming on as an 83rd minute substitute in place of Elano against Aston Villa. Valeri made Valeri Bozhinov first start since 2007 in the 1–0 home win over Sunderland FC on March 22, 2009, but was substituted in the 65th minute which saw the return of injured Craig Bellamy. Valeri Bozhinov finally scored Valeri Bozhinov first league goal in the 2–1 loss against Tottenham Hotspur F.C. on 16 May 2009, four minutes after coming on as a substitute for compatriot Martin Petrov in the 61st minute.


It was announced on July 29, 2009 that Bozhinov would be joining Italian side Parma, on a season long loan. This was in part due to the amount of competition for a striking role at Eastlands this season. Valeri Bozhinov decided to wear number 86. On September 23, 2009 Valeri Bozhinov scored Valeri Bozhinov first official goal for Parma against SS Lazio. Valeri Bozhinov also won a penalty for Valeri Bozhinov team. The match ended in a 1–2 away win for Parma.

On July 4, 2010 it was confirmed that Parma have completed the permanent signing of Bozhinov, who is believed to have signed a 5 year deal, beating off late competition from Sevilla, Valencia, Genoa and Zenit. However, Bojinov endured a difficult season, largely restricted to the bench thanks to a combination of Valeri Bozhinov own sub-par performances; the regular use of just one forward in the team; and regular goals coming from Hernan Crespo and Amauri in the early and late parts of the season, respectively.


On July 6, 2011, Sporting signed Bojinov in a 5 year contract, paying €2.6million for 80% of Valeri Bozhinov registration rights, which could rise to €3.5 million depending on Valeri Bozhinov performance at the Portuguese side.
while Jaime Valdés was loaned to Parma in exchange.

On January 20, 2012, Sporting CP declared Bojinov persona non grata, forbidding the player from entering the stadium or the training academy, due to Valeri Bozhinov actions in the league Cup match game against Moreirense F.C that was played the previous day. At 92 minutes Sporting was conceded a decisive penalty kick that would, if scored, give the team the victory. The regular penalty taker for Sporting, Matias Fernandez, prepared to take the shot, but Bojinov took the ball from him, pushing Valeri Bozhinov away and insisting that Valeri Bozhinov would do it, even though the player had never taken a penalty for Sporting, and hadn't scored a penalty during an official game since 2006. Valeri Bozhinov failed to score, infuriating the supporters and Sporting's managers, which have subsequently banned the player on the basis that the player disrespected the decision of the coach and therefore the rules of the club.

International career

Bojinov made Valeri Bozhinov debut for the Bulgaria national football team during Euro 2004 – on 22 June 2004, Valeri Bozhinov came on as a substitute in the 1–2 loss against Italy national football team. Valeri Bozhinov earned Valeri Bozhinov second cap on 19 August 2004 in the 1–1 away draw against Republic of Ireland national football team in a friendly match, during which Valeri Bozhinov also scored Valeri Bozhinov first international goal.

International goals


- Serie B: 2006–07 Serie B

Manchester City
- Vodacom Challenge Runner-up: 2009 Vodacom Challenge


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