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Georgi Asparuhov

Personal information
Full nameGeorgi Rangelov Asparuhov
Height1.84 m (6 ft 0.5 in)
Playing positionStriker
Club information

     Home | Football | Georgi Asparuhov

Georgi Rangelov Asparuhov ( ) (sometimes spelled Asparoukhov), nicknamed Gundi (May 4, 1943 - June 30, 1971) was a Bulgarian football player. He is considered to be among the top Bulgarian footballers of all time.

Asparuhov was a striker for Levski Sofia from 1960 to 1961 and 1964 to 1971, and for Botev Plovdiv from 1961 to 1963. He played 245 matches and scored 150 goals in the top Bulgarian division. Some of the top European clubs at the time sought his services. In the 1965-66 European Cup, Levski played Benfica (with stars including Eusébio in the squad). When Benfica eliminated Levski after hard fought 3:2 and 2:2 scorelines and Gundi having netted all Levski goals, Europe began to view Gundi with interest. In fact, he was the first player to score two goals in Benfica's stadium . In the aftermath of this match, Levski grew in popularity in Europe. The rich Portuguese club wanted to buy Asparuhov, but the communist government of Bulgaria did not allow them to do so.

For the Bulgaria national football team, Asparuhov featured in 50 games and has 19 goals. He scored the only goal for Bulgaria in Chile and the only goal for Bulgaria in England '66.

Asparuhov died in a car crash in 1971 with his talented teammate, Nikola Kotkov. At his funeral, over 550,000 people went to Sofia to pay tribute and their respect to him and to bid him farewell. The present stadium of Levski Sofia is called Georgi Asparuhov Stadium in honour of the famous striker.

His rejeciton to AC Milan is one of the most quoted phrases in Bulgaria:

"Има една страна, България. Там има един отбор Левски, може да не сте чували за него. Но аз в него съм се родил, в него и ще умра!" (Translation: "There is a country called Bulgaria. And there's a Bulgarian team, called Levski. You may've not heard of it. But I'm born in this team, and in this team I will die!")

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