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Nikola Kotkov

Personal information
Full nameNikola Todorov Kotkov
(Никола Тодоров Котков)
Date of birth9 December 1938
Place of birthSofia, Bulgaria
Date of death30 June 1971(age 32)
Place of deathSofia, Bulgaria
Playing positionStriker

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Nikola Todorov Kotkov ( ) (9 December 1938 - 30 June 1971), nicknamed Koteto (Котето, "The Kitten") was a Bulgarian footballer who played as a striker.

Born in the capital Sofia, Kotkov started his football career as a PFC Lokomotiv Sofia trainee and went on to spend much of his career (1956 - 1969) with the club, winning the Bulgarian Championship in 1964. He then moved to PFC Levski Sofia, for whom he played until his death in 1971. Kotkov died together with his friend and teammate Georgi Asparuhov in a traffic accident in the Vitinya Pass of the Balkan Mountains, en route to Vratsa. With Levski, Kotkov became once again champion in 1970, winning the Bulgarian Cup the same year.

Kotkov played a total of 322 matches and scored 163 goals in the Bulgarian Championship and was given the Bulgarian Footballer of the Year award in 1964. For the Bulgaria national team, he had 26 caps and scored 12 goals, taking part in the 1966 FIFA World Cup in England.

A fans' favourite noted for his fair play, Kotkov was known for his remarkable technique, pinpoint passing and skilful free kick taking.

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