WHO ARE WE
Dimitar Berbatov is regarded as one of the most successful Bulgarian football players of all time. His journey begins in the southwestern village of Marikostinovo. He starts his football career at his local club – Pirin Blagoevgrad before Dimitar Penev spots his talent and signs him in CSKA Sofia. His good performances there open the doors for European football and Dimitar’s transfer to Bayer Leverkusen turns out to be the first step of his journey to the highest level of the beautiful game.
Later on, Berbatov gets to play for two of the biggest English clubs, winning the League Cup with Tottenham, and becoming joint top scorer and two times Premier League winner with Manchester United. After his successful period at the Red Devils, Dimitar also plays for Fulham, Monaco, PAOK and the Indian Kerala Blasters. To this date, Berbatov is the all-time top scorer for the Bulgarian national team with his 48 goals. This number could have been even higher, however internal conflicts and terrible disorganisation at the BFU force the striker to retire from the national team.
At home, Berbatov establishes a foundation aimed at supporting talented Bulgarian kids. So, 14 years and counting help is provided to kids and students who are naturally gifted in various different areas, such as arts, sports and science. Each year, after meeting the achievements criteria, an unlimited amount of kids gain membership to the foundation’s annual clubs – from 400 to 800. Dimitar is directly involved with the foundation’s activities as a mentor and manager. In 2019, he graduated successfully with a master’s degree in Sports Management at the National Sports Academy (NSA).
Dimitar Berbatov is motivated to use the knowledge and experience he has gained over the years both in and outside of football, in order to bring a better and more successful future to football in Bulgaria!
Born in Mihailovgrad (today Montana) in 1979 in a family of sportsmen, Stiliyan Petrov is raised with a football in his feet. He makes his debut in professional football at just 16 years of age and is immediately spotted by CSKA, from where later he departs to the Scottish giants Celtic, where he scores 64 goals in 311 caps for a period of 7 years. He leaves the club as a legend in order to join Aston Villa where he plays for another 7 years, meanwhile managing to register the all-time record of 106 caps for the national team before his life takes an unexpected, stunning turn.
After a severe diagnosis, he starts a battle for his life which he wins after 4 years, so that today he can again enjoy the moments spent with his two sons and his wife Paulina. Through a charity foundation which is named after him, Stan supports other people fighting leukemia. As a result, Stiliyan, together with other former professional players, such as Emile Heskey and Gaizka Mendieta amongst others, becomes one of the main drivers of the Player 4 Player program, whose aim is to support professional players after the end of their playing career.
For the past decade, Stiliyan transforms from a leader on the pitch to a mentor for dozens of people facing the problems that he managed to overcome by himself.
Martin Petrov, similar to his two teammates and friends, goes all the way through the domestic football hierarchy. He begins his career in his hometown Vratsa, before moving to CSKA after just one season. The Swiss Servette is his next destination before heading to Wolfsburg. This is where his longest spell in a single club is – 4 seasons. This is the same amount as the goals he scored in a match against Mainz 05, which to this date is still the record in the wolves’ history. Atletico Madrid then signs the winger in 2005 and from there Petrov departs to the UK, where he signs for the champions at the time Manchester City. After spells in Bolton and Espanyol, Martin comes back to CSKA for his last season before retirement. For the national team he has 90 matches and 19 goals.
Martin Petrov holds a UEFA A license and has often said that he has great interest in coaching methods, training schedules and fitness and recovery techniques used in the top European clubs and leagues. He keeps in touch with all his former clubs, teammates and coaches with the clear mission to implement his knowledge in Bulgarian football.
Boris Stankov is a Bulgarian football administrator and an official UEFA delegate. Born in 1989 in Sofia, Boris completes his higher education in the UK, where he first obtains his A-levels at Loughborough College, before graduating with a Bachelor degree in Sports Management from Bournemouth University. His professional path then takes him to UEFA where Boris first becomes an official delegate and from 2019 is a member of the Committee that oversees the transfer regulations that apply to both football players and agents.
Boris Stankov started a career in the Bulgarian Football Union 10 years ago, while still studying, in the international department where he was in the position of a Secretary-Coordinator. Boris has invaluable experience in the structures of both the BFU and UEFA, which in addition to his desire for change add up perfectly to Berbatov’s ideas and knowledge.
Petar Velichkov was born in 1971 in Stara Zagora where he graduated from the local English High School , before progressing his studies in the Burgas Free University, where he graduated with a Master’s degree in Economics. He started his career in international trade before shifting to the energy sector and more accurately – the fuel business. He has spent a total of 21 years as an employee at the Austrian giant OMV before taking up the position of a General Director in their Bulgarian affiliate.
Velichkov is a well-known football figure who started his journey in football administration as a member of the Disciplinary Committee, and as of 2014, as a member of the BFU’s Executive Committee. He was the first one to alarm for the dozens of gross violations of the BFU regulations by the current management. With his professional expertise and striving for maximum efficiency, as well as his long-held passion for the favourite sport, Petar Velichkov is one of the members of the team who seeks a transparent, clear path which domestic football should take in the direction to modernity.
Georgi Vladov was born in 1981 in Sofia. He graduated from the National School for Ancient Languages and Cultures, after which he immediately began his studies and later graduated with a Master’s degree in Law at the Sofia University. He started a job at “Dinova, Rusev and co” at the very start of the company’s establishment, before becoming a full-fledged partner in 2014.
Georgi Vladov has a proven experience as an arbitrator at the arbitration court at the BFU, as well as a mentor to younger and less experienced staff members.
Milen Rusev was born in 1968 in Stara Zagora where he developed an interest in international law. He is a complete polyglot, a Master of Law at the Moscow Institute of International Relations, and later obtained another Master’s degree in European Law at the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium.
After more than 10 years of practice, he is one of the founding members of the law firm “Dinova, Rusev and co”, which was established in 2005. Milen Rusev has experience as a member of the arbitration court at the BFU and is amongst the recognized specialists in intellectual property law in Bulgaria.