Hristo Stoichkov is regarded as one of the best footballers of his generation and the greatest Bulgarian footballer of all time.
Stoichkov began his career in his hometown, moving to Hebros in 1984. The next year he went to CSKA Sofia.
There, he was involved in a fight during the final of the 1985 Bulgarian Cup which resulted in an original lifelong ban, which was eventually reduced to a month suspension. After he was brought back to football, he managed to win the European Golden Boot with CSKA by scoring 38 goals in 30 games.
He then moved on to FC Barcelona, where he was part of Johan Cruyff’s ‘Dream Team‘, Stoichkov helped Barcelona to one of the most successful eras of the club, winning the Primera Division four years in a row between 1991 and 1994 and the European Cup after defeating Sampdoria in 1992. During his stay in Barcelona, he had become an idol for the club’s fans.
In his first season with the club Stoichkov was suspended for two months for stomping on a referee’s foot, but he still netted 14 league goals and six more in the Cup Winners’ Cup. Stoichkov then had short spells with Parma, Al-Nassr, and finally finishing his career in Japan with Kashiwa Reysol and the United States with the Chicago Fire and D.C. United.
He was a member of the Bulgaria national team that finished fourth at the 1994 World Cup. Apart from his footballing talent, he was notable for his on-pitch temper. He was honoured as European Footballer of the Year in 1994. He was named by Pelé as one of the125 Greatest Living Footballers at a FIFA Awards Ceremony in 2004.
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