Botev Plovdiv

Plovdiv, Bulgaria

About Botev Plovdiv

Professional Football Club Botev Plovdiv, usually known more simply as Botev Plovdiv, was first established in March 1912 by a group of students from the city. Nicknamed 'The Canaries', they are the oldest existing football club in Bulgaria and have enjoyed some significant successes in domestic competitions over the years. The team's name was chosen in honour of Hristo Botev, a revolutionary figure in Bulgarian history.

Upon foundation, the club took little time to establish itself, winning the unofficial Football Championship of Plovdiv in 1920. That success was followed by a victory in the final of the Cup of Plovdiv in 1926, marking their first official honour. Then, in 1929, the team became national champions for the first time, after winning the Bulgarian State Football Championship.

The team made its first appearance in the newly-created Bulgarian A Football Group in 1951 and went on to experience a second era of success in the 1960s and 1970s, starting with a win in the Bulgarian Cup in 1962. The following year saw Botev Plovdiv finish as league runners up, while they also reached the quarter finals of the European Cup Winners' Cup. In 1967, they were able to secure their second league title and, as a result, made their debut in the European Cup later the same year. The team subsequently lifted the Balkans Cup in 1972, which remains their last significant trophy.

Dinko Dermendzhiev holds the records for most appearances and most goals for the club, while Georgi Slavkov's haul of 31 goals in 1981 remains the best total in a single season. Other notable former Botev Plovdiv players include Nikola Shterev, Kostadin Kostadinov, Viden Apostolov and Atanas Pashev.

The team's home matches are held at Hristo Botev Stadium, which was built in 1961. The venue was originally called The College and many supporters continue to use that name. It is currently able to hold up to 18,000 spectators.

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