Lokomotiv Plovdiv

Founded In
Plovdiv, Bulgaria

About Lokomotiv Plovdiv

Professional Football Club Lokomotiv 1926 Plovdiv, known more simply as Lokomotiv Plovdiv, was established in July 1926. Nicknamed The Smurfs, the team have enjoyed occasional success in domestic competitions, especially in recent times. Their main rivals are Lokomotiv Sofia and despite not being a derby match based on location, it is fiercely contested. The rivalry between the two 'Lokomotiv' teams is known within the country as the 'Railway Derby'. 

Lokomotiv Plovdiv first came to prominence on the European scene in the 1964-65 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup. After eliminating FK Vojvodina and FC Petrolul Ploieşti, they faced Juventus in the third round. After two 1-1 draws, UEFA controversially chose to stage a third match in Turin, giving the Italian side home advantage. Juventus went on to win the match 2-1.

In 1983, the club lifted its first major trophy, the Cup of the Soviet Army, but overall they had achieved limited success prior to the 21st century. Then, in 2003-04, Lokomotiv Plovdiv enjoyed the greatest success in their history, as they were crowned Bulgarian champions, after finishing three points ahead of 2nd placed Levski Sofia. That success was then followed by a victory over Litex Lovech in the Bulgarian Super Cup. As a result of their league success, they made their debut in the qualifying rounds of the UEFA Champions League in 2004-05, but were eliminated by Club Brugge. The team have reached the final of the Bulgarian Cup on four occasions, in 1960, 1971, 1982 and 2012, but were unsuccessful each time. 

Amongst the most notable players to have played for the side are names like Hristo Bonev, Gocho Vasilev and Aleksandar Tunchev.

Lokomotiv Plovdiv's home matches are held at Lokomotiv Stadium, which is nicknamed Lauta. The venue first opened in 1982 and previously had a capacity of 24,000. However, part of the stadium collapsed in 2004 and its capacity currently stands at 11,800.

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