Bulgaria First League 05/27 17:00 6 [3] Botev Plovdiv v Arda Kardzhali [2] L 0-1
Bulgaria First League 05/23 14:45 5 [1] CSKA 1948 Sofia v Botev Plovdiv [3] L 2-1
Bulgaria First League 05/20 17:15 4 [4] Slavia Sofia v Botev Plovdiv [2] L 3-1
Bulgaria Cup 05/15 16:00 1 Ludogorets Razgrad v Botev Plovdiv W 2-3
Bulgaria First League 05/11 14:00 3 [3] Arda Kardzhali v Botev Plovdiv [2] L 2-1
Bulgaria First League 05/06 17:15 2 [1] Botev Plovdiv v CSKA 1948 Sofia [2] D 0-0
Bulgaria Cup 05/01 15:45 2 Botev Plovdiv v CSKA Sofia W 2-0
Bulgaria First League 04/27 16:00 1 [1] Botev Plovdiv v Slavia Sofia [4] L 0-1
Bulgaria First League 04/21 14:45 30 [14] Lokomotiv 1929 Sofia v Botev Plovdiv [8] W 0-4
Bulgaria Cup 04/17 16:00 2 CSKA Sofia v Botev Plovdiv W 0-1
Bulgaria First League 04/12 14:45 29 [9] Botev Plovdiv v Botev Vratsa [15] W 2-0
Bulgaria First League 04/07 14:45 28 [9] Botev Plovdiv v CSKA 1948 Sofia [8] D 0-0


Matches played 58 35 23
Wins 26 16 10
Draws 11 6 5
Losses 21 13 8
Goals for 87 48 39
Goals against 66 35 31
Clean sheets 24 18 6
Failed to score 18 13 5

Wikipedia - Botev Plovdiv

Profesionalen Futbolen Klub Botev AD, commonly referred to as Botev Plovdiv (Bulgarian: Ботев Пловдив, pronounced [ˈbɔtɛf ˈpɫɔvdif]), or simply Botev (within its associated city), is a Bulgarian professional football club based in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. It competes in the Bulgarian Parva Liga, the top flight of Bulgarian football. Founded on 11 March 1912, it is the country's oldest active football club.

PFC Botev is named after the Bulgarian poet, revolutionary and national hero – Hristo Botev. The club plays its home games at Hristo Botev Stadium.

Throughout its history, the club has won 2 national titles, 4 national cups, 1 supercup and 1 Balkans Cup. Botev has also reached the Cup Winners' Cup quarter-finals once. In addition, the club has been a runner-up in the domestic league twice and has reached the Bulgarian Cup final thirteen times. In the years before the Bulgarian championship was created, the team regularly participated in the local Plovdiv championship, claiming it six times. It is one of the most popular clubs in Bulgaria.


Early years (1912–1944)

The club was founded on 11 March 1912 as Hristo Botyov - Futbolno druzhestvo (meaning "Hristo Botyov - Football Association") in Plovdiv by 22 students from Saint Augustine's French College and First Boys High School. The name was chosen in honor of the Bulgarian national hero Hristo Botev, as proposed by the club's host - Tenyo Rusev. The club's first management board also included Stoyan Puhtev, serving as chairman, Nenko Penelov as vice-chairman and Petar Delev as both a secretary and cashier. Interestingly, the Botev Plovdiv's constituent assembly was held on Sunday, March 11, 1912, and received a juridical registration on the next day, Monday, March 12. Presently club fans celebrate the later date as a birthday.

In 1920, some members of the association split and founded a new football club, named Rekord. However, this did not deter Botev from winning the first unofficial urban championship. On 30 August 1925, Botev lost 2–6 to Turkish side Fenerbahçe, in its first international match. The following year, the team led by the playing coach and captain – Nikola Shterev, won the Plovdiv Cup.

Botev won its first national title in 1929, defeating Levski Sofia 1–0 in the final, with Nikola Shterev scoring the winning goal. The club became the first from Plovdiv to win the Bulgarian Championship. Notable players from the period include Stancho Prodanov, Vangel Kaundzhiev and Mihail Kostov, who played for the national team. In the following two years as well as in 1937 and 1940, Botev won the urban championship.


The club's name has been changed for political reasons several times: Botev (1912–1946), DNV(1947–51), DNA (1952–57), SKNA (1957), Botev (1957–1968) and Trakia (1968–1989). In 1951, Botev Plovdiv joined the newly created Bulgarian A PFG. Despite being relegated in 1953 to the Bulgarian B PFG, in 1954 the club easily won promotion for the top division. 1956 was very successful for the team, which finished 3rd in the domestic league and qualified for the final of the Bulgarian Cup, where Botev faced Levski Sofia. The final match was lost by the canaries with 2–5.

In the next few years, the local municipality decided to build a new venue for the sports club. The construction for the sports complex, started on July 21, 1959, and was built in a period of two years. The new stadium was named Hristo Botev, in honor of the national hero. The sport venue was inaugurated with a friendly match between Botev and Steaua București, which was won by the canaries with 3–0 in front of 20,000 spectators.

Dinko Dermendzhiev era (1961–1980)

In 1961 Botev finished 3rd in the A PFG, for second time in the club's history. This championship also marked the first appearance of the club's most important player Dinko Dermendzhiev and the beginning of Botev's golden age. Dermendzhiev holds Botev's overall appearances record, playing in 447 matches for the club. Second is Viden Apostolov with 429 matches and third is Petar Zehtinski with 351. Botev's all-time leading scorer is also Dermendzhiev, who scored 194 goals at his period in the club. Kostadin Kostadinov is the Botev's second highest scorer with 106 goals and third is Atanas Pashev with 100 goals.

Under the leadership of Dinko Dermendzhiev, Botev won their first Bulgarian Cup in 1962, beating Dunav Rousse 3–0 at Vasil Levski National Stadium in Sofia on 12 August. In the 1962–63 season Botev reached the quarter-final of the Cup Winners' Cup by eliminating Steaua București and Shamrock Rovers before losing to Atlético Madrid 1–5 on aggregate. In the same season the team finished runners-up in A PFG with 40 points, only 3 less than the first, Spartak Plovdiv.

The club claimed its second national title in 1967. A few days later, political authorities merged two local clubs with Botev – Spartak and Akademik, creating Trakia. The "new" club, continued playing its games on Hristo Botev Stadium and kept its players, colours, history and fans. The reasoning behind the merger was creating a team which would gather the best players in the city and contend with Sofia-based teams. However, only two players from recent rivals Spartak had joined the team.

The championship team featured several notable players, such as Viden Apostolov, Georgi Popov and Rayko Stoynov, with Vasil Spasov as head coach. Botev represented Bulgaria in the 1967–68 European Champions Cup where they lost in the first round to Rapid București after 2–0 win in Plovdiv and 0–3 (a.e.t.) loss in Romania. A few years later, in 1981, the team became runners up of the Balkans Cup for the first time, playing against Yugoslavian Velež Mostar after two spectacular final matches to finish second

The Golden Team (1981–1990)

In 1981, the club's forward Georgi Slavkov won the club's highest individual achievement, the European Golden Shoe after finishing as Europe's top domestic scorer with 31 goals. The same year, the team won its second Bulgarian Cup, after a win against Pirin Blagoevgrad. This period was very successful for the club. Botev finished 3rd in the A PFG, in 1981, 1983, 1985, 1987, 1988 and 2nd in 1986. In this year the team finished with 41 points, only 2 less than the first, Beroe, in spite of the 8–1 win against Beroe in the direct match. Many of the club's most notable stars played around this time, such as Antim Pehlivanov, Dimitar Vichev, Atanas Pashev, Dimitar Mladenov, Zapryan Rakov, Blagoy Bangev and Petar Zehtinski were part of the rank and file of the notable Golden Team.

An important achievement of that period was the 1985 Cup Winners' Cup campaign, when Botev qualified for the second round of the tournament. The team secured a 2–0 victory against the German powerhouse Bayern Munich (with Klaus Augenthaler, Dieter Hoeneß, Søren Lerby, Lothar Matthäus and Jean-Marie Pfaff in their squad). On November 7, 1984, in front of more than 45,000 spectators at Plovdiv Stadium, Atanas Pashev and Kostadin Kostadinov scored for the win, but Botev were eliminated after losing 1–4 in the first-leg. Another memorable win is the 1–0 home victory over Barcelona in a Cup Winners' Cup first-leg in 1981. On 29 November 1989, after 22 years of playing under Trakia, the club restored its authentic name – Botev.

Brokers Era (1991–1999)

In 1992, the club was bought by a conglomerate of brokers led by Hristo Alexandrov and Hristo Danov. They brought in players with experience in Bulgarian football, such as Nasko Sirakov, Bozhidar Iskrenov, Kostadin Vidolov and Borislav Mihaylov. In this period, Botev signed the first foreign player in the club's history, the Hungarian Roberto Szabay. These big investments however did not bring any significant results and the club only reached third place in the A PFG in 1993, 1994 and 1995.

Hristolov takeover, financial implosion (1999–2010)

On 19 March 1999 Botev was acquired by Dimitar Hristolov. This day marked the beginning of difficult years for the club. In the 2000–01 season, the team was relegated to B PFG, after playing 47 years in the A PFG. Botev spent one season in the second division and quickly returned to the top flight, but in 2004 the club was relegated for the second time. From 2005 to 2009 the club played in the A PFG, but in the second part of the league table.

In September 2009, Botev Plovdiv set an unusual record after fielding seven Italian players in the 1–2 away loss against Litex Lovech, becoming the first A PFG club to feature that many foreigners from the same nationality.

On 24 February 2010, Botev Plovdiv were administratively relegated from A PFG due to financial difficulties. Botev's opponents were awarded 3–0 wins by default during the second half of the season.


Following the financial collapse in 2010, Botev Plovdiv were relegated to the third level of Bulgarian football, the amateur V Group for the 2010–11 season. The club was completely rebuilt on an administrative level, several Bulgarian players with first league and international experience helped the team return to B Group, such as striker Atanas Kurdov, midfielder Todor Timonov, captain Nikolay Manchev, and goalkeeper Armen Ambartsumyan. The club went unbeaten and won their regional third league, and thus gained promotion to the second level of Bulgarian football.

A new coach was hired for the 2011–12 B Group season. Petar Houbchev, who had previous international experience both as a player and manager, succeeded Kostadin Vidolov. The lack of good results, however, saw Hubchev sacked from his position in October 2011. Botev Plovdiv then reached an agreement with a new head coach – Milen Radukanov, who didn't show good results either. Therefore, Kostadin Vidolov returned at the helm of the club and succeeded in gaining promotion to the first level of Bulgarian football, after a 2–0 win against Sportist Svoge in the play-offs.

Botev Plovdiv before the 2017 Bulgarian Cup final against Ludogorets

In the 2012–13 A Group season, the club showed good performance and finished fourth. Botev Plovdiv was allowed to participate in the 2013–14 UEFA Europa League, taking the place of the then financially struggling CSKA Sofia, this marked the return of the team in Europe, after 18 years of absence. The club defeated the likes of Astana and Zrinjski Mostar, before being eliminated by Stuttgart in the third qualifying round. In 2013–14, Botev Plovdiv finished fourth once more and also reached the 2013–14 Bulgarian Cup final, where they lost 0–1 to Ludogorets Razgrad. The club faced the same opponents in the 2014 Bulgarian Supercup match, which was lost 1–3. On the European front, the team participated in 2014–15 UEFA Europa League, where they managed to eliminate Libertas, before losing to St. Pölten. The following seasons, the club frequently secured places in the middle of the table.

Botev Plovdiv celebrate winning the 2016–17 Bulgarian Cup, from the balcony of the city hall

On 24 May 2017, Botev Plovdiv won their 3rd Bulgarian cup title in a 2–1 win against Ludogorets Razgrad, by doing so the club secured a spot in the 2017–18 UEFA Europa League, where they met Partizani Tirana and Beitar Jerusalem, before being knocked out by Marítimo in the third qualifying round. On 9 August 2017, the club won its first Bulgarian Supercup title, beating Ludogorets Razgrad 5–4 on penalties, following a 1–1 draw in regular time. In June 2021, the establishment of a reserve team, Botev Plovdiv II, was announced. In July 2021, the club was acquired by former Reading Football Club owner Anton Zingarevich.

Botev Plovdiv is a professional soccer team based in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The team was founded in 1912 and has a rich history in Bulgarian football. They play their home matches at the Stadion Hristo Botev and their traditional colors are yellow and black.

Botev Plovdiv has a passionate fan base and is known for their attacking style of play. The team has had success in domestic competitions, winning the Bulgarian Cup multiple times and finishing as runners-up in the Bulgarian First League.

The club has produced talented players who have gone on to represent the Bulgarian national team. Botev Plovdiv has a strong youth academy that focuses on developing young talent and promoting local players.

Overall, Botev Plovdiv is a respected and competitive team in Bulgarian football, with a proud history and a bright future ahead.