Bulgaria's national team were
labelled the "laughing stock of Europe" by local media on
Wednesday after their dismal Euro 2012 qualifying campaign ended
in a home defeat by Wales.
Playing in front of near deserted Vasil Levski stadium on
Tuesday, Bulgaria lost 1-0 against the Welsh to finish bottom of
Group G with only five points from eight matches - their worst
ever performance in major tournament qualifying.
Bulgaria failed to score in any of their four home
qualifiers and last won on home soil in October 2009 when former
captain Dimitar Berbatov scored a hat-trick in a 6-2 rout of
Georgia in a 2010 World Cup qualifier.
"National disaster," "Wales buried Bulgaria," "Shame! The
laughing stock of Europe" and "[interim coach Mihail] Madanski's
bunch of idiots disgraced Bulgaria," screamed newspaper
A crowd of just 1,600 people, almost half of them coming
from Wales, were in attendance at the 44,000-capacity national
stadium with home fans boycotting the game over poor results.
The Bulgarian Football Union (BFU) had given several hundred
free tickets to fan clubs but that incentive failed to generate
Caretaker coach Madanski, who became Bulgaria's third coach
in the campaign by replacing German Lothar Matthaus last month,
has hinted that he prefers to continue his work with the
Bulgaria Under-21 team.
"I'm sorry to say but it'll be very difficult for the BFU to
find a good coach," said BFU executive committee member Emil
"Any self-respecting coach would not agree to work in
Bulgaria in a situation like this," added Kostadinov, whose
last-minute strike gave Bulgaria a 2-1 win over France to clinch
a place at the 1994 World Cup finals in the U.S.
Bulgarian fans are now hoping that all-time leading scorer
Dimitar Berbatov will end his international retirement.
Fans from all around the country will travel to neighboring
Romania next week to urge 30-year-old Berbatov to change his
mind during his team Manchester United's Champions League game
against Otelul Galati.
Berbatov, who boasts a remarkable international scoring
record of 48 goals in 79 matches, quit the national team in May
"I think it's a big mistake not to have Berbatov and Martin
Petrov [the Bolton Wanderers winger was omitted for Wales game]
in the team," said Bulgaria captain Stilian Petrov, who is the
country's most capped player with 105 appearances.
"It'll be completely different if they're part of the team."
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