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PFC CSKA Sofia ( ) is a Bulgarian football club from Sofiamarker. CSKA stands for Central Sport Club of the Army ( , Centralen sporten klub na armijata). The home ground of CSKA Sofia is Bulgarska Armiamarker (Bulgarian Army) Stadium. The club was officially founded on May 5, 1948. CSKA has won 31 League titles and 19 National cups.


1923 – 1948

On October 28, 1923 Sofia football clubs Athletic Sofia (founded in 1910 as Klub Futbol) and Slava Sofia (founded in 1916) merged into Athletic Slava 1923(Officer's Sport Club Athletic Slava 1923, short AS-23 under the patronage of the Ministry of War which provided the equipment. In 1931 AS-23 won the Bulgarian championship and The Tsar's Cup, followed by another Tsar's Cup in 1941. The stadium of AS-23 has named 'Athletic park' (finished in 1938) is on the spot where is present stadium "Bulgarska Armiamarker".

With the partnership of Mihail Mihaylov from Shipka Sofia, The AS-23, the united team of Shipka-Podeda and Spartak from the 5th District merged into Chavdar Sofia. The unifying agreement was signed in November 9, 1944 in Sofiamarker. Gen. Vladimir Stoychev from As-23 was appointed as the new club's chairman as a result. Ivan Bashev was also appointed secretary and the person in charge of football.

The unifying protocol of Chavdar

'Chavdar' played at 'Athletic Park' which was now renamed to 'Chavdar'. The physical training was inspected by the boxer Konstantin Nikolov. With help from Mihail Mihaylov (who worked in the Ministry of War) from 15-th of February 1948 Chavdar became the departmental club to the Central house of the troops taking the name 'CDV'. Major Ivan Mirski was chosen as club chairman.

1948 – 1985

In May 1948 an agreement was signed between the FC "Septemvri" and the "Chavdar" for uniting under the name "Septemvri pri CDV". The board of the newly created club included: honorable chairman - general lieutenant Georgi Damjanov, the minister of defense, chairman - general major Bojan Balgaranov; deputy chairman - colonel Tashev, Petar Mihajlov, Alexander Valchev and Ljubcho Kralev. The board included 5 more members. The contract was signed on the 5th of May and that is considered to be the club's date of foundation.

The club's first official game took place on May 19, 1948 against Slavia Sofia at the Junak ( ) stadium - 1:1.

Septemvri pri CDV (Sofia) eliminated Aprilov Gabrovo and Spartak Varna on its way to the finals.
CSKA Sofia's roots
The team reached the national finals, where it faced Levski Sofia losing 1:2 in the first match. The decisive match was on September 9. Referee - Stephan Danchev. Team of Septemvri pri CDV: Stephan Gerenski, Borislav Futekov, Manol Manolov, Dimitar Cvetkov, Nikola Alexiev, Nako Chakmakov (captain), Dimitar Milanov, Stojne Minev, Stephan Bozkov, Nikola Bojilov, Kiril Bogdanov. Goals scored: Dimitar Milanov (2) and Nako Chakmakov.It was a marvelous victory-3:1. Nako Chakmakov sealed the victory with a last minute goal.That was the first significant champion year for CSKA Sofia.

In 1950 the club name was changed to “Narodna voyska” because of change of the name of “Centralnia Dom na voiskata” (Central House of the Troops), with the adding of the definition “People’s”. The next two years the newly named to C.D.N.V. (Central House of the People's Troops) club took two titles in a row. 1951 the Army club clinch their first Double. In 1953 the club was renamed by the Authorities, this time to “Otbor na sofiyskiya garnizon” (Team of the Sofian garrison) and most of the key players were illegaly transferred to one “national team”. Title was lost undeservedly. After the renaming the name of the club to CDNA (Central House of the People's Army), from 1954 comes one of the best periods of time between 1954-1962 “The Reds” won nine consecutive champions titles, which is an unprecedented record.

The CDNA is united with DSO “Cherveno zname" into CSKA "Cherveno zname" (CSKA "Red Flag”) in 1962. The central house of the people’s army was not connected any more with the club and it was taken by the ministry of people’s defense. CSKA remain third after “Spartak” (Plovdiv) and “Botev” (Plovdiv). The next season CSKA had it had the worst performance in the Bulgarian championship finishing 11th in the final table. The famous coach of the Army people Krum Milev was released after the end of the championship. CSKA continued with the bad performance, the first title with the new name of the club achieves in 1966. Season 1966-67 CSKA reached the semifinal in European Cup, where after two draws(1:1) with “Inter Milano” it played a third match which CSKA lost 1:0. The next two seasons were again bad for “The Army men” – they finished in fifth and second place. CSKA is again joined with “Septemvri" (Sofia) and after that the club took the name CSKA "Septemvriysko zname" (CSKA "September's Flag") in 1969. The team was champion, and in the team lines was recent acquisition Petar Zhekov who became the goals scorer in Bulgaria, winning “Golden shoe”.

From 1971 to 1973 the CSKA won three consecutive titles. The next four seasons CSKA won two titles and in that period in the Europe tournaments are eliminating the three times European champion “Ajax” with final result 2:1(0:1 and 2:0). In the 1/4 finals the Armypeople lost with 4:1 from “Bayern Munich”, but in the second match they won with 2:1.

Season 1980-81 was again one of the many memorable seasons for CSKA Sofia. Winning the Bulgarian championship once more and twice beating the European Champion Nottingham Forest, both times with 1:0. The Reds were stopped by the future European Champion Liverpoolmarker in the quarter finals of the European Cup. The next season CSKA reached their second semi final in the Champion league where they faced Bayern Munich, eliminating before that SPanish Champions Real Sociedad, Glentoran and European Champion Liverpool with final result of the two clashes 2:1 (Stoycho Mladenov scored both goals in the return match for CSKA). The match with Bayern Munich started perfectly as until the 18th minute. CSKA Sofia was leading 3:0 and 85 000 saw the European Final in their dreams but the final result was 4:3 for CSKA. In Munich the team lost with 4:0. In the domestic championship CSKA lost the title not until the end of 1983-84 season. The next season the Reds again did not win the title and after the club clashed with Levski Spartak in the Cup final, both clubs were disbanded because of the massive players fight.

The disband

On 18 June 1985 the final for the Bulgarian cup was held at stadium “Vasil Levski”marker between CSKA and Levski Spartak. The match was marred by many disputable referee decisions and the match saw several brutal fights and an attack on a referee by Levski-Spartak's players. CSKA won the game 2:1 although CSKA missed a penalty when the score was 2:0. By decree of Central Committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party, both teams were disbanded. CSKA Septemvriisko Zname was renamed "Sredets" and Levski-Spartak was renamed "Vitosha". Many players were prohibited from participating in club games for varying periods of time. The very talented Hristo Stoichkov and Kostadin Yanchev were the players from CSKA. A year later the decision was abolished and the players continued their sport careers.

1985 – 2008

As "Sredets" the club finished on fourth place in the championship. In 1987 to the name of the club is added the definition CFKA and became CFKA "Sredets" (CFKA Sredets - Central Football Club Of The "Army Sredets”). The next three years were very categorical in Bulgarian championship winning the three titles and also reaching the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup semi finals. Before that they played with “Roda” each winning one game with 2:1, but after the penalties The Reds continued further up in the competition. The semifinals gave CSKA Sofia to Barcelona which was coached back then by Johan Cruijff, lost both matches with 4:2 and 2:1 CSKA was eliminated, but the genius of the Holland coach saw the talent of Hristo Stoichkov and decided to take him at Barcelona. The name “CSKA” was restored back and won the title for season 1989-1990.

In March 1991 Valentin Mihov was chosen president of CSKA. CSKA bought some of the best football players like Yordan Letchkov, Ivo Andonov, Stoicho Stoilov and others. Meanwhile „Mo” stopped the co-operation with the club. Despite the problems which the club had with the veterans, the army people and the fans, they won the title in 1992, but were eliminated in the qualifications for Champion League. In the meantime Valentin Mihov became president of the Bulgarian Football union and Petar Kalpakchiev was chosen for president of the club. He did not manage to cope with administration decisions and the several coach changes, one of which was Gjoko Hadžievski – coach who started to develop the team in positive direction, and eventually Kalpakchiev was fired. The boss of “Multigrup” Iliya Pavlov won the chairman's position versus Nikolay Gigov, but his sponsor was not enough to overcome the bad management. Five coaches were changed in just one season, with Tsvetan Yonchev being coach for just one day. In Europe CSKA beat Juventus 3:2 in the first round in UEFA cup competition, but it was cancelled because delayed player-indexing for Petar Mihtarski for the euro competitions. In the summer of 1995 CSKA made a good selection and eventually the team included half of the youth national football team of Bulgaria. Plamen Markov was appointed coach, but after a disappointing first half of the season he was replaced by Georgi Vasilev, who had previously won three titles (1 with “Etar” and 2 with “Levski”). Vasilev managed to win double with CSKA for season 1996-1997, but very shockingly and unusually he was released from the club after a 3:0 win over “Spartak (Pleven)” in 1997. The team came back Hristo Stoichkov, Emil Kostadinov and Trifon Ivanov. The three of them argued for the captain band. Stoichkov played in just four matches and left CSKA Sofia, just before the derby with Levski in which final score was 3:3, to play for club in Saudi Arabia. After the end of the season Trifon Ivanov also left the club. In the summer of 1998 Dimitar Penev took the lead at CSKA, becoming coach. CSKA played very well in the UEFA cup competition and won the Bulgarian cup, but were disappointing in the domestic league, finishing in fifth place at the end of the championship. In that season the young talents Martin Petrov, Stilian Petrov, Dimitar Berbatov and Vladimir Manchev started to play a big part in the team. The club was taken by Luboslav Penev. There were problems with player-indexing, because of some non-paid obligation of CSKA to Neftohimik. In the Bulgarian championship CSKA had only 16 players and in the international competitions some players who were not indexed played. At the end of the year the club was transformed in the shareholders association and Vasil Bozhkov became majority owner.

After the first two rounds of the spring half season for 2000 Dimitar Penev was released because of the consecutive losses and in his place was appointed Georgi Dimitrov – Dzheki, who was followed by Spas Dzhevizov. After the 1:1 draw with Pirin at Bulgarian Army Stadiummarker Dzhevizov handed in his resignation and for coach was selected Aleksandar Stankov. Despite that at times CSKA fell behind with 9 points, CSKA shortened the difference to 2 points before the decisive match for the title at stadium “Georgi Asparuhov”marker. CSKA played very well and with superiority over Levski, as Dimitar Berbatov made some serious misses and a last-minute goal from Georgi Ivanov – Gonzo secured the title for Levski. In the summer of 2000 Italian Enrico Catuzzi was employed as a head coach, who managed to revive the team. The Armymen played attractive games, but Catuzzi handed over the coach position in the winter because of family problems. Aleksandar Stankov was appointed again, but was replaced by Catuzzi again after two losses from Litex for the cup and the championship. The reds finished second with seven points behind Levski. For the new season in 2001 coach was Asparuh Nikodimov. He was fired because after the half season CSKA was 2 points behind Levski and was replaced by the Italian Luigi Simoni. He also failed to make CSKA champion and CSKA finished third. In 2002 Stoycho Mladenov was selected as coach. With him the team set up the record with 13 consecutive wins from 13 matches in the Bulgarian Championship. CSKA became champion for first time since 1997. The next season Stoycho Mladenov is fired after less than impressive performance in the UEFA cup. Immediately after that two new players – Leo Lima and Rodrigo Sousa, bought for 3 million dollars, left the club saying that they haven’t received 2 salaries. FIFAmarker decided that they had the right to leave and that CSKA had to pay back the football players to their ex-club “Vasco da Gama”. Temporarily, as coach was selected Aleksandar Stankov and in the winter Ferario Spasov took over as a coach. In the end of 2004 Spasov is replaced by Miodrag Ješić, nevertheless that the team is leading in the domestic championship. Despite the problems with the selection in the team, CSKA won their record thirtieth domestic title. Till the winter break of season 2005-06 of the Bulgarian Championship the team left behind Levski in the standings with 7 points. In Europe CSKA played against the current European champion Liverpool. The club lossed in the first match in Sofiamarker with 1:3, but won in the second with 0:1 at Anfield Roadmarker. In the UEFA cup competition the Reds eliminated Bayer Leverkusen (with Dimitar Berbatov in the team) with two wins with 1:0 and entered the group stage, where they finished fifth with 3 points from 4 matches. During the spring CSKA lost the 7-point advantage and finished second with 3 points behind. The president Vasil Bozhkov blamed the Serbian coach Miodrag Ješić and fired him, while some fans blamed Bozhkov. The boss announced that he will restrict the finance to the club and the next season CSKA will not be aiming in the title. In December 2006 he sold the club to the Indian millionaire and owner of “KremikovtsimarkerPramod Mital. Aleksandar Tomov became president of the club and promised that the club is aiming in the championship and cup titles. After two draw matches in the beginning of the spring half season in 2007, CSKA was six points behind Levski. As a result of that Plamen Markov was replaced as a coach of CSKA Sofia by Stoycho Mladenov, who returned to CSKA after 3,5 years. In the end of the season CSKA finished second. In the beginning of season 2007-08 CSKA bought players for more than 2 million euro. The team was unluckily eliminated from the UEFA cup in the first round by the French side Toulouse after a 96-minute goal from Andre-Pierre Gignac for the French team in the second match. CSKA was also eliminated from the Bulgarian Cup at the sixteen finals from Lokomotiv . The match was accompanied with a scandal because of the loaned out to Lokomotiv football players:Stoyko Sakaliev, Aleksandar Branekov and Ivan Ivanov. The players had clauses in their contracts saying that they can’t play in the match against the Reds, but the bosses of Lokomotiv didn't show respect to the contract and used the players in the match. In the end of the season the "Armymen" won the title in advance before the end of the championship, which they finished sixteen points before the second club in the standings – Levski. The directors made big celebrations about the sixtieth anniversary of the club. An alley of fame was built with the names of all champions and selected the best football team from former and current players of CSKA. On 24 may a match was played between the current team and a mixed team from Bulgarian and foreign football stars which finished 6:6.


In early June 2008, UEFA notified the Bulgarian Football Union that CSKA will not receive a license for participation in the UEFA Champion's League and other European tournaments because of financial problems. The BFU then speculated that this would mean that CSKA would not be able to take part in the A Professional Football Group of Bulgaria, effectively turning it back into an amateur team. Attempts to arrange a settlement with UEFA were unsuccessful and CSKA lost its right to compete in the UEFA Champions League in favor of the runners-up PFC Levski Sofia. Eventually CSKA managed to fulfill all requirements set by the BFU and was allowed to compete in Bulgaria's A PFG. The person generally blamed for the situation was Alexander Tomov, chairman of the supervising council of CSKA, which hints at the irrationality of soccer fans.

2008 – onward

Because of the problems with the license many of the players left the club and as a consequence Stoycho Mladenov left the club as well saying that he is not happy because of the sale of so many important players from the club. A new coach was appointed, Dimitar Penev, and despite all problems that there were in the club, he managed to created a young team, which won the Bulgarian Super Cup. After the begging of the season 2008-2009 for the club signed the Bulgarian national players Zdravko Lazarov and Vladimir Manchev.On 24 December, 2008 the Indian businessman Pramod Mittal and owner of the club has announced he has signed a preliminary contract with local investor to sell the club.In March 2009, the coach of the team Dimitar Penev was fired and his place took his nephew Luboslav Penev .


CSKA has carried a plethora of names in its history. In chronological order they are:
  • Septemvri pri CDV ( ), September to Central House of the Army in 1948 and 1948/49.
  • Narodna voyska ( ), People's Army in 1950.
  • C.D.N.V. ( ), Central House of the People's Troops in 1951 and 1952.
  • Otbor na sofiyskiya garnizon ( ), Team of the Sofia garrison in 1953.
  • CDNA ( ), Central House of the People's Army from 1954 and until the 1961/62 season.
  • CSKA "Cherveno zname" ( ), CSKA "Red Flag" between 1962/63 and 1967/68.
  • CSKA "Septemvriysko zname" ( ), CSKA "September's Flag" between 1968/69 and 1984/85.
  • CFKA "Sredets" ( ), CFKA Sredets - Central Football Club Of The Army "Sredets" from 1985/86 and until 1988/89
  • CSKA ( ), CSKA - Central Sports Club Of The Army/ from 1989/90.

Bulgarian Army Stadium

Bulgarska Armia
The team's home stadium, "Bulgarska Armiamarker", was completed in 1967 and stands on the same spot as its predecessor, "Athletic Park". It is situated in the Borisova Gradina (Boris' Park), in the centre of Sofiamarker. The stadium has four sectors and a total of 22,015 seats, of which 2,100 are covered. The pitch length is 106 meters and the width 66 meters. The sports complex also includes tennis courts, a basketball court and gymnastics facilities, as well the CSKA Sofia glory museum. The press conference room has 80 seats. Lately, a plan for a new modern stadium was made, which construction will start if CSKA qualifies for the 2009 - 2010 group stages of the Europa League. The new stadium's capacity will be around 30,000 and will be with a elite ranking by UEFA.


CSKA Sofia is one of the two most supported clubs in Bulgaria with 180 000 organized supporters in 798 fan clubs around the World including the fans from USAmarker, Republic of Macedoniamarker, Spainmarker, Austriamarker, UKmarker, Canadamarker, Italymarker, Swedenmarker, Greecemarker, Germanymarker and almost every country in which there are large numbers of Bulgarians. The official fan club was formed in 1990. The oldest fan club in Sofia was founded by CSKA's fans.Sector G is the north stand of Bulgarian Army Stadium. This part of the stadium is the main stand for the ultras of CSKA.Inside Sector G there are several supporters and ultra groups like "14" (Sofiamarker), City Boys (Sofiamarker), Torcida Plovdiv 1999 (Plovdivmarker), Proud ones 1999 (Sofiamarker), Ultra Separative Front 1997 (Sofiamarker), Ariana Boys (Sofiamarker), Banda Sever (Sofiamarker), Lulin Boys'99 (Sofiamarker), Ultra Front Vratsa (Vratsamarker), UCSH (Samokovmarker),RAZLOG(Razlogmarker) and many others.


Current squad

As of 30 August 2009

For recent transfers, see PFC CSKA Sofia season 2009–10.

On loan

Notable Players

Coaches’ history



Bulgarian Championship – 31 (record)

  • 1948, 1951, 1952, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1966, 1969, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1976, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1997, 2003, 2005, 2008

Bulgarian Cup – 19

  • 1951, 1954, 1955, 1961, 1965, 1969, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1981, 1983, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1993, 1997, 1999, 2006

Cup of the Soviet Army – 4

  • 1985, 1986, 1989, 1990

Bulgarian Super Cup – 3

  • 1989, 2006, 2008


UEFA European Cup/Champions League

  • 1/2 Final (1967 vs Inter Milan, 1982 vs Bayern Munich)
  • 1/4 Final (1956 vs Red Star Belgrade, 1974 vs Bayern Munich, 1981 vs Liverpool, 1990 vs Olympique de Marseille)

UEFA Europa League

  • Group stage (2009)


  • 1/16 Final (1999 vs Atletico Madrid)
  • Group stage (2005)

UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup

  • 1/2 Final (1989 vs Barcelona)

Biggest win in European tournaments:

  • UEFA Champions League - 8:1 in 1956/57 vs Dinamo Bucuresti
  • UEFA Cup - 8:0 in 2000/2001 vs Constructorul
  • UEFA Cup Winners' Cup - 9:0 in 1970/71 vs Haka



Kit manufacturers

Shirt sponsors

  • 1948-1989 - No sponsor
  • 1989-1990 - Comco
  • 1990-1996 - Sintofarm
  • 1996-1999 - Multigroup
  • 1999-2005 (Bulgarian Championship) - No sponsor
  • 2001-2002 (UEFA Cup) - Sintofarm
  • 2003-2004 (UEFA Champions League, UEFA Cup) - Transimpex
  • 2005-2008 - Vivatel
  • 2008-2009 - No sponsor
  • 2009-present - Globul


  1. Сп. "ЦСКА", брой 15, 2003 г.
  2. "Това е ЦСКА!", стр.8, Димитър Пенев
  3. С рогите срещу историята,

External links

Official websites
Fan websites

Statistics websites

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