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Author`s name Alex Naumov

Celta fires coach Fernando Vazquez and takes Stoichkov

Former Bulgaria coach Hristo Stoichkov will take over at the helm of struggling Spanish first division club Celta Vigo, the club confirmed Tuesday.

"The club has reached an agreement with the Bulgarian, who was up until now the national coach of his country," Celta said in a statement on their website.

The relegation-threatened Galician club gave no contract details.

The Bulgarian Football Union (BFU) confirmed that Stoichkov stood down earlier on Tuesday after three years as the national team coach.

"Stoichkov has personally asked BFU president Borislav Mihaylov to leave his post by mutual consent. He referred to the negative attitude towards the national football team and the situation at the time of the European qualifiers," said the BFU in a statement.

Stoichkov has been underfire in Bulgaria for 18 months after their failure to qualify for the 2006 World Cup and a series of poor results in their 2008 European Championships qualification campaign.

In their last two outings, Bulgaria have scraped a 1-0 win over minnows Luxembourg and been held to a 0-0 draw by Albania.

The BFU's executive committee was expected to meet on April 25 to discuss a replacement for Stoichkov.

Celta sacked their previous coach Fernando Vazquez on Monday night, wldcup.com reports.

Stoichkov scored 36 goals in 83 appearances for Bulgaria but is probably best known for his time as a player at Barcelona, where he spent seven seasons in two spells during the 1990s.

During his time at the Nou Camp, the left-footed forward scored 162 goals in 336 games and picked up a host of winners medals, including five league titles and the 1992 European Cup.

He also won the Balon d'Or as the European Footballer of the Year in 1995 and finished as joint-top scorer at the 1994 World Cup in the USA.

Aside from playing for Barca, the much-travelled forward also represented the likes of CSKA Sofia in his homeland, Parma, Al-Nasar in Saudi Arabia, Japanese side Kashiwa Reysol and MLS outfits Chicago Fire and DC United.

He also had a decent record as coach of Bulgaria, and he leaves them well placed in Euro 2008 qualifying Group G to claim one of the two automatic berths for a place in Austria and Switzerland next summer.

Stoichkov will be presented to the media as Celta's new coach at midday on Wednesday.

Stoichkov is probably best known for his time as a player at Barcelona, where he spent seven seasons in two spells during the 1990s.

During his time at the Nou Camp, the left-footed Bulgarian scored 162 goals in 336 games and picked up a host of winners medals, including five league titles and the 1992 European Cup.

He also won the Balon d'Or as the European Footballer of the Year in 1995 and finished as joint-top scorer at the 1994 World Cup in the USA, sportinglife.com reports.

Source: agencies

Prepared by Alexander Timoshik
Pravda.ru

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