Jordan Letchkov's Golden Summer
Jordan Letchkov was one of those fetish players that we got to see during the United States World Cup 1994. That summer, Hristo Stoichkov affirmed: "God is Bulgarian". Believe or not in this statement depends on each one, but that during that month a light fell on the Bulgarian National Team and the figure of the Sliven it's undeniable.
The Bulgarian team is considered today as a second or third order team in Europe.. The poor performance in the playoffs, both in the World Cups and in the European Cups played, they have made this selection lately not qualify for any major tournaments.
But there was a time when this was not so. Bulgaria was a fighting team, that he played on equal terms with anyone and that left the world astonished in the United States Cup 1994. A competition that, despite not winning, It bears his name and that of the other star player of the team with permission of Stoichkov himself, that of Jordan Letchkov.
Beginnings of the legend of Jordan Letchkov
Jordan Letchkov debuted at 22 years with the Bulgarian soccer team against Greece. A match that ended with a score of 4-0 in his favor. But nevertheless, its beginnings go back to Sliven (Bulgaria), your natal city, in which he began his sports career and where he also wanted to finish it in 2004. The green of the OFC Sliven 2000 saw the birth of a star that would remain there until the early 90, by which time he was ready to take a major leap in his career.
He is signed by CSKA of Sofia, with which he would win his first league title after winning the Cup years ago with Sliven. By then, He was already famous for his first appearances with the Bulgarian national team, but nevertheless, could not attend the World Italy 90.
Before making himself known in the next World Cup edition, in which Bulgaria would play a revelation team role alongside others such as Sweden or Romania, Letchkov would be captured by Hamburg scouts in 1992. This is how Letchkov landed in Germany to put himself under the command of Egon Coordes, where he would coincide with his compatriot Pavel Dotchev. His quality on the pitch was already outlining him, before the start of the campaign 92/93, as a starter.
The 15 August 1992, a young man Jordan Letchkov would appear in the starting eleven to host Stuttgart on the first day of the Bundesliga. The clash would be resolved with a draw to one, but the forward's performances were remarkable and were repeated throughout the following matches. His best actions came in the seventh and eighth days of the domestic championship, in which the Bulgarian scored against Karlsruher and Wattenscheid respectively. Letchkov he had won over the fans of the Volksparkstation.
And the golden age arrived
The Bulgarian national team began its journey in the competition of the 94 with Jordan Letchkov among their ranks and getting that goal at the last minute gave him the victory for 1-2 to Bulgaria in the Park of the Princes. Thus they signed their pass to the World Cup. The beginning of the craziest summer in the history of his football was whistled. The Balkans would not only be able to achieve their first victory in a World Cup, Against all odds, they would also reach the semifinals.
That 10 of July, In New York, in a semifinals of the World Cup of the USA of the 94. The exhibition had started. They faced the favorites, to the german team, but nevertheless, no one in concentration felt any fear. Unlike, They had raffled Mexico exceeding the expectations of the fans and they knew that this time it was not going to be less.
The second half began and the Bulgarians were on the ropes, but in barely 15 minutes they knew how to turn the scoreboard with a free kick of Stoichkov that managed to match the luminous. The Germans had not even been able to recover from the shock when Letchkov sealed the encounter with a historic header. In Bulgaria it was already dark and you had to get up early the next day, but nobody seemed to care. Thousands of Bulgarians took to the streets to celebrate in honor of the "unstoppable" until dawn.
Only the Italy of Roberto Baggio could end the dream of the Stoichkov gang in semifinals. The third and fourth place faced another of the revelations of the tournament, Brolin's Sweden and company. But nevertheless, after seeing his dream shattered, that war no longer mattered and the Bulgarians got carried away and fell for a blunt 4-0.
Y, just like summer loves, the Cup came to an end. It was resolved with a victory for the Brazilian team on penalties against the Italians. But what everyone remembers from that historic championship is the sensational Bulgarian team from that summer of 94. A selection that taught us that, in football and in life, everything is possible.