Stoycho Mladenov - official website» Димитровград


Biography As a player Dimitrovgrad Beroe CSKA Belenenses Vitoria Estoril Bulgaria national team As a coach Olhanense CSKA Belenenses CSKA Bulgaria Under 21 Bulgaria national team CSKA Litex Kastoria Kalithea Veria CSKA Al Ahly Jeddah Al Ettifaq ENPPI CSKA CSKA Career as player Successes CV

The story of one of the golden Bulgarian football players started in Dimitrovgrad. It is at that time that the Mladenovi family left the Macedonia region – one of the poorest parts of Bulgaria – with the aim of finding a better living. The parents of Stoycho Mladenov found a job in the newly-found concrete factory in Dimitrovgrad.

“I started playing football when I was seven years old”- remembers Mladenov – “My first coach was Tenyo Milkov.  He was the first to notice my qualities and made me put more efforts in the trainings. Our team finished first in the town championship and that happened to be my first cup. There are still photos of me at the school. At that time the coaches of the football academy of “Dimitrovgrad” noticed me. Then I started to play in an organized manner. Not much time passed when I received the first invitation to play in the youth national team. I was 16 years old at that time. Meanwhile the coach Toncho Prodanov used me sometimes in the first team of Dimitrovgrad . Since I was too young – sometimes I played there, sometimes – in the youth team.”

One of the hardest things in the life of Mladenov is making the first step in football. His father Dimitar insists on following the path he had set up – studying day and night. The most strict teachers of Stoycho were his two sisters who examined him almost every hour. “ I loved football so much that I skipped lessons all the time and got many penalties respectively – continues Mladenov  – I was not even allowed to go out. My sisters stayed in the yard and did not let me go outside. Once I wanted  to go to the toilet, which was in the yard. I was barefooted, with short trousers and a T-shirt. I put it around my hand and broke the window. I passed through it to go to the training. There was blood all over me because of the glasses. The stadium was several kilometers from my home and in order to reach it I had to change two buses. I had no money so I ran to the stadium. I was scared to go back till it did not get dark in order my father not to see me. I was waiting in front of the window till my parents went to bed. But I was impatient and entered. My father started shouting at me, but I found the power to retort. I told him that I want to follow my dream  and that it is to play football. And that if somebody is to be blamed for me being unhappy, this is exactly him. At that moment he stood silent. He never stopped me anymore, and even the opposite – supported me. I got support also from my mother and from my sisters. I will always be grateful to them.”

Mladenov is invited for the first time in the national team of Bulgaria by Hristo Andonov – Peleto.  The group gathers on a camp in the town of Maritsa where it started training for a tournament in Turkey. The hosts required that 18 people took part and Andonov had invited 20. The team started playing friendly matches and at the end of the camp Andonov released Stoycho Mladenov and Plamen Tsvetkov who later became a football player of Levski. „You are an infertile player and cannot score goals” , said Andonov to Stoycho.

„It was an awfully difficult decision for me – remembers Mladenov – He said in front of the whole team that I am incapable. I know best how I got it over. But this is how he thought. The truth is that I scored a lot in “Dimitrovgrad” and at the end of the year three teams showed interest in  me – CSKA, Levski and Beroe.

“Dimitrovgrad” becomes too tight for Mladenov after his good plays. One of the most famous football people in Stara Zagora Boncho Merdzhanov  decides to take Stoycho in Beroe. He had discovered one of the best football players of Bulgaria – Petko Petkov, Boris Kirov, Georgi and Dinko Dimitrovi, Petar Zhekov. But Mladenov does not want to leave Dimitrovgrad in the beginning .
„Stoycho had not even gone in the army, he is just 17 years old, but he was already the star of the team  - remembers Dobri Dobrev who managed the football section of the sport club Dimitrovrad – But Beroe insisted strongly on taking him. I wanted to send him to CSKA because they showed quite an interest in him, The boss of CSKA Stefan Bozhkov insisted personally on taking him. I tried to persuade his father but he was against Stoycho going to Sofia. I said to Dimitar – “You are making a big mistake! You will slow . his development with two years! Stoycho will become a national player and will be a football player №1 in Bulgaria!” I just did not know that he will be a national coach as well. But at the end Mladenov goes to Stara Zagora and starts playing there. I worked as a chief civil engineer in the “Construction Mechanisation” department and one day we decided to “steal” him. I was at an object at the Chervena Reka dam. I hid Stoycho for several days in the wagon where I lived. He ate at the canteen. The only thing that left was to take his football boots from under the bed at his home. Just when the season was to start I had to enroll him in Dimitrovgrad in order Beroe to be able to take him. But our plan had been discovered. I received an order from the mayor of Dimitrovgrad to visit him at 16 o’clock together with all the people that are around me. That is how he was made to go to Beroe. After two years in Stara Zagora and a punishment my forecast become true – he went to CSKA.”

„The first secretary of the party Kurtsanov gathered us, my father was also present – adds Mladenov to the story – My future was to be decided. It was a long quarrel. Finally my father insisted on me going to Beroe. The idea to go from Dimitrovgrad directly to CSKA could not be fulfilled. I postponed with three years my first visit to the Bulgarian Army stadium”.