Anton Nedyalkov dropped out of the group of the Bulgarian national football team for the visit of Serbia on Sunday, the football union announced to BTA. The left-back, who returned to action for the representative team after a year’s absence, did not board the bus to Leskovac due to a muscle problem in his legs and it was judged that there was no need to risk his health unnecessarily given his recent return to the pitch.
Nedyalkov becomes the second player in the selection of the new coach Ilian Iliev, leaving the squad after the suspended Valentin Antov. Nedyalkov’s injury is from the match on Thursday, and in the same match with Hungary, which ended 2:2, the player from the Italian Cremonese received a red card.
The defender’s last game until that day was a goalless draw with Luxembourg last November. The 30-year-old hunter has been tipped as a fundamental player in Bulgaria’s selection by each of the team’s recent coaches, as he can be used in many positions.
Bulgaria will look for a first win on Sunday at 16:00 in Leskovac in their final Group G match of the Germany 2004 qualifiers. The Lions have three draws and four defeats in their seven games so far. Serbia, on the other hand, have 13 points and a draw on Sunday will send them to the finals.
The curious thing is that the Bulgarian national team will play in a populated place, which is only 163 km from Sofia. This is the closest away game ever in the team’s history, since the last match in which the Bulgarian national team traveled by bus was in 1999. The Greece-Bulgaria match was then played in Kozani, nearly 5 hours from Sofia, and ended 1:0 for the hosts.