After pressure: Story of how the reserve Bobi Mihailov was pushed to start in Levski


Borislav Mihailov is one of the greatest goalkeepers in the history of Bulgarian football. His career will be best remembered for the summer of USA’94, when Bulgaria became fourth in the world, and he shined in the round of 16 against Mexico, when he saved two penalties (the Mexicans also missed a third, a shot on the crossbar by García Aspe). He was a junior at Levski, and then played for the men’s team for 8 years – from 1981 to 1989.

Borislav Mihailov becomes the starter in Levski with pressure

However, few people know that at the very beginning Mihailov was not the best goalkeeper in Levski, but was nevertheless imposed as a starter. That’s what he claims the journalist Petar Stamatov, who has been living in the USA for years, where he is the founder of the media portal On Facebook, he tells a story about the pressure when Mihailov was developing in football.

Was Mihailov a solid reserve of Stoyan Kovachev?

In his teenage years, Levski’s best goalkeeper was named Stoyan Kovachev, says Stamatov. He is recruited by Borislav Mihailov, as he is a firm starter with the “blues”, and the president of BFS is his reserve, Stamatov claims. However, in one final of the capital city championship, Mihailov was pressured to be a starter, which subsequently made Stoyan leave the team and continue his life beyond football, Petar Stamatov explains.

MORE: Actualno’s VAR: Hands down by Mr. Borislav Mihailov!

Borislav Mihailov

How does Kovachev’s life continue?

Stoyan Kovachev graduated from the Higher Mechanical and Electrical Engineering Institute (VMEI), which today is the Technical University in Sofia. Then he ended up in the USA, and later, having passed the sporting age, Kovachev returned to the field. The goalkeeper became the champion of Chicago for veterans with the local Bulgarian Slavia.

Champion in Chicago with a penalty shootout record

For several years, he has been irreplaceable in the team and set a record for saved penalties, having had a series of 7-8 penalty kicks without conceding a goal, claims Petar Stamatov. About him, the most titled Bulgarian coach in Chicago, Krasimir Ivanov – Kanata, says: “In my life, I don’t know another goalkeeper like him – smart and literate both at the goal and in life!”.

You can read Petar Stamatov’s entire story about Bobi Mihailov and Stoyan Kovachev in his Facebook post:


Peter Stamatov

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