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The 21-year-old football player of Lokomotiv (Sofia) Hristiyan Chipev is ambitious to establish himself with the “railwaymen”. At the moment, he is a reserve in Stanislav Genchev’s squad and has only made one appearance since the start of the season.
The youth of Levski, who is the successor of the former “blue” staff Tsvetomir Chipev, explained in an interview with BLITZ TV that he strives to achieve more in football than his father.
Hristiyan told our camera how a 15-year-old left for Germany and how Luboslav Penev later helped him develop.
– We are meeting with one of the talents of the native football – Hristiyan Chipev, who is part of Lokomotiv (Sofia) for the second year. We hope he still gets a chance and proves himself. Congratulations on the victory over Levski, how do you feel?
– I feel great. The team is very happy that we beat Levski. Levski is a big club. The mood in the team is perfect.
– Can you fly in the clouds after success?
– We are firmly on the ground. The coach is telling us this – to think about the next game, that it doesn’t matter what it was. We have to grow. We would be Levski and now we are pursuing the next goals.
– So far you have only one participation in the season. The competition in Lokomotiv is very serious, and is that why you can’t establish yourself?
– This is the coach’s decision. I am glad to be in Lokomotiv. The team is really great, there is a team. Our training is really perfect and I feel that I am developing. I’m just waiting for my chance. When I get it, I think I’ll grab it by the fistfuls.
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– What is your strong position on the field?
– Along the wing – both left and right. I can also play central striker. In the juniors, I played center forward.
– You are in Lokomotiv for the second year, before that you were in Tsarsko Selo. How did he end up with the “railway workers”?
– I had a contract with Tsarsko Selo, which was for one year. It expired and I ended up in Lokomotiv (Sofia) under our former coach Ivan Kolev. My former mentor in Tsarsko Selo, Lyuboslav Penev, is the person who offered me my first professional contract. I had returned to Germany where I played as a teenager. Penev wanted me on his team. I admire him very much, I am very grateful to him. He believed in me. It gave me a chance to debut against Ludogorets. However, during the winter training, I got injured, my knee cap came off. I spent three months recovering. It happened in training, but I don’t want to remember what happened. I pray to God that I don’t have any injuries.
– How did you cope in this difficult moment and did you have a mental breakdown?
– I told myself that I have to move on. This is what our profession has. I know the risks of football.
– Who was helping you then?
– My family was completely by my side. So does the physical therapist. I did the most correct rehabilitation. When I recovered, the coach was already Antoni Zdravkov. What happened had a very big role on my psyche. I didn’t give up, I didn’t go on the field timidly, but at 100%. I didn’t take care when I came back. There was no fear, I’m quite a brave boy. All pains and bad things remain in the past.
– Do you care about football in Germany?
– Yes, everything actually comes from there, because I was 15 years old when I left. For a year and a half I lived alone in a boarding school, in a small town near Munich. I studied and practiced, I learned the German language perfectly. I was born in Germany, in Chemnitz. My father Tsvetomir Chipev played in Germany. He first started in Oberhausen, then in Chemnitz, Erzgebirge (Aue), and then in Greece.
– After the boarding school, you move to FC Halescher from the city of Halle. Did you train with the first team?
– I went there when I was 17-18 years old, but I didn’t train with the men. They didn’t give young people a chance there at all. I played for the seniors – up to the age of 19. We were third in the standings, and no one signed or played in the first team.
– Are you going back to Germany, you must have a lot of acquaintances there?
– I don’t have time because of football. I have a hell of a lot of acquaintances. I have a friend who is currently playing in the Schalke 04 first team – Tom Krauss. He is a very humble boy. He was a captain in the youth team of Leipzig and we got to know each other during the control matches. Football makes a lot of friends.
– Is your goal to return to Germany?
– Yes, that’s my goal. I have followed in my father’s footsteps and want to achieve more than him. I’m so thankful for him because my family is my biggest support. I thank God that I have them.
– Along with him, you must have become passionate about the idea of Levski, and also played in Levski’s school? How many years has he been training at “Gerena”?
– I started on Gerena when I was 4 years old. That’s where I took my first steps towards football. Vesco Serbakov was my first coach, then Elin Topuzakov and Dimitar Telkiyski. I was at Gerena until I was 15, then I went to Germany. Levski’s school was then the best in Bulgaria. However, I left because I was very ambitious to go abroad, and I am a person who likes to try new things. In Germany I saw how things really are, it has to be seen and felt. You see how you hunger and thirst inside to crush and conquer. That’s why Germany has results. My favorite Bayern (Munich) wins 7:0, 8:0… if they can, they will also score 15 goals against the opponent. They have no pity. It’s just a mentality. They want to crush all the way. Many times we went with my father to the Allianz Arena, we support Bayern.
– And do you go to Levski matches at Gerena?
– I go when I can. But I have a new favorite team – Lokomotiv (Sofia). Yes, Levski is close to my heart, I am a junior at this club.
– Do you want to wear the blue team again one day?
– Of course. Time will tell. I will be happy if one day I get a contract from Levski and play there. I have friends there – Marin Petkov and Patrick-Gabriel Galchev.
– Does the support of Lokomotiv fans impress you?
– They are great, I congratulate them. The support they give to the team is irreplaceable. These are great.
– What kind of person are you off the field, what do you like to do in your free time?
– I like to be with my family. I have hobbies, as a child I used to go fishing. I like to climb mountains. I have climbed Black Peak many times. I love forests, Bulgaria has a phenomenal nature that we must protect.
PLAMEN SLAVOV/BLITZ SPORTS
Cinematographer: KALOYAN GENCHEV
Editing: ANTON TONCHEV
Photos: GEORGI KOLEV