Ludogorets in Spain: A story with bad memories and heavy losses

Ludogorets in Spain: A story with bad memories and heavy losses
Ludogorets in Spain: A story with bad memories and heavy losses

Ludogorets surprised the whole of Europe a week ago when they beat Jose Mourinho’s Roma 2-1 and recorded one of their most glorious nights.

Of course, with a similar start to the Europa League groups, the expectations for the team from Razgrad are already higher, but today is the turn for the second test, and according to many, it will be the most brutal of the entire group phase. The native champions visit Betis, and the match between “Benito Villamarin” in Seville starts at 10:00 PM Bulgarian time and you will be able to watch it on bTV Action.

And the test turned out to be very difficult for several reasons. Among them are completely objective factors such as the more serious class of Betis, the excellent form of the Andalusians, who occupy the temporary third position in La Liga, as well as the dedication of the Spanish teams in the Europa League – something that the representatives of the other major leagues cannot match. they brag.

There is also another detail that makes us think that Ludogorets will have an extremely difficult time in Seville, and the reason is the whole history of Razgrad’s trips to Spain.

In 11 seasons in Europe, Ludogorets recorded glorious results in football powerhouses such as Italy, Germany and France, and played one dramatic game at Anfield, decided in the last minutes, but never did anything memorable when against him Spanish opponent.

Until now, Ludogorets has had three visits to Spain, in which he has not scored a single goal, but has conceded 11. And in their total of six matches against the Spaniards, Razgrad have six defeats and a goal difference of 1:17.

The Spanish history of Ludogorets went through losses with 0:4 and 0:6, but it started with a defeat of 0:3 in the middle of Sofia.

Then, in a match of the round of 16 of the Europa League – the furthest stage of a tournament that Ludogorets has reached to this day, the Bulgarian champions faced Valencia. At that time, the stadium in Razgrad had a far different look than the one where Roma were defeated a week ago, which is why the Bulgarian representative hosted in Sofia.

In front of the full stands of “Vasil Levski”, the guests quickly took the lead through a goal by Barakhan, but in the 24th minute, the experienced Seydou Keita hit Roman Beziak in the penalty area and the referee not only awarded a penalty in favor of Ludogorets, but also showed a red card to the former Barcelona player.

Behind the ball stood Roman Bezyak, who instead of equalizing with the already numerical advantage on the field for Ludogorets, missed the penalty kick. And the 10 from Valencia used their chance, with goals from Cartabia and Philip Senderos, they won 3:0 and decided everything in the match. The protocol rematch of “Mestaya” was won 1:0 after a goal by Paco Alcacer.

A few months later, Ludogorets was already part of the groups of the Champions League, and there the draw gave them a clash with the most titled team on the international scene – Real (Madrid). At the time, there were four fewer Champions League trophies in the Kings’ window, but they were the reigning champions of Europe, with Cristiano Ronaldo, Modric, Benzema and all the glitter in their squad.

It was in the sixth minute of that “Vasil Levski” match that Ludogorets scored his only goal against the Spaniards. Marcelinho did it, and in the next 20 minutes, Cristiano Ronaldo needed two penalties to equalise.

Real had to struggle a lot, but still, in the 77th minute, Karim Benzema, who came from the bench, brought the victory with 2:1.

That was not the case two months later at the Santiago Bernabeu, where Real did their job without any problems. He won 4:0, and the task was made easier by Marcelinho, who this time, instead of scoring, took an early penalty and earned himself a straight red card.

If that 0:4 loss at the “Bernabeu” seemed in the order of things in view of the classes of the two teams, then there is simply nothing to justify Ludogorets for what happened a few years later in Barcelona.

But not against the local giant of Camp Nou, but against Espanyol, who scored six goals and humiliatingly defeated the home champion. The two teams were drawn in the same group in the Europa League, and in their first meeting in Razgrad, Espanyol were struggling for survival at the bottom of La Liga, but still managed to steal a 1-0 victory.

But while the match on home soil was equal, there was no mercy in Spain. Ludogorets was totally wasted – two red cards until the 34th minute, three goals in the first and three in the second half, and the difference could have been bigger.

The game equaled that 0-6 defeat by Arsenal in the Champions League, but this time it was not inflicted by a multimillion-dollar selection from the Premier League, but by a team at the bottom of the La Liga standings. In fact, at the end of the same season, Espanyol were relegated. And that 0:6 in 2019 was the last meeting of Ludogorets with Spaniards in this nightmarish series.

Now, however, fate sends the champions again against a rival from this country, and today they visit “Benito Villamarin” in Seville and will try to rewrite their dark and heavy statistics.

Photo: Getty Images

The article is in bulgaria

Tags: Ludogorets Spain story bad memories heavy losses

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