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PFC Cherno More Varna, 2007-2008 Away Shirt

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This shirt was acquired by way of a female accountant at PFC Cherno More Varna’s Ticha stadium during my visit. The shirt is made by Bulgarian manufacturer Tomy Sport, and while this may not be a household name in the West the material is still suitable for a football shirt. While the fabric is similar to the “Puma” Lokomotiv Plovdiv shirt I have, this material is softer and with a matte finish–similar in many ways to Adidas shirts produced in Turkey under the Adidas license in the late 1990s. The badge and sponsor are sewn into the white and blue fabric, making it a one of a kind piece produced specifically for Cherno More Varna. The accountant in question also had a match worn piece available which I eschewed due to its prohibitive price–its material was the same, which leads me to believe that Tomy Sport replicas are the same quality as player shirts.

 

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CSKA Sofia, 2007-08 Home L/S Shirt, Lanzaat 27 UEFA Cup Matchworn

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A great CSKA Sofia home shirt by Uhlsport of the team’s classic red kit, with all the markings of a match worn UEFA cup piece. The number 27 and name Lanzaat (For Dutch defender Quido Lanzaat) are both player size and screen printed on, while the UEFA cup badge is applied to the right sleeve. Also, the Uhlsport logo on the right sleeve is wearing off a bit. The shirt’s fabric is of standard quality.

CSKA were eliminated from the UEFA cup by Toulouse FC in a heartbreaking first round tie in the 2007-08 competition as a stoppage time goal sealed the victory on away goals for the French side–below is an image of Denny Lanzaat in a short-sleeved version of this shirt, as well as one of a CSKA player wearing an example of this shirt in action. It was purchased at the CSKA club shop for a modest price while on a visit to the team’s Balgarska Armia Stadium during the summer–I suppose they were selling off excess shirts in a bid for extra revenue.

 

 

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Image Courtesy of: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lanzaat.jpg

 

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Image Courtesy of: http://www.goal.com/en/match/48420/cska-sofia-vs-cliftonville/report

 

Neftochimic Burgas, Year Unknown L/S, Number 9 Match Worn

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I found this nice match worn Neftochimic Burgas shirt online following my visit to the Lazur Neftochimic stadium where I was sadly unable to obtain a Neftochimic shirt (I did, however, find a Chernomorets shirt with the same sponsor). This is definitely a really nice shirt, starting with the green and black color combination. Not only is it longsleeved but it is also a classic puma design, one of my favorites from the mid 1990s. This classic template was used across Europe, most famously by the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, and Eintracht Frankfurt. I also like the screen printed number 9 on the back for sentimental personal reasons–after all, I played (and still play when I get the chance) as a striker. I’ll grab a few goals here and there, but don’t look for me to beat anyone with my dribbling skills.

 

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Chernomorets Burgas 2007-08, Home L/S Shirt, Portochanov 13

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I was presented with this shirt following my visit to Chernomorets’ stadium in Burgas. The navy blue fabric is fairly thick, no doubt because it is not made by a well known Western brand but rather by the Italian brand Sportika. Still, it is not of poor quality by any means. The shirt sponsor is the same as that of Neftochimic Burgas, the team whose ground they shared at the time of my visit. The name and number are heat pressed onto the shirt in official size and style; the fact that the name–Portochanov–is in cyrillic adds a special bit of authenticity to this shirt–and raises more than a few eyebrows when worn.

Before getting this shirt I still remember pointing out “Austin, Texas” (Остин, Тексас) on the Bulgarian language map in the team’s offices to a friendly club official who wondered where I was visiting from. Now, I present this shirt from Burgas to Austin to you.

 

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Slavia Sofia 2008-09 Home L/S Shirt, Y. Petkov 35 Match Worn

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This is a great Slavia Sofia shirt made by Asics, the fact that it is long-sleeved and carries Yordan Petkov‘s number 35 on the back is proof–for me at least–that it is match worn. This shirt is special for me since a good friend found it for me after my visit to Slavia’s Ovcha Kupel Stadium in Sofia. Although Asics is primarily a volleyball and running brand, the fabric for this football shirt is, literally, as smooth as silk. The simple yet classy Slavia badge–fitting for Sofia’s oldest side–is embroidered onto the shirt. The name and number are screen printed.

As for Yordan Petkov the defender was capped four times for Bulgaria’s nation side and, like Zdravko Lazarov, also played in Turkey (for Samsunspor in 2005-2006). He is currently the assistant coach at Slavia.

 

My Unending Thanks to Yana Raycheva For This Shirt.

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Lokomotiv Plovdiv 2010 Home Shirt, Lazarov 77

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While visiting Lokomotiv’s Stadium–the Lauta–I was lucky enough to have this shirt delivered to me. There was no stadium store, so I was at the mercy of  a fan who had connections with the team. The shirt is the  classic black and white striped kit that Lokomotiv have worn for years, and sports the beautiful Lokomotiv badge as well. Although the shirt carries the Puma logo it seems to be a fake, with no inner tags. Despite that, the fabric is very similar to some late 1990s Adidas shirts as well as a few real Puma shirts from the late 1990s as well. Because of the nice fabric, I decided not to write this shirt off whole-sale. It is also not unknown for smaller clubs to actually use fake shirts on the pitch–I’ve seen it in the Turkish lower divisions. Also, when factories for various brands are located in third countries like Bulgaria and Turkey shirts can be produced at the same level of quality as the originals. Indeed, Zdravko Lazarov–the Bulgarian striker whose name is on the back of this shirt along with the number 77 (sewn into the fabric)–is wearing (what I assume to be) this shirt in a club photo.

As a fan of Turkish football it is a strange coincidence for me that Lazarov played for 7 years in Turkey from 2000 to 2007 with Kocaelispor, Gaziantepspor and Kayseri Erciyesspor–these were the most productive years of his career as he scored 60 goals in 197 appearances. Amazingly, Lazarov is still playing in the Bulgarian league as of the 2013-2014 season for Lokomotiv Plovdiv at 38 years young.

 

My Thanks to Yana Raycheva Whose Translations Were Invaluable in Acquiring This Shirt.

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The Beautiful Lokomotiv Plovdiv Badge, With Cryllic “L”

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A Club Photo of Zdravko Lazarov

 

Slavia Stadium/Ovcha Kupel Stadium, Sofia, Bulgaria – PFC Slavia Sofia

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Slavia Sofia are one of those teams that I have a soft spot for, in part due to their history. They are, after all, the oldest team in Sofia. Founded in 1913, Slavia have won 7 Bulgarian championships and 7  Bulgarian cups. Their Ovcha Kupel stadium has a capacity of 15,992 and was built in 1930; it has undergone three renovations recently, all before my visit. As such, my pictures are of the current state of the stadium. I visited on a quiet New Year’s day in 2010, when the stadium was covered with snow. A romantic notion to say the least. My Slavia shirt can be seen here.

At least I know where I am:

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Its New Years day in Sofia:

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The author, trying to stay warm:

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