OFC Pirin Blagoevgrad

Football club
Pirin Blagoevgrad
FC Pirin Blagoevgrad.png
Full nameФутболен клуб „Пирин“ АД
Futbolen klub Pirin AD
(Pirin Football Club)
Nickname(s)Орлетата (The Eagles)
Founded1922; 100 years ago (1922)
GroundStadion Hristo Botev
Capacity7,500
OwnerPFC PIRIN 22 JSCo, 200,000 shares (90%)
OFK Pirin EOOD 22,000 shares (10%)[1]
ChairmanPaul Belogour
Head coachHristo Yanev
LeagueFirst League
2021–22First League, 12th of 14
WebsiteClub website
Home colours
Away colours
Third colours
Hristo Botev Stadium

Futbolen klub Pirin (Bulgarian: Футболен клуб „Пирин“), also known as Pirin Blagoevgrad is a Bulgarian football club based in Blagoevgrad, which currently competes in the First League, the top division of Bulgarian football.

The club was founded in 2008, after a merger between two clubs from Blagoevgrad, Pirin 1922 and PFC Pirin Blagoevgrad. By an official court decision later that year, the club was announced as a historical successor of the club records of the former FC Pirin, founded in 1922. In 2011, following the bankruptcy of the entity, which represented the football club, Pirin's football department was merged once again with Perun Kresna, to eventually become OFC Pirin.

The club's name is adopted from Pirin, a mountain range in southwestern Bulgaria. Their home ground is the Stadion Hristo Botev in Blagoevgrad with a capacity of 7,500 spectators. Pirin's nickname is Orletata (The Eaglets) and their kit colours are green and white.

To date, the club has four domestic cup finals and most notably, enjoys high praise for its development of football players, as several noted Bulgarian footballers were produced by Pirin's youth academy. Among them are the 1994 FIFA World Cup bronze medallists Petar Mihtarski and Ivaylo Andonov, as well as former Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov, who won two Premier League titles and was the 2010-11 Premier League top goalscorer.

Pirin share a regional rivalry with Marek Dupnitsa, as the two clubs are among the most successful ones from Southwestern Bulgaria.

History

FC Pirin

One of FC Pirin Blagoevgrad's predecessors, FC Pirin, was founded in 1922. FC Pirin has played more than 20 seasons in the top flight and has competed twice in the European football competitions with one participation in the UEFA Cup and one participation in the Cup Winners' Cup respectively. The club's first participation in the UEFA tournaments was not promising. In 1985, Pirin faced the then reigning Swedish champion Hammarby IF. The first game in Blagoevgrad, ended with a 1–3 loss. The second game in Sweden was also a defeat – 0–4 and Pirin were out of the European competitions. Pirin's best season in the Bulgarian top division was in the 1984–85 season, where they finished at 5th place at the end of the season. The club was also three times runner-up of the Bulgarian Cup. Also, Pirin's youth academy is attributed as being one of the best developers of young and unknown players in Bulgaria. Among the club's famous players are Dimitar Berbatov, Spas Delev, Petar Mihtarski, Ivaylo Andonov, Ivan Tsvetkov, Vladislav Zlatinov and Petar Zlatinov.

On August 18, 2006, after failing to arrange some debts and signals of corruption, Pirin was expelled from the A PFG, the team's results for the season were annulled, and the club was relegated to the Bulgarian South-West V AFG. However, after two years, Pirin won the South-West V AFG and the club returned for the upcoming season of the Western B PFG.

Unification

In December 2008, Pirin, which competed in the Western B PFG, was merged with PFC Pirin Blagoevgrad, (former FC Makedonska Slava), which played in the A PFG after a significant pressure from the supporters in the town. The new club was named FC Pirin Blagoevgrad and was soon proclaimed as a holder of the club records of the former FC Pirin, which competed for more than 20 seasons in the top flight.[2] FC Pirin's West B PFG place was taken by FC Bansko. Then, Nikolay Galchev appointed Petar Mihtarski as a manager of the club. A few months later, under Naci Şensoy's management, the successes followed-up and Pirin qualified for the final of the Bulgarian Cup, eliminating subsequently on their way CSKA Sofia and Levski Sofia. In the final match played at the Georgi Asparuhov Stadium in Sofia, Pirin were eliminated after a 3–0 defeat against Litex Lovech.

OFK Pirin

In the foremath of the 2011–12 season, Pirin Blagoevgrad failed to receive a professional license for the A Group. However, due to their financial struggles they were also rejected to participate in the South-West V AFG. Later that year, they acquired the license of Perun Kresna. The team finished 2011-12 season as Perun, but for 2012-13 the team was renamed to Obshtinski futbolen klub Pirin (Bulgarian: Общиснки футболен клуб „Пирин“), meaning Pirin Minicipal Football Club, as the club was owned by Blagoevgrad Municipality.

In 2015, the club achieved promotion to the A Group after a four-year absence from top-flight football. The 2015-16 season ended in a 8th place finish out of 10 teams in a modified season format. The next season (2016–17), Pirin again managed to avoid relegation. However the team was relegated from the A Group after the 2017-18 season.

On 11 June 2019, OFK Pirin secured a one-year sponsorship agreement and advertising partnership with the investment company Emirates Wealth EAD.[3] In July, Blagoevgrad Municipality approved a business plan by the company discussing the future development of the club, in particular the partnership between the two sides, phases in acquiring participatory management, investment schemes, club finances and aims.[4] The plan saw Emirates Wealth EAD become a majority owner, as it acquired 75% of the OFK Pirin's shares, with 25% remaining in Blagoevgrad Municipality's ownership.[5] Part of obtaining participatory management saw the creation of a new association, a joint-stock company named Futbolen klub Pirin AD (Bulgarian: Футболен клуб „Пирин“ АД), meaning Pirin Football Club, where OFK Pirin, owned by the municipality, was merged into.[1]

In 2021, Pirin managed to return to the First League after three years of absence.

Colours and badge

Currently, the team's home kit is green and the away kit is white. Various combinations of green and white have been used throughout the club's history.

Honours

Domestic

Second League:

Bulgarian Cup:

European Record

Season Competition Round Country Club Home Away Aggregate
1985–86 UEFA Cup 1 Sweden Hammarby 1–3 0–4 1–7
1994–95 Cup Winners' Cup QR Liechtenstein Schaan 3–0 1–0 4–0
1 Greece Panathinaikos 0–2 1–6 1–8

Players

Current squad

As of 20 October 2022[6]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK Bulgaria BUL Mario Kirev
2 DF Japan JPN Yuki Aizu
3 DF Bulgaria BUL Petar Zanev
5 DF Bulgaria BUL Nikolay Bodurov (captain)
6 DF Bulgaria BUL Yuliyan Popev
7 FW Bulgaria BUL Kitan Vasilev
8 MF Bulgaria BUL Emil Yanchev
9 FW Bulgaria BUL Preslav Yordanov
10 MF Bulgaria BUL Slavcho Shokolarov
11 FW Bulgaria BUL Andrey Yordanov
12 GK Ukraine UKR Maksym Kovalyov
13 DF Bulgaria BUL Kaloyan Todorov
16 DF Bulgaria BUL Vergil Yanev
No. Pos. Nation Player
17 MF Bulgaria BUL Radoslav Tsonev
18 MF Bulgaria BUL Martin Smolenski (on loan from CSKA Sofia)
19 DF Ukraine UKR Vyacheslav Velyev
20 MF Latvia LVA Cebrail Makreckis
21 GK Bulgaria BUL Yanko Georgiev
23 MF Japan JPN Kazuki Takahashi
25 DF Bulgaria BUL Ilian Kostov
26 MF Bulgaria BUL Ivan Tasev
29 FW Bulgaria BUL Stanislav Kostov
31 DF Bulgaria BUL Krasimir Stanoev
38 DF Bulgaria BUL Aleksandar Dyulgerov
45 DF Bulgaria BUL Hristofor Hubchev
73 MF Bulgaria BUL Ventsislav Bengyuzov

For recent transfers, see Transfers summer 2022 and Transfers winter 2022–23.

Foreign players

Up to twenty foreign nationals can be registered and given a squad number for the first team in the Bulgarian First League, however only five non-EU nationals can be used during a match day. Those non-EU nationals with European ancestry can claim citizenship from the nation their ancestors came from. If a player does not have European ancestry he can claim Bulgarian citizenship after playing in Bulgaria for 5 years.

EU Nationals

EU Nationals (Dual citizenship)

Non-EU Nationals

Past seasons

League positions

First Professional Football League (Bulgaria)Second Professional Football League (Bulgaria)First Professional Football League (Bulgaria)Bulgarian A Football GroupBulgarian B Football GroupBulgarian V AFG

Last Seasons

Season League Place W D L GF GA Pts Bulgarian Cup
2012–13 V Group (III) 3 19 5 6 69 26 62 not qualified
2013–14 V Group 1 25 4 1 87 6 79 not qualified
2014–15 B Group (II) 2 17 10 3 52 15 61 First round
2015–16 A Group (I) 8 5 11 16 27 45 26 First round
2016–17 First League (I) 10 12 7 13 41 44 43 Quarterfinals
2017–18 First League 14 7 9 16 29 42 30 First round
2018–19 Second League (II) 13 9 4 17 29 49 31 First round
2019–20 Second League 11 6 7 7 24 29 25 Preliminary round
2020–21 Second League 1 20 5 5 66 26 65 Round of 32
2021–22 First League (I) Qualified
Green marks a season followed by promotion, red a season followed by relegation.

Managers

Dates Name Honours
2011–2014 Bulgaria Kostadin Gerganchev 99991 V AFG title
2014–2015 Bulgaria Yordan Samokovliyski 9999 promotion to A Group
2015 Bulgaria Ivo Trenchev (interim)
2015 Bulgaria Nedelcho Matushev
2015–2016 KosovoTurkey Naci Şensoy
2016−2017 Bulgaria Stefan Genov
2017−2018 Bulgaria Milen Radukanov Relegation to Second Professional League
2018–2019 Bulgaria Petar Zlatinov
2019–2019 Bulgaria Ivan Stoychev
2019 Bulgaria Ivo Trenchev
2019–2021 Northern Ireland Warren Feeney 1st place promotion to First Professional League
2021–2022 Bulgaria Radoslav Mitrevski
2022 Bulgaria Krasimir Petrov
2022 Bulgaria Vasil Petrov (interim)
2022– Bulgaria Hristo Yanev

References

  1. ^ a b ""Емирейтс Уелт" придобива собствеността в "Пирин" след одобрението на общината" (in Bulgarian). Dnevnik.bg. 27 September 2019. Retrieved 12 January 2021.
  2. ^ "История". pirinfc.com. Archived from the original on 16 September 2011. Retrieved 11 October 2011.
  3. ^ "ОФК Пирин ЕООД Благоевград влиза в рекламно партньорство с Емирейтс". fcpirin.com (in Bulgarian). 11 June 2019. Retrieved 12 January 2021.
  4. ^ "Планът за развитие на ФК Пирин Благоевград". fcpirin.com (in Bulgarian). 1 August 2019. Retrieved 12 January 2021.
  5. ^ "От днес ОФК „Пирин" – Благоевград официално е с нов собственик" (in Bulgarian). Radio Blagoevgrad. 26 July 2019. Retrieved 12 January 2021.
  6. ^ "Players". fcpirin.com (in Bulgarian). Pirin Blagoevgrad. Retrieved 4 August 2021.

External links

  • Official website (in Bulgarian)
  • Pirin - news and results
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First Professional Football League
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* In the brackets is the number of seasons in the league.
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Bulgarian football championship seasons
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  • v
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First Professional Football League
2022–23 clubs
BG Champ cup.png
Stadiums
Former clubs*
Former clubs (from Macedonia & Thrace)
Competition
Associated competitions
Seasons
* In the brackets is the number of seasons in the league.