A Swarm Of Bees - EURO 2020 (EP 12)
Kicking our asses all over Europe.
Before going to the big tournament, let's have brief history lesson about Bulgaria's
best ever performances. Of course the team is well know for his 4th place at World Cup 1994
in the USA, where Stoichkov & co.
managed to escape from a tough group with the teams of Nigeria (0-3), Greece (4-0) and Argentina (2-0)
to make history by eliminating Mexico
in the round of 16 in a penalty drama
and after it beating the reigning world champions Germany
to surprise the whole world. The team was robbed against Italy
in the semi-final as the whole world saw a second penalty
in the 70 minute for the team. The whole world except the referee. So 4th place in the world
One more time Bulgaria
had reached the round of 16
in the World Cup - in Mexico 1986.
However our record in the Euro Championships
is not so good in recent history as we made just 2 appearances in the last 12 tournaments
- in 1996 & 2004
. Before that the club has reached 1/4 final in 1968
but back then the championship was different and only small number of teams played.
So - we're the biggest underdog. We knew that and will try to at least have fun. We didn't have any expectations, but still we all wanted something magical to happen.
Before the tournament we will play 3 friendlies - against Ireland, Poland & Finland
. Two of our brightest talents had injuries
that put them off for the tournament as Minchev
and Stanislav Ivanov
will have to wait for another big forum to play.
After the surprising qualification and the 3 wins from 5 matches
the spirits were high and in all the country people was talking for another miraculous tournament as the one in 1994.
This was the selected team to represent Bulgaria
(28, Ludogorets Razgrad (Bulgaria))
(25, Astra Giurgiu (Romania))
(22, CSKA 1948 (Bulgaria))
(29, Stade Brestois 29 (France))
(34, Esteghlal (Iran))[
b]Vasil Bozhikov (32, Slovan Bratislava (Slovakia))
(28, Ludogorets Razgrad (Bulgaria))
(27, Brighton (England))
(31, OSK Sepsi (Romania))
(28, Levski Sofia (Bulgaria))
(26, Levski Sofia (Bulgaria))
(29, Arsenal Tula (Russia))
(26, CSKA-Sofia (Bulgaria))
(27, Pescara (Italy))
(25, Inter Zapresic (Croatia))
(31, Lokomotiv Plovdiv (Bulgaria))
(23, Midtjylland (Denmark))
(28, Videoton (Hungary))
(27, Botev Plovdiv (Bulgaria))
(23, Cagliari (Italy))
(34, Pescara (Italy))
(31, Spezia (Itally))
(28, Levski Sofia (Bulgaria))
Bulgaria vs. Ireland
We dominated the match against another team competing in the Euro 2020
. They manage to get a draw only because we get a silly penalty. Our team looks really good and maybe, just maybe the whole nation will have something to cheer about in the next month. Kraev
with the goal and POTM
with the assist
Bulgaria vs. Poland
We tried a defensive tactic against a way bigger side than our. Actually we played really great in the first half. After it something happened and every shot of the opposition went into our net. Looking into the stats they are almost even in every attribute but we lost. Nothing to worry about, this team is 12th in the world ranking
and we played as equals. Despodov
with 2 goals!
Bulgaria vs. Finland
This was our final game before the Euro 2020 kick off
and we wanted to make good impression not only to our supporters, but to the whole world. Absolutely destroyed by the Finland
team as we worsen the things by getting a red card
in the 31 minute. We played with most of our reserves this game, but never expected such a catastrophe.
Some boo's after the final whistle and the hopes and wishes for a good tournament are turning into fears and doubts. Are we going to have another shameful experience as the one from Euro 2004
when were the worst team in the tournament - loosing 5-0 to Sweden, 2-0 to Denmark and 2-1 to Italy.
However we can slide into the next round as the best 3rd teams in the groups also advance to the next round. Our groups is really tough as we have to face Germany (10th in the World Rankings), Belgium (2nd) and Ukraine (30th).
Note: I'm so frustrated with myself as I forgot to fix the real names and players before the squads are announced so Germany are not with their well known players. This also was bad for me as I didn't know how to approach the game, are they gonna be as strong as with real players or not? F*ck me for that.
Bulgaria vs. Germany
The first match in our group was in Munich
in front of almost 60k home fans
against the great Germany
. As noted above didn't fix the real names before the tournament started so we played against some fictional players aaaaaaaaaand yeah. First half was not bad, even when conceded, we had some good chances but we never managed to take them. Then came the penalty
and everything was over for our hopes for a good beginning. Tried to play offensively but you can't do this against Germany
. Poor start and even worse - Belgium
was coming as second fixture!
Belgium vs. Bulgaria
This time we knew exactly against who we are going out and our tactic was the one that fit us. We played great, making troubles for one of the best teams out there. We almost score as we hit the post
in the 65 minute and then came the fucking penalty
didn't hesitate and scored, then in the next attack scored once more as the disbelieve was all over our players. We were so close to making great statement but then again - failed because of a pen.
Next we have Ukraine
- the winner might be playing in the second round as the things are standing in the other groups. Our best player Despodov
was suspended for our team. Maybe we will try something more attacking and extra ordinary from our normal style.
Bulgaria vs. Ukraine
I don't know what to say... The match was over in the 9th minute. All this hopes and prays went to nothing for just NINE minutes. And again - penalty. After the third goal we threw our tactics and went all or nothing. Strahil Popov scored once and that was. We get nothing. In the second half tried playing with ultra attacking formation just to receive another 3 goals. We get more than nothing - the worst performance of the team in European Championship in the history with 0 points, just 1 goal scored and -11 goal difference. And the final nail in the coffin - Ukraine are playing in the next round.
Absolutely devastating performance, all the boys felt my anger. We didn't play well at all, we didn't have ANY
luck and nothing came out as we wanted. We're winless in 6 games
. Nobody wants to flew back to Bulgaria as we knew how we are going to be welcomed. We are going to be asked where are our hearts and balls and will have to get the insults by the whole country.
The only thing that we can do is to fight back next time and try to achieve more than that, try to get the believe in our team once again by the supporters, their love. And this must happen with display on the field.
Some of the players will never play for our team again as we're going to call more and more younger players and think not just for the next match, but for the next generation.
Our next challenge will be the Nations League. Last time Bulgaria was promoted from League C and now we have the tougher task to play against way better teams. This is our group and our task is to avoid relegation, but again I aim higher.
We entered the tournament as the weakest side and we go out of the tournament as the weakest side. No great story, no fairytale, nothing special. Holland
didn't have the best of time and are also out of the Euro as we pack our stuff and flew back home. We must forget fast this nightmare and focus on our next mission. Here is how everything else went after our departure.
Some really dramatic results, but the current World Champions conquer another peak
and get revenge for the Euro 2016 fiasco
. France winning with penalties
subbed only in the 60 minute). Before that England
only to do the most English thing
and screw up in the 109 minute against Portugal
. In the other half of the tree France
dominated all his opponents (beating Belgium 4-0
at the semis, wow). Mbappe
was the goalscorer of the tournament with 10 goals, winning also best player and best young player!
All hail the king!
Not the best update, but hey you can't win every time, that's way the game is fun for me, driving me nuts with some results, making you happy with another.
Thanks for reading once again & hope you enjoy it.
- Yep, probably there will be some kind of change int the most of the matches, as currently I'm trying some things in the friendlies, will see if they will work.
- Hoping with the new guys that came the life in the PL won't be so tough, but we need time.