After only a couple of games as caretaker manager - Milen Radukanov, was released from his position. He was also not offered a contract as Assistant Manager as he was acused of talking behind other managers back, while taking that position in the past. Iliya Gruev from Chernomorets Burgas is going to replace him as he appears to be one of the best on this position available to the team.
After chaning 3 coaches in only a few months the owners of the club have decided that there is not time to experiment and have offered a 1+1 contract to one of the legends of the club - Stoycho Mladenov.
Stoycho Mladenov's back
Mladenov does have an impressive football experience behind him both as a played and coach! Bulgarian top goalscorer in 1978, Bulgarian footballer of the year - 1983, Sportsman of the 1982 are the most valuable personal achievments as player. Mladenov have won the Championship in Bulgaria 6 times - 4 times as player and 2 times as a manager and all of them with CSKA Sofia! He is the last to have won the "A Group" with Armeytsite - in 2008 he finished 16 points clear at the top. Also he is the last manager to have qualified Bulgaria to World Cup - South Korea and Japan 2002!
You arrive at the club after some disastrous seasons, which didn't provide anything expected. Do you believe you are the right person to take the hot seat?
I believe in the past I have provided what was expected from me and I hope I will deliver what is expected from me.
Do you expect to bring many players in to the squad?
I believe the squad is strong enough, but still I expect a few new signings. One thing is sure - on the long run I will try to use as many players from the youth academy and will definetely finish the poor tradition to use people from abroad who really just dont deliever!
You have joined CSKA Sofia at a time when the club seems little short-staffed. Is this something you will be looking to address.
Yes, I definetely think that we could use some new faces.
You have taken charge when it is widely expect captaion Todor Yanchev to leave the club. Can you hold onto him? Do you want to?
Yes, I will do everything I am capable of in ensuring he continues playing for the club! He is one of the playing legends of the club and even at the age of 34 he is one of the most valuable players in the squad. We will definetely need his experience when looking for the title!
CSKA Sofia is most probably the best ever to have existed in Bulgaria. They have won the impressive 31 championship titles in only 62 years, combining them with 10 cup titles, 13 cups of the soviet army and 3 Bulgarian Super Cup wins. Armeytsite also have some impressive records in the European competitions:
During the 1966-1967 season, CSKA reached the semi finals of the European Cup, where after two 1:1 draws with Inter Milano, a third match was played which CSKA lost 0:1.
From 1971 to 1973, CSKA won three consecutive titles and eliminated three-times European champion AFC Ajax 2:1 on aggregate (0:1 and 2:0) in the 1973-1974 European Cup. In the 1/4 finals, the Army Men lost 1:4 to Bayern Munich in the first leg in Germany and bowed out of the competition after winning 2:1 at home.
Season 1980-1981 was again a memorable one for CSKA Sofia, winning the Bulgarian championship once more and twice beating European champion Nottingham Forest, both times with 1:0, before being stopped by the future European Champion Liverpool FC with a 6:1 on aggregate in the quarter finals of the European Cup. The very next season, CSKA reached their second European Cup semi final in a row, eliminating Spanish champions Real Sociedad, Glentoran FC and reigning European Champion Liverpool after losing 0:1 in England and wining 2:0 at home with two goals by Stoycho Mladenov. In the semi final, the Reds again faced Bayern Munich. The first leg was held in Sofia and started with a full dominance over Bayern, as by the 18th minute CSKA were leading 3:0 in front of 85 000 spectators who saw the European final in their dreams. But the final result was 4:3 for CSKA. In Munich, the club suffered a 4:0 defeat and left the competition.
The mentioned wins above earned CSKA Sofia the nickname "The Giants' Killer" as it eliminated 3 acting (at the time) European Champions' Cup holders.
Most recent success of the club came in 2005-2006 Champions League, after eliminating KF Tirana in the second preliminary round, CSKA were paired against reigning European champions Liverpool. The club lost 1:3 in the first match in Sofia, but surprisingly won the second leg by 1:0 at Anfield Road. For the UEFA Cup, the Reds eliminated Bayer Leverkusen (with Dimitar Berbatov in the team) with two 1:0 wins and entered the group stage.