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Georgi Asparuhov - Gundi - Bulgarian legendary football player



Georgi Asparuhov, nicknamed Gundi (May 4, 1943 - June 30, 1971) was one of the greatest Bulgarian football players of all time.

Asparuhov was a striker for Levski Sofia from 1960 to 1961 and 1964 to 1971, and for Botev Plovdiv from 1961 to 1963. He played 245 matches and scored 150 goals in the top Bulgarian division. The most famous clubs in Europe tried to get him so he could play for them. In European Cup 1965-66, Levski played against the famous and powerful Benfica (with Eusébio and others stars in the squad). When Benfica eliminated Levski after a very difficult 3:2 and 2:2 matches, Europe started to view interest in Gundi mostly because he scored the four goals for Levski in the two games. In fact, he is also the first player to score two goals in Benfica's stadium. After this match, Levski became popular in Europe. The rich Portuguese club wanted to buy Asparuhov, but the communist government of Bulgaria did not allow them to do so.

For the Bulgaria national football team, Asparuhov featured in 50 games and has 19 goals. He was the first Bulgarian to score a goal at Wembley against England. He also scored the only goal for Bulgaria in England '66.

Asparuhov died in a car crash in 1971 with his talented teammate, Nikola Kotkov. At his funeral, over 550,000 people went to Sofia to pay tribute and respect to his soil and to say "Farewell".

His most famous line is: "There is a country named Bulgaria, and in this country there is a team named Levski. You maybe haven't heard of it, but there I was born and there I shall die!" This is what he said to Milan scouts when they tried to persuade him to come to Milan.

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