Sunday, November 30, 2008

Blast the colours! The kid, beginning his collection, struggled to get pictures of teams dressed in football gear. The kid hated – and still hates – teams in civilian cloths. Photos like this were collected regretfully:
Dimitar Penev is invisible here, but he was a member of the Bulgarian national team climbing the stairs to Mexico bound airplane in the summer of 1970. Second from left is the coach ‘Dr.’ Stefan Bozhkov – one of the biggest Bulgarian stars in the 1950s and disastrous national coach in 1970. Bulgaria qualified for the World Cup finals and the good doctor (he had medical degree, although never practiced medicine – one reason for me to place his title in parenthesis) deigned that the best way to prepare the national team for the summer Mexican heath was to stage winter high-mountain training camp. Plowing in January snow was his view of acclimatization. Penev later ‘coached’ Bulgaria to 4th place in World Cup 1994. Wisely, he tackled USA summer heath by not staging any training camps and not coaching at all. For this he was voted Bulgarian coach of the 20th century and was nicknamed ‘The Strategist’. Without irony! (Which is the biggest irony.) However, here is the opportunity to move away from team colours and return to football issues. Back to 1970 and forget about suits.