Soccer-Litex owner opens way for possible Stoichkov return

SOFIA, July 10 (Reuters) – Litex Lovech owner Grisha Ganchev has opened the way for the possible return of former European Footballer of the Year Hristo Stoichkov to the four-times Bulgarian champions.

Last month, Stoichkov left his coaching post at the Lovech-based side to take over at domestic rivals CSKA Sofia but he resigned earlier this week, saying he had lost faith in the troubled club’s owners.

“I’ll offer Hristo Stoichkov a return to Litex in some position because such legends do not have to stand outside football,” Ganchev, one of the richest businessmen in the Balkan country, told local media on Wednesday.

“He himself will choose in what position he’ll return.”

Stoichkov, 47, was appointed Litex coach last January with Ganchev saying the former Bulgaria coach’s contract had no specified duration and he could stay as long as he wanted.

Stoichkov, who also coached Spanish club Celta Vigo and South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns, won the hearts of Bulgarians for being instrumental in leading their national team to the semi-finals at the 1994 World Cup in the United States – the country’s biggest achievement in soccer.

Litex named former Bulgaria and Litex defender Zlatomir Zagorcic as Stoichkov’s replacement as the team continue their preparations for the league season which starts next week. (Reporting by Angel Krasimirov; Editing by Clare Fallon)

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