The Bulgarian Football Union has named former German World Cup winning captain Lothar Matthaeus as their new national coach. The BFU was forced to hunt for a new coach after Stanimir Stoilov resigned from his post earlier this month following defeats against England and Montenegro in the 2012 European Championship qualifiers. And after an internal solution couldn't be made possible the search was expanded to across Europe. In the end Matthaeus was chosen, who has a lot of experience in coaching in eastern Europe.
"Matthaeus will be officially presented in a few days," BFU president Borislav Mihaylov told a news conference on Tuesday, saying that the playing legend had signed a one-year deal with an option for two more years at the helm.
Matthaeus returns to international football coaching with a talented Bulgaria, but they surely aren't as strong as the Bulgaria in the 1990s, the highlight being a semifinal appearance at the 1994 FIFA World Cup in the United States. And the most memorable win came in the quarterfinals, a 2-1 win against then defending champions Germany and Matthaeus not only played that match but scored his last World Cup goal for Germany in that game. Today Bulgarian football has numerous problems and their biggest star Dimitar Berbatov has at least for the moment retired from international football. And this will be something which Matthaeus will try to change.
Matthaeus has coached Hungary at international level besides coaching at various clubs like Rapid Vienna (Austria), Red Bull Salzburg (Austria), Partizan Belgrade (Serbia), Atletico Paranaense (Brazil), and his last stop had been Maccabi Netanya in Israel.
I hope as a friend that Lothar makes it in Bulgaria. He has the necessary football knowledge but his off-field activities and him often ending up in tabloids has not helped his coaching career in Germany, where he still hasn't been able to coach after ending his playing career about a decade back. Matthaeus often says he doesn't get the respect he deserves in Germany and now once more he has the chance to prove himself at international level. All the best Lothar!