Georgy Petkov does wonders, and we can call him a legend of Bulgarian football. He made history as the oldest player on the field with a national jersey. He also ranked Europe, taking first place in the ranking of the oldest goalkeeper, defending the colors of his native country. This indicator is the third in the world. On May 9 of this year, he brought the Bulgarian Cup to Slavia in an epic game with fines in the final against his former team Levski. Petkov gave an open interview to BLITS, in which he admitted something very interesting – how long his contract with “white”.
– How do you feel at the age of 42 and how much can you play?
“Actually, I'm 30 years old. I do not care that I am 42 years old. I am alive and well, the weather will show how old I will be playing. If I can help Slavia, I will play.
“How long have you had a contract with the club?”
"Pretty long. Actually, my contract with Slava is as long as I can play.
– What is the formula of sports durability?
“First the family. I have a wonderful wife and daughter. I changed a lot after the birth of a little one. Elia, being alive and well, is already 7 years old. I feel very good after such wonderful creatures next to me. In a very positive direction, I really changed.
– Do you have enough time for your relatives?
"I am leaving for some time, but when I can, I am always with them." Eliza begins to understand more and more. He always asks me when I am going to camp, the result of the matches is also.
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“When was your last wife on a break and where do you want to go?
– On Monday, we returned from Velingrad, where we were for the weekend. After the matches with the national team, I got a break from Slavia, and I took advantage. Otherwise we would like to go to Sandanski. We strive to be in the fresh air, especially for a child. For many years we go to the sea every summer in Greece.
– How many kilos are there now? Do you follow diets?
– I have no regimes, because I have no problems with weight gain. For 15 years I was 80-81 pounds. Perhaps this helps me protect myself from injury.
– Recently, you missed some matches due to fatigue, how do you recover after games?
– It's only because of fatigue … We just met Slavia, let Tony play. The boy has unique qualities.
– You're talking about Anthony Sterjakis. What are you teaching him?
“I'm trying to help him that I can, listen to me. Once I started in Slavia, then Bobby Mikhailov and Zdravko Zdravkov helped me. Now young people are learning from me. Regarding recovery after the match, the next day I get a lot of trouble, but it's nice that it passes quickly. Do not worry. Only a day after the game I have problems, and then I am a rifle.
“Do you write notes?” Now you are the oldest goalkeeper at the level of national teams in the history of European football, and he also became the oldest player in our team. (the recording was made by another goalkeeper – Christ of Christ – Barakat)
“Yes, this is what flatters me. But to be honest, I don’t pay too much attention to achievements. I'm just glad that people, and in particular the coaching staff in the national team, noticed my good work in my recent games and that they can rely on me. I am very happy to be back in the national team. When my name is, I will always answer. I am not such a person, I say: "I am 42 years old, it is meaningless …". I will never give up playing for the national team. You do not even think about it.
“What else do you want to achieve?”
– First, be healthy and help Slavia. When they think I need them, I'm ready. For specific purposes, I do not think. It is important that Slavia stabilize and young players develop.
– But you, probably, dream of the precious premium "Bulgarian football player"? Over the years, you have second and third place.
– Excellent recognition indeed. But I do not think this is a fixed idea that I have to get up. If people think that I am the most worthy, I will be very happy. I hope to win.
– Who did you find out that Peter Khubchev brought you back to the national team and what was your first reaction?
– I understand from the media. I did not talk to Habchev on the phone before he called me. Due to the injury of Plamen Iliev, I thought they would probably turn to me. And given that Vlado Stoyanov was seriously injured. I opened the chance to return to the national team.
– What did not happen to defeat Cyprus and Slovenia in the last two games of the League of Nations tournament group, at which you were at the door?
– It was this match with Cyprus that cost us first place. But when we look at the game, we cannot be unhappy. We are well represented. We played an offensive, but it was frustrating that we did not get our position.
“Your first conversation with Khybchev, how did he get through, what did you say?”
– I thanked him for the call. I wish you success, without injury and training as much as possible.
“You're always known as a great joker. And in the national team, do you know what your teammates know?
“Oh, no, of course. With Kubchev everything is different. Team team harder to joke. I still have jokes, but I take it into account. This is normal for me. And yet I am 42 years old, it’s not good for me to joke with them.
– Goalkeeper goalkeeper Rado Stanev is only a year older than you. Do you follow his instructions or indulge yourself?
“With Rado we are family friends, not just my coach. I know him before he starts working in Slavia. I thank him for everything. One of the greatest virtues of my success is his. I always listen to him, the coach is still. I respect the hierarchy.
-Do you see a coach in a few years?
“It’s hard to be a trainer with this character.
“Do you want to say something about the comments on your address, that you are the king of slowing down the game?”
– At the national level, we saw the Cyprus goalkeeper, and not from the 70th or 80th minute, he slowed the game from the fifth minute. In our country we provoked the idea that I have little time. Yes, I allow myself to do it sometimes when necessary. This is part of the game.
– Your comments about the return of Nikolai Mikhailov in Levski?
“I have known Nikki for a long time. He has the qualities, and I wish him success in Levski. The question is how he will prepare. The most important thing is to make a good preparation, to preserve the health and the people to accept it. The main problem with him is family, everyone knows it perfectly. This famous mistake with Werder is time to forget. And she did not there was a goal error, only a rebound ball that went through his leg. It was so much, it was a long time ago. Nika really has her qualities.
– You have been training together for the last few weeks while he was in uniform with Slava. How did you introduce your joint venture?
“We trained for about 40 days together, that's good. I think he will quickly recover form.
– Your former club Levski, who is four times more champion and three-time winner of the Bulgarian Cup, why is he without a trophy since 2009?
“Levski does nothing. I hope to win the trophy as soon as possible. Obviously, Guérena has problems, I am not in the details to comment on them in more detail. I can not say what the problem is.
– You and Slavia were a problem in 2013, when you deprived Levski of the championship trophy …
“Why should we be a problem?” We have no fault that they did not win us. Unpleasant for Levski and for fans. But I defend the colors of another club and try to do my job, as always. And in Levski, like me, I parted in every workout and every game. The fame Levsky has stopped is a common thing. For our joy, we succeeded, we played for our honor. Slavia built me as a person and a gatekeeper. I have long been committed to the leadership, and in particular, Ventsi Stefanov, that as soon as I return from Cyprus, I will again wear a white team.
– Probably, you annoy or don’t pay attention to the fans of Levski, who sing at your address: “Oh, funny goalkeeper” …
-I do not mind. We live in Bulgaria, and over the years I have become accustomed to all sorts of things and insults. I did not pay attention to them for a long time. You cannot forbid a fan to call what he wants. Some come to the stadiums just swear.
– Are you still up to Todor Batkov, who previously banished you from Levski?
– No, because I'm not a bad guy. Then Mr. Batkov was deceived, and later he understood it. We saw it later, we talked, for my part, no problem. Then he was touched, misled. The truth is that intrigue was made. So it is in our country – there are people who dig the water.
– Who are you speaking about?
– As I and Mr. Batkov know very well who made me dirty. Then I knew who this man was, but I do not want to call his name.
"Have you stayed in Guerin?"
“I have excellent relationships with most people in Guerin.
– Do you hear with Stanimor Stoilov, with some of your former teammates?
“Murray has not heard of this for a long time. I talked with Sirakov with Mecho Telkiyski and with Georgy Ivanov – Gonzo. I have no problems with anyone, we have a friendly relationship.
– Have you ever had the opportunity to play CSKA?
– There was no such option.
– Joro's nickname The door to which you have glued Dimitar Penev, do you like?
“I take it with mockery. Mr. Penev did not say that, some journalists did. Penna's words were: "Joro Door and these two …". He is a great coach and a great person, alive and healthy.
– Recently, Slavia fans call you Gosho Vekoven. How do you want to remember?
– Yes, Gosho Vekoven – my new nickname, I like it.
– What are the biggest difficulties you have overcome so far?
“The two things I experienced were the most difficult. First, when I broke my leg in Levski. I spent eight very difficult months. The second is how my separation from Levski came about. I did not want to do this, I experienced it quite strongly. There were tears, normal. I did not have to leave. Yes, they freed me, they pursued me, but that was normal. We could sit on the table and understand, hold hands, thank ourselves for working together for many years, and I leave without being saddened and happy to be there. The important thing is that I am alive and well, and I still love football.
– What do you dream about?
– Being alive and healthy is the most important thing, everything is around to be alive and healthy. I dream a few more years to help Slavia and the young to develop.
PLAMEN SLAVOV / BLISTER SPORT