Matthaeus Fired as Bulgarian National Coach
As expected, former German international Lothar Matthaeus was fired as coach of the Bulgarian national squad on Monday.
"The reasons for discarding Matthaeus are complex, it is not only because of the bad results in the last few games. A lot of tension and negativism were accumulated in the team, so a change was necessary. Matthaeus knows of our decision and no damages will be paid to him," Borislav Mihaylov, head of the Bulgarian Football Union, commented Monday, as cited by BGNES.
Matthaeus has repeatedly criticized Bulgarian players, saying that many of them fail to live up to his standards and expectations, and that they have an unrealistically high self-confidence.
Mihail Madanski, who is in charge of Bulgaria's Under-21 internationals, will take over the team as an interim coach. Afterwards, a new coach will be appointed, with Lyuboslav Penev, the nephew of the country's most successful manager in history, Dimitar Penev, tipped as a strong favorite. Lyuboslav Penev is currently managing Bulgarian champions Litex Lovech.
On Friday, it was reported that the other contender for the job is former Bulgarian midfielder Krasimir Balakov.
Balakov, a former player of Portugal's Sporting and Germany's VfB Stuttgart, and a bronze medal winner with the Bulgarian national football team in the 1994 World Cup in the USA, is currently coaching Croatia's top team Hajduk.
Bulgaria lost even theoretical chances to qualify to Euro 2012 after recently getting defeated by Switzerland and England.
Bulgaria remains fourth out of 5 in qualifying group G with a mere 5 points, having lost any hopes to make it even to the second place already a while ago.
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