Bulgaria Soccer
Bulgaria National Football Team

National Team Information

General Info

Lavovete (The Lions), Trikolyorite (The Tricolors)

World Cup Participation

1962, 1966, 1970, 1974, 1986, 1994, 1998



Bulgarian National Football Team History

Bulgaria’s national team was created in 1922, and their first tournament was the 1924 Olympic Games. The Lavovete won the Balkan Cup a couple of times in the 1930s but failed to qualify for the World Cup until 1962. That started a streak of four consecutive qualifications, but they had little success in the tournament.

Bulgaria did win the silver medal in the 1968 Olympics and defeated hosts Mexico along the way. After the 1974 World Cup, Bulgaria missed out in both 1978 and 1982. Impressively, Bulgaria qualified for the 1986 World Cup by finishing ahead of Germany and Yugoslavia in their UEFA group. In their first match at Mexico 1986, Bulgaria held defending champions Italy to a 1-1 draw. 

Then, they also drew 1-1 with South Korea and lost 2-0 to Argentina in the final group stage match. Despite not recording a win, Bulgaria qualified for the knockout stage for the first time as one of the highest ranked third place teams. In the round of 16, Mexico defeated Bulgaria, 2-0.

One of the most important results in Bulgarian soccer history came in 1993, when they beat France in Paris. The win qualified Bulgaria for the 1994 World Cup. Under Dimitar Penev, Bulgaria finished a best-ever fourth place at USA ‘94. Players like Hristo Stoichkov, Krasimir Balakov, and Yordan Letchkov characterized this “golden generation” of Bulgarian soccer.

Two years later, Bulgaria qualified for the Euros for the first time. They performed respectably, with one win, one draw, and one loss. Regardless, they didn’t advance to the knockout stage. Bulgaria’s last appearance at a World Cup was in 1998 and they finished at the bottom of their group.

Bulgaria has only qualified for one major tournament, Euro 2006. Their performance was dreadful, though, and recent qualifying campaigns have been disappointments. Bulgaria soccer betting is now most commonly done on UEFA Euro and FIFA World Cup qualifiers, along with on the UEFA Nations League. Bulgaria finished in second place in their group in the 2022 UEFA Nations League and will remain in League C.

Bulgaria Soccer Flag
Bulgaria Soccer

Bulgaria Soccer Leagues & Clubs:

The Bulgarian First Professional Football League, or Parva Liga, is the top-tier Bulgarian soccer league. The league was recently expanded to 16 teams ahead of the 2022-23 season. The league follows a regular season and split playoff format. The six top teams qualify for the championship round. The next four sides in the table qualify for the Europa Conference League round. Meanwhile, the bottom six face off in the relegation round.

Bulgarian First Professional Football League Clubs 2022-23:
Botev Plovdiv
Botev Vratsa
Cherno More
CSKA 1948
CSKA Sofia
Levski Sofia
Lokomotiv Plovdiv
Lokomotiv Sofia
PFC Ludogorets Razgrad
Pirin Blagoevgrad
Septemvri Sofia
Slavia Sofia
Spartak Varna

The Bulgarian Second Professional Football League, or Vtora Liga, is the second-tier Bulgarian league. There are 18 teams, which play each other in a double-round robin format. The top two teams at the end of the season are promoted to the Parva Liga. Meanwhile, the third place team in the Vtora contests a promotion/relegation playoff with the 14th place team in the Parva Liga. The bottom four teams in the Vtora Liga are relegated to the third tier.

Bulgarian Second Professional Football League Clubs 2022-23:
Botev II
CSKA 1948 II
Ludogorets II
OFC Spartak
Strumska Slava

Bulgarian Cups & Tournaments

Bulgaria Soccer Betting Information

Betting on the Bulgaria Soccer

Bulgaria soccer betting is certainly an exotic bet, with not too many punters informed on the particulars of the league. Now that the Parva Liga has expanded to 18 teams, there’s an even bigger gap between the teams at the top and bottom. Because it’s a top heavy league, there are usually only a handful of clubs with a decent chance to win the title. 

In fact, recent seasons have been completely dominated by one club: Ludogorets. The club from Razgrad has won the last 11 Parva Liga titles, as of 2022. They are mainstays in European competition but typically haven’t gone very far. Historically, strong teams also include CSKA and Levski Sofia. 

The Bulgarian league is known for being quite a defensive league. Over the last few seasons, matches have averaged around 2.5 goals per game. For comparison, the Bundesliga averaged 3.12 in 2021/22 and the Premier League averaged 2.82. That means there are a lot of clean sheets, and betting team totals could be a profitable venture. In the 2021/22 season, both teams scored in just 46 percent of matches.

Bulgaria National Team Betting Tips & Odds

Bulgaria lately have been in UEFA Euro and FIFA World Cup qualifiers, along with in the UEFA Nations League.

Bulgaria’s strong teams of the 90s are long gone. The national team has struggled in recent years and is finding it difficult to compete even with Europe’s second tier teams. As of October 2022, they had won just six of their last 30 games. Of those six matches, their best win was over North Macedonia. Bulgaria did manage to draw with Italy in a World Cup qualifier, but results like that have been few and far between. 

Betting tips don’t often recommend Bulgaria’s moneyline, but there are other opportunities to cash in on them. As of October 2022, they’ve scored in 13 of their last 15 matches. Keeping clean sheets has been another story, but there is some talent there. 

The most prominent opportunities to bet on Bulgaria lately have been in UEFA Euro and FIFA World Cup qualifiers, along with in the UEFA Nations League. In the recent UEFA Nations League C, Bulgaria finished with two wins, three draws, and one loss. It wasn’t quite enough to earn promotion back to Nations League B. In both of their recent qualifying campaigns, they’ve finished in fourth place out of five in their group. Their next opportunity to qualify for a major tournament is Euro 2024. 

They’re grouped with Hungary, Lithuania, Montenegro and Serbia. Without a dominant force in the group, perhaps the Bulgarians can pull off some upsets.


Bulgarian soccer is by no means some of the best in Europe, but it has its merits. Ludogorets have made the Champions League group stage on two occasions, knocking out some good teams along the way. CSKA Sofia and Levski Sofia have both regularly appeared in European competition as well. Yes, the EPL can be top heavy but not compared to the likes of the Parva Liga. 

On the other hand, the Bulgarian National team is going through a transition period. They are starting to call up a lot of young talent, which could mean their performances improve in the coming years. Still, it’s worth tempering expectations when betting on Bulgaria. There’s not one player close to a household name on the squad. 

Bulgaria FAQS

Is Sports Betting Legal in Bulgaria?

Yes, sports betting is legal in Bulgaria. Online gambling has only been legal since 2008 and regulated since 2012, though.

Is In-Play Betting Allowed in Bulgaria?

In-play betting is a popular method of betting in Bulgaria and is legal there.

Who Is the Bulgarian First Professional Football League Top Scorer?

With 256 career goals, retired striker Martin Kamburov is the Bulgarian First Professional Football League’s top scorer.

Which Bulgarian Club Has Won the Most Championships?

CSKA Sofia, with 31 titles, is the most successful club in the history of Bulgarian football.

What Is Football Called in Bulgaria?

In the Bulgarian Cyrillic alphabet, football is written футбол. It is pronounced like the Spanish “futbol”.
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