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10 avril 2018

The Toulon Tournament’s most memorable moments : 1987, when Hristo Stoichkov helped Bulgaria to reach the final (5/16)

Ahead of the 46th edition of the Toulon Tournament, which will be held from 26th May to 9th June, we’ve delved into the archives to relive some of the most memorable moments in the tournament history. Every Tuesday and Friday, we look back at the most thrilling facts provided by the competition. Today, we talk about the Bulgaria’s run to the final in 1987.

Since 1967, the Maurice Revello Tournament has seen the emergence of several champions. Four Ballon d’Or winners took part in our competition : Zinédine Zidane, Cristiano Ronaldo, Jean-Pierre Papin... and Hristo Stoichkov in 1987.

At that moment, Stoichkov was only a 21-year-old attacking midfielder playing at CSKA Sofia. But, despite his young age, he has already shown glimpses of his huge talent.

Alongside future internationals like Liouboslav Penev or Emil Kostadinov, Stoichkov played the Maurice Revello Tournament and helped Bulgaria to beat the odds. Drawn in the group B alongside Brazil, Italy and Portugal, Bulgaria secured their spot for the final as the Bulgarians finished atop of the group. Held to a draw by Brazil (0-0), they earned two sensational wins against Italy (1-0) and Portugal (2-0). In final, Bulgaria faced the country host France.

The Toulon Tournament 1987 final's scoresheet

Led by David Ginola and coached by Roger Lemerre, Les Bleuets reached the final after a mixed group stage campaign (win against England, draws against Morocco and USSR).

The fans lived a thrilling final between Bulgaria and France. Hristo Stoichkov, who hasn’t scored before the final, found the net ! Unfortunately for the Bulgarians, the French player Lagrange got also his name on the scoresheet. Eventually, France clinched the title after winning the penalty shootout.

After reaching the Toulon Tournament’s final in 1987, Bulgaria finished third in 1988 and reached the final again in 1989. Since that, the Bulgarians failed to reach the Toulon Tournament’s podium.

Fortunately for him, Stoichkov has enjoyed more success in his career : he joined FC Barcelona in 1990, three year after playing the Toulon Tournament, and won one Champion’s League and clinched five La Liga titles. Top scorer of the World Cup 1994, he won the Ballon d’Or the same year.

READ ALSO :

The Toulon Tournament’s most memorable moments : 1975, the Argentina of Daniel Passarella clinched the title (1/16)

The Toulon Tournament’s most memorable moments : 1982, the emergence of the Koeman brothers (2/16)

The Toulon Tournament’s most memorable moments : 1983, an epic final between Argentina and Brazil (3/16)

The Toulon Tournament’s most memorable moments : when Jean-Pierre Papin left his mark on the Toulon Tournament’s history (4/16)

Mathieu Lauricella

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