FIFA World Cup™ final history
World finals debutants at Chile 1962, Bulgaria have appeared on the biggest of all stages on seven occasions. The high point came at USA 1994, where a gifted side led by Hristo Stoichkov took fourth place. The last time they graced the World Cup was four years later at France 1998.

The team
Bulgaria are intent on atoning for recent failures, having now gone more than ten years without reaching a major tournament. Following the retirement of some prestigious names and several changes in the dugout, The Lions are looking in the main to the talent and goals of Ivelin Popov and Ilian Micanski.

The coach
Ivaylo Petev was handed the Bulgaria job in December 2014, having spent the previous 12 months in Cyprus with Limassol. Prior to that the young coach took Ludogorets up to the Bulgarian top flight in 2011 before steering them to a domestic league, Cup and Super Cup treble the following season and another league title the season after that.

The stat
20 - The number of years that will have elapsed in 2018 since Bulgaria last contested a World Cup finals. Can they make their long-awaited return in Russia?

The former stars  
Hristo Stoitchkov, Luboslav Penev, Dimitar Berbatov