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PersonalFullname: Stiliyan Alyoshev Petrov-Stenly
aka: Stilian Petrov, Stilyan Petrov, Stan Petrov
Weight: 11.05 st
Born: 5 July 1979
Birthplace: Montana, Bulgaria
Signed: 29 July 1999
Left: 30 Aug 2006 (to Aston Villa)
Position: Midfielder, attacking
Debut: Dundee Utd 2-1 Celtic, League, 13 Aug 1999
International Caps: 106
International Goals: 8
Born on the 05th of July 1979, in Bulgaria
Petrov was signed by Barnes/Dalglish in July 1999 for £2M from CSKA Sofia
A 2 year extension was sign in March 2003 [BBC], with a further 3 year extension signed in 2006 [BBC]
Sold to Aston Villa on 30/08/2006 for £6.5m rising to £8m depending on appearances (Martin O'Neill's first signing for Aston Villa). [BBC]
Stiliyan Alyoshev Petrov-Stenly, better known as Stiliyan Petrov.
“Stan” began his career with his local side FC Montana in 1996, aged 16. He was spotted there by PFC CSKA Sofia’s legendary scout Dimitar Penev. In 1998 they paid €30,000 for Petrov. After only 38 league appearances (3 goals), Celtic paid £2M (€4.5M) for the young Bulgarian on 29 July 1999 and became Bulgaria’s most expensive export.
Signed by John Barnes, Stan Petrov was to be given the curious accolade of being the only good signing that came under the John Barnes era. Taking in that alongside Petrov, Barnes had signed other such luminaries like Raphael Scheidt, but thankfully he wasn't ultimately to be lumped in with them.
Stan took a big step personally coming to Celtic, admitting that he knew next to nothing of the language. Doesn't help that Glasgow has one of the more unique dialects and parochial slangs. In these circumstances, Petrov wanted to learn fast but picked one of the most curious ways to go about it. A friend of his owned a burger van, and suggested that Petrov join him behind the counter and that way he'd pick up fast. Petrov took up the challenge and the more eagle eyed customers were left bedazzled to see that they had just been served by one of their team's new players.
That tale may make us chuckle, but it was a perfect education, and even many years later after living in Birmingham he'd still kept much of his Glaswegian accent. He loved Glasgow and it was great to see it remaining part of him. The experience of being new to a country was something he hadn't forgotten, and he was one to always help out new players at Celtic. For example, Polish player Zurawski noted how much Petrov helped him on his arrival having come in similar circumstances. It definitely marked Petrov up highly as much as a person as great he was a footballer.
He made his Scottish League debut as a substitute against Dundee United in a 2-1 defeat at Tannadice Park on 13 August 1999. He made little impact in his first Scottish season mainly due to being unsettled,homesick and played out of position with John Barnes playing him at Right Back on occasion. People had actually given Petrov little notice at first, the turmoil around the rest of the club was overshadowing this high profile signing. It gave Petrov some time to settle in.
Things were to improve dramatically under new manager Martin O'Neill, as Celtic won the Scottish Premier League and both major domestic cups, and Petov was to play a large part in this. Transformed from a defensive player to an attacking central midfield role, he was to come to the fore of his game and to the notice of all the support.
As a measure of his value, Petrov was voted 2001 Scottish Premier League Young Player of the Year, despite breaking his leg at McDairmid Park in March. He was back from injury by August, and was a regular starter in Celtic's 2001/02 UEFA Champions League campaign, with the Glasgow club retaining the league title the same year. He was in his prime for Celtic and we were reaping the benefits from his midfield ability. Generally a attacking player, he worked alongside Lambert, Lennon & Thompson which provided us a cracking midfield unit each excelling in their own specialities. Together they provided the opportunities for Sutton & Larsson to score the barrowloads they did.
It wasn't just in Scotland where his value was appreciated. In 2001, Stan was such a national hero in Bulgaria that they broadcast his wedding live on television!
Petrov was a first-team regular again in 2002/03, scoring 12 goals in 34 league games and helping the club reach the UEFA Cup final, where we lost to FC Porto. Along with most of the squad, he played his heart out in the season, and his stature with the fans was high, and still on the rise. A difficult game and like all the others he deserved more. He'd been a stalwart in the side all season.
Stan was simply a phenomenally good player. He may have been bought whilst under the much discredited John Barnes regime, where he started as a right-back, but under Martin O'Neill he was moved to midfield and flourished. An important component, he was very much at the fore in attacking formations, leading by example. He wasn't a selfish player and fed passes and tracked back when required, and many a time can be said to have been amongst our most important players during Martin O'Neill's reign. It wasn't just link-up that he excelled at, and he chipped in with plenty of goals as well, giving the squad some added firepower. He truly was an icon for many. He was overshadowed by players like Larsson, Sutton and Lambert but Petrov was no less important to the team. As he had come through from the nadir under Barnes to the heights under O'Neill, he was just adored by the support.
The following season (2003-04), Petrov excelled as Celtic roared to the league title. He scored six goals in 35 games and was also on target in the Scottish Cup final victory against Dunfermline capping off a great year which saw us also defeat Barcelona in the UEFA Cup over two legs to reach the quarter-finals.
In January 2006 Stan signed a new deal with Celtic committing him to the club until 2010 and by April he helped Celtic claim their 40th Scottish title. Three months after signing the contract extension Celtic rejected a written transfer request submitted by Petrov, he was then linked with a transfer to move to Aston Villa F.C.
Stilian Petrov said he hoped that Celtic would agree to sell him before the transfer window closes. "Everyone in Celtic knows the situation, I've expressed my desire to leave many times," he said. The next day (August 30) Stilian Petrov has been reunited with manager Martin O'Neill after completing a move from Celtic to Aston Villa on a four-year deal worth £6.5M, a fee which could rise to £8M in the future. He scored 53 goals in 224 Premier league appearances for Celtic.
Truth is that at the end of this time at Celtic, things had got a bit frayed and he was sulking at the presentation of the league trophy, which was sad to see from him. His loss to the squad was no easy thing to replace. A combative hard working midfielder like himself, he gave his all to the team, and scored some scorchers against the Huns (for one goal he was given a full drink of coca-cola in the face from a Hun as he celebrated the goal).
In many ways, no surprise he left as after seven years, what more could he give. Many had expected that he was going to leave after a couple of years, but he stood with us even after the disaster of the Barnes era, and under Martin O'Neill he grew in stature. For that we respect him.
As a combative box to box goalscoring midfielder he was not easy to replace, and wasn't adequately replaced for a number of years.
Stories abounded in his first year away that he was not enjoying his move and was looking to come back, but since then he fitted in well and many would have been happy with that he had settled at Aston Villa. As of season 2009/2010, manager Martin O'Neill made Stan the first team captain of Aston Villa, and he was a mainstay in their squad. His game-style though changed at Villa, becoming more defensive than attacking which was quite an interesting change for him, coming full circle having started at Celtic in the defence.
Sadly, in 2012 he was diagnosed with Leukaemia, which effectively ended his playing career, formally retiring in May 2013 although had stopped long before. It was a sad way to end to his playing days but a more important battle was to be won and all were behind this great player for support.
He had definitely not lost his love for Celtic, and returned on occasions speaking regularly and warmly on both the club and support.
National team:He made his international debut on March 27 1999 against Belgium in a 1-0 win.
Despite appearing over 60 times for his country, in October 2006 Petrov shocked Bulgarian football by retiring from the national side aged just 27, promising not to return whilst Hristo Stoichkov managed the Bulgarian national team. However, just a few months later, Petrov patched up his differences with the coach, made himself available for selection for the Euro 2008 qualifier against Albania and was re-called. Too good a player to lose
Quotes"I remember when I was a young player at CSKA Sofia and the good life was all I was interested in. Celtic came in for me and I moved to Glasgow, to another country, to a new world. I didn't speak the language and I thought it would never happen for me. I knew nobody. Fortunately, I met people who helped me to turn my life around. I came to know great teammates who showed me the proper way, the way I had to be if I was going to be a serious professional and compete at a high level. I came to appreciate so much the opportunity to work with that level of professional people because it made me something like them. At Celtic Football Club and at Aston Villa Football Club I was privileged to live a life competing at a high level and playing the game I love, supported by the most passionate fans..... Each and every day I thank God for giving me the opportunity to still be with my family."
Stan Petrov (2013)
“It was a pleasure to play alongside such a great footballer, but, for me, I’m even luckier to call him my friend."
Neil Lennon (2013)
|From||To||Fee||League||Scottish Cup||League cup||Other|
|Aston Villa||30/08/2006|| ||£ 6,500,000|| || || || || || || || |
|Celtic||29/07/1999||30/08/2006||£ 2,000,000||215 (13)||55||15 (3)||5||9 (5)||0||49 (2)||4|
|CSKA Sofia||01/08/1998||29/07/1999|| ||No appearance data available|
Honours with Celtic
UEFA Cup runners-up
Latest page update: made by joebloggscity
, May 10 2013, 5:16 AM EDT
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