Hristo Stoichkov (Bulgarian: Христо Стоичков, pronounced [ˈxristo stoˈitʃkof]; born 8 February 1966 in Plovdiv) is a retired Bulgarian footballer who is currently a football commentator for Univision Deportes. A prolific forward, he is regarded as one of the best players of his generation and is widely considered the greatest Bulgarian footballer of all time. He was runner-up for the FIFA World Player of the Year award in 1992 and 1994, and received the Ballon d’Or in 1994. In 2004, Stoichkov was named by Pelé in the FIFA 100 list of the world’s greatest living players.
At club level, Stoichkov spent six years at CSKA Sofia and became the top goalscorer in Europe in 1990, receiving the European Golden Shoe. In 1990 he joined FC Barcelona where he earned the Spanish nickname ‘El Pistolero’ which translates to ‘the gunslinger’, and he was part of Johan Cruyff’s “Dream Team” that won four consecutive La Liga titles and one UEFA Champions League. During his time at the club he formed a lethal strike partnership with Romário. Cruyff was largely instrumental in bringing him to Barcelona where he quickly developed into one of the most prolific forwards in the world.
Stoichkov was a member of the Bulgaria national team that finished fourth at the 1994 World Cup, of which he was the top scorer with six goals and received the World Cup Golden Shoe. He was ranked the third best player at the World Cup, after Romário and Roberto Baggio, and received the World Cup Bronze Ball. Apart from his footballing talent, he was notable for his on-pitch temper. In his playing career he was nicknamed The Dagger (Камата).
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