SOFIA (Reuters) – CSKA Sofia, aiming to end Ludogorets’s domination of the Bulgarian league, have hired European Cup-winning coach Ljupko Petrovic as a consultant, the 31-time champions said on Wednesday.
Serbian Petrovic, who led Red Star Belgrade to the European Cup in 1991, will assist British Belgrade-born coach Nestor El Maestro as CSKA, the most popular club in the Balkan country, hope to win their first title since 2008 with Ludogorets clinching the trophy in the last seven years.
“We are certain that he will be very helpful to our team with his invaluable experience,” CSKA said in a statement.
El Maestro, who previously worked as assistant coach at Germany’s Schalke 04, Hanover 96 and Hamburg SV as well as Austria Vienna and Slovakia’s Spartak Trnava, was appointed as CSKA coach in June but The Reds failed to improve significantly.
CSKA are second in the standings with 38 points from 17 matches, six points behind Ludogorets. The two teams will clash in a much-anticipated fixture at CSKA’s Bulgarska Armiya on Thursday.
Petrovic, who has coached more than a dozen clubs in Serbia, Spain, Uruguay, Greece, Austria, China, Croatia, United Arab Emirates, Kazakhstan and Rwanda, has led Levski – CSKA’s bitter city rivals — to the Bulgarian title in 2001.
(Reporting by Angel Krasimirov; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty)