Hristo Stoichkov: Reflecting on His Career and Italian Football
Hristo Stoichkov, the legendary Bulgarian player for Barcelona, recently sat down for an interview with the esteemed Italian magazine ‘Tuttosport’. In this candid conversation, he not only delves into his own career but also offers insights into the current state of Italian football. Stoichkov’s unique personality shines through, just as it did on the football field.
Stoichkov doesn’t hold back when it comes to criticizing Jude Bellingham, who won the ‘Golden Boy 2023’ award. “No,” he firmly responds, before elaborating on his opinion. “I don’t question the talent of the English player. He is undoubtedly one of the most gifted young talents in the world, possessing both class and intelligence. In my view, he is a combination of Laudrup, Kaká, and the early Pogba. The future belongs to him. He will undoubtedly compete with Mbappé and Haaland for the next Ballon d’Or. However, I would like to see what he achieves in 2023, whether it be with Borussia Dortmund or Real Madrid. As of now, he has won nothing…” Stoichkov’s reasons are undeniable.
The journalist attempts to counter Stoichkov’s argument by highlighting that Bellingham has already scored 13 goals and provided 3 assists in just 14 games since joining Real Madrid. The journalist from ‘Tuttosport’ justifies their decision by emphasizing that this is an exceptional performance for a twenty-year-old attacking midfielder, rather than a forward. However, Stoichkov remains steadfast in his stance.
Solid and Justified Arguments
“He achieved this in just three months… But what successes have all these goals brought to Real Madrid?” Stoichkov questions. He continues to lecture, “You are well aware of what my friend Mourinho would say about ‘titles’… Shall we discuss how the last Bundesliga season concluded? Borussia Dortmund held a two-point lead over Bayern with 90 minutes remaining in the championship. Dortmund played at home against Mainz, while Bayern played away in Cologne. What happened in the final 5 minutes? Tuchel introduced Musiala, who scored the winning goal for Bayern, securing a 3-2 victory. Meanwhile, Borussia could only manage a 2-2 draw at home, ultimately losing the title due to goal difference…” Stoichkov presents irrefutable evidence to support his argument.
The inevitable question arises: “Who would you have awarded the Golden Boy to?” Stoichkov doesn’t have a single candidate in mind, but he doesn’t shy away from answering either. “Considering that Gavi, the current winner, was ineligible due to regulations, I would have given the prize to Musiala or Balde,” he states confidently.