Stiliyan Petrov

Celtic hero Stiliyan Petrov was born in Montana, Bulgaria on 5 July 1979 (age 43).

Stiliyan Petrov · Photo: Vagelis Georgariou

Petrov was signed in the summer of 1999 by John Barnes for a fee of £2.8 million. The teenager featured prominently in a season where he won the League Cup with Celtic, his second major honour and the first of many with Celtic. Despite the happy end to the season Petrov had a very hard time starting with the club. He was homesick and lonely at the start, and could not speak English. This was made worse by the manager playing him out of position at right back. Eventually, he improved his English by working in a friend’s burger van. This hard work and determination to fit in showed in his performances for the club.

After a good first season with Celtic he enjoyed a brilliant second season under Martin O’Neill’s treble winning side, becoming a regular scorer netting 7 league goals in 28 appearances, one of which was in Celtic’s 6–2 victory over Rangers. He also became the first foreign player to win the SPFA Young Player of the Year award.

The 2001–02 season was the year when he really came into form at Celtic becoming the dynamic, hardworking box to box midfielder that Celtic badly needed and deservedly won his second SPL medal.

In his fourth season with Celtic, Petrov continued his fine form and was being linked to some of the top clubs in Europe but after protracted contract talks he eventually agreed a new deal with Celtic. This was his highest ever goalscoring season, netting 14 in 50 appearances. He also got to the only European final of his career getting a runner’s up medal in the Uefa Cup despite not winning anything else.

In his next two seasons for Celtic he continued to be an essential player making 105 appearances and scoring 19 goals. He won the Scottish Cup twice in this time along with his third SPL medal, the 2004–05 season proved to be Martin O’Neill’s last at Celtic although Stiliyan Petrov would later join him at Aston Villa. The 04/05 season was also a good year for Petrov personally as he became the third player to win the Celtic Player of The Year award.

The 2005–06 season was a time of great change for Celtic. Martin O’Neill the club’s most successful manager in 20 years left and new manager Gordon Strachan came in. Things started badly for Celtic as they lost 5–0 to Slovakian minnows Artmedia Bratislava in Strachan’s first match. Celtic then managed to throw away a 3–1 lead over Motherwell to draw Strachan’s first league match 4–4, although Petrov later helped Celtic exact revenge over the Fir Park side by scoring his first hat-trick in a 5–0 demolition in October that year. Celtic overcame their bad start to the campaign to win the SPL and League Cup double.

The 2005–06 season proved to be his last at Celtic as he re-united with former manager Martin O’Neill at Aston Villa for a fee of £6.5 million rising to £8 million after clauses. This was after a long transfer saga in which Stiliyan Petrov was linked to almost every mid-table side in England. He only made 3 appearances for Celtic before leaving in the summer transfer window.

In all, Petrov made 312 appearances for Celtic over seven years, scoring 55 goals. He won the SPL four times and also won both the Scottish and Scottish League Cup 3 times each. He was the tenth most prolific goalscorer in the SPL (55 goals) when he left Celtic.

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Stiliyan Petrov videos

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Celtic: The Martin O’Neill Years | Currie Club – The Scottish Football Sessions
BT Sport · Sep 30

Celtic: The Martin O’Neill Years | Currie Club – The Scottish Football Sessions

The Celtic Huddle, LIVE at 12 noon today
Celtic Huddle Podcast · Mar 30, 2021

The Celtic Huddle, LIVE at 12 noon today

A Celtic State of Mind with SCREAMACELICA – Standing on the Shoulder of Giants // Stiliyan Petrov
ACSOM · Mar 13, 2021

A Celtic State of Mind with SCREAMACELICA – Standing on the Shoulder of Giants // Stiliyan Petrov

The Celtic Huddle Podcast – LIVE today at 12 noon
Celtic Huddle Podcast · Jan 19, 2021

The Celtic Huddle Podcast – LIVE today at 12 noon

Chris Sutton, Neil Lennon & Stiliyan Petrov and their priceless Celtic memories
Off the Ball · Aug 21, 2020

Chris Sutton, Neil Lennon & Stiliyan Petrov and their priceless Celtic memories

Champions League predictions | Chris Sutton, Stiliyan Petrov, Neil Lennon & David Meyler weigh in
Off the Ball · Aug 21, 2020

Champions League predictions | Chris Sutton, Stiliyan Petrov, Neil Lennon & David Meyler weigh in

Neil Lennon emotionally recalls Stiliyan Petrov cancer | Hartson’s resilience | The bond at Celtic
Off the Ball · Aug 21, 2020

Neil Lennon emotionally recalls Stiliyan Petrov cancer | Hartson’s resilience | The bond at Celtic

Stiliyan Petrov | Celtic Fc | Villa captain | celtic throwback player
Cmon The Hoops Celtic · Mar 5, 2019

Stiliyan Petrov | Celtic Fc | Villa captain | celtic throwback player

Celtic FC – ICONS: Stiliyan Petrov
Celtic TV · Sep 25, 2018

Celtic FC – ICONS: Stiliyan Petrov

Si Ferry Meets. Stiliyan Petrov – Life and Times at Celtic, Seville, Larsson, Winning Team Spirit
Open Goal · Aug 27, 2018

Si Ferry Meets. Stiliyan Petrov – Life and Times at Celtic, Seville, Larsson, Winning Team Spirit

Celtic FC – ICONS
Celtic TV · Aug 25, 2018

Celtic FC – ICONS

Celtic FC – #AMatchForCancer
Celtic TV · Aug 16, 2018

Celtic FC – #AMatchForCancer

Celtic FC – A Match For Cancer
Celtic TV · Jun 14, 2018

Celtic FC – A Match For Cancer

Stiliyan Petrov podcasts

Listen to all the podcast coverage of Stiliyan Petrov.

Episode 24 – Celtic Huddle LIVE in association with 1st Star
Celtic Huddle Podcast · Mar 30, 2021

Episode 24 – Celtic Huddle LIVE in association with 1st Star

A Celtic State of Mind with SCREAMACELICA – Standing on the Shoulder of Giants // Stiliyan Petrov
ACSOM · Mar 13, 2021

A Celtic State of Mind with SCREAMACELICA – Standing on the Shoulder of Giants // Stiliyan Petrov

Petrov on Charity Cancer and Winning Glasgow Derbies
Celtic Underground · Sep 3, 2018

Petrov on Charity Cancer and Winning Glasgow Derbies

Si Ferry Meets… Stiliyan Petrov – Life and Times at Celtic, Seville, Larsson, Winning Team Spirit
Open Goal · Aug 29, 2018

Si Ferry Meets… Stiliyan Petrov – Life and Times at Celtic, Seville, Larsson, Winning Team Spirit

Si Ferry Meets… Stiliyan Petrov – Life and Times at Celtic, Seville, Larsson, Winning Team Spirit
Open Goal · Aug 29, 2018

Si Ferry Meets… Stiliyan Petrov – Life and Times at Celtic, Seville, Larsson, Winning Team Spirit

TMT Special – TMT With..Stiliyan Petrov
20 Minute Tims · Jan 23, 2017

TMT Special – TMT With..Stiliyan Petrov

The Celtic Underground Podcast 199 – @ByTheMin The Return Leg
Celtic Underground · Sep 13, 2013

The Celtic Underground Podcast 199 – @ByTheMin The Return Leg

The Celtic Underground Podcast 198 – Stiliyan Petrov
Celtic Underground · Sep 5, 2013

The Celtic Underground Podcast 198 – Stiliyan Petrov

The Celtic Underground Podcast 198 – Stiliyan Petrov
Celtic Underground · Sep 5, 2013

The Celtic Underground Podcast 198 – Stiliyan Petrov