Stiliyan Petrov

Celtic hero Stiliyan Petrov was born in Montana, Bulgaria on 5 July 1979 (age 40).

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.

Stiliyan Petrov in the news

Read all the news mentioning Stiliyan Petrov.

67HailHail · Dec 16, 2019

Petrov in awe of the ‘invaluable’ Celtic star who has taken his game to ‘a new level’ recently

Former Celtic hero Stiliyan Petrov has praised captain Scott Brown for taking his game to ‘a new level’ recently, speaking to The Sunday Post...

67HailHail · Nov 14, 2019

Celtic legend Petrov’s UEFA celebration

Former Celtic hero Stiliyan Petrov has graduated from a UEFA course designed to give ex-players the professional skills needed for a career in the administration of football.

67HailHail · Oct 9, 2019

“Battle of the titans” – Famous Celtic bust-up comes to light

Former Celtic midfielder Si Ferry has recalled a training ground bust-up between Stiliyan Petrov and Evander Sno a number of years ago.

Evening Times · Oct 9, 2019

Si Ferry recalls ‘heavyweight’ brawl between Stiliyan Petrov and Evander Sno in Celtic training

Ex-Celtic youngster Si Ferry has recalled the moment former teammates Evander Sno and Stiliyan Petrov had a full-scale brawl at training...

Evening Times · Oct 2, 2019

Martin O’Neill thought Celtic star Petrov was masseur at first meeting – as he was so overweight

Celtic hero Stiliyan Petrov has revealed former manager Martin O’Neill thought he was the MASSEUR when he joined the club – because the midfielder was so overweight...

Evening Times · Sep 25, 2019

Celtic hero Stiliyan Petrov says watching rival Mikel Arteta breeze past him was warning sign of leukaemia

Celtic legend Stiliyan Petrov watched former rival Mikel Arteta easily breeze past him while playing for Aston Villa and knew something was wrong...

Evening Times · Sep 18, 2019

Celtic hero Stiliyan Petrov remembers ‘friend and true fighter’ Fernando Ricksen after tragic death

Celtic hero Stiliyan Petrov has hailed former friend and rival Fernando Ricksen as a “true fighter on and off the pitch” after the Dutchman passed away this morning...

67HailHail · Jul 29, 2019

29th July: The day Celtic signed two magicians

Celtic announced the signing of two midfield magicians – Stiliyan Petrov and Shunsuke Nakamura – on the 29th of July.

67HailHail · Jul 15, 2019

Celtic facing win-win scenario this summer

Celtic legend Stiliyan Petrov has highlighted the positive scenario facing Celtic over Kieran Tierney this summer.

67HailHail · Jul 15, 2019

“You need to be patient” – Celtic legend urges fans

Former Celtic midfielder Stiliyan Petrov says he understands the difficulty facing the club in terms of recruitment this summer.

FootballFanCast · Jul 15, 2019

Stan Petrov’s absolutely right with his verdict on the Kieran Tierney situation

Former Celtic star Stiliyan Petrov has called for Kieran Tierney’s transfer situation to be resolved as soon as possible...

FootballFanCast · Jul 6, 2019

Plenty of Celtic fans laud club “legend” – “What a player he was”, “Total professional”

Celtic fans take to social media to lavish praise on the club’s former midfielder Stiliyan Petrov...

The Sun · May 26, 2019

Ex-Villa and Celtic star Petrov reveals aim to become a manager seven years after being diagnosed with leukaemia

ASTON VILLA legend Stiliyan Petrov has revealed he wants to become a manager.

67HailHail · May 21, 2019

Former treble winner wants Celtic to get a move on

Former Celtic treble winner Stiliyan Petrov has told the Hoops board that they need to appoint their new manager quickly.

Daily Record · May 21, 2019

Stiliyan Petrov urges Celtic to clear up Neil Lennon’s Parkhead future

The Bulgarian believes the next manager must be named straight after the Cup Final as he faces a massive rebuilding job...

Celtic FC · May 17, 2019

Celtic FC Foundation’s London Gala Dinner is a great success

CELTIC FC Foundation hosted its third annual fundraising Gala Dinner in London last night (Thursday) and it was another huge success...

Tribal Football · Apr 11, 2019

Celtic legend Petrov: Man Utd can afford Tierney

Manchester United could be set to sign Kieran Tierney from Celtic.That is the opinion of former Hoops star Stiliyan Petrov.Read more on Tribal Football...

67HailHail · Apr 11, 2019

‘He is a winner’ – former team-mate backs Neil Lennon for Celtic job

Former Celtic midfielder Stiliyan Petrov has backed his old team-mate Neil Lennon to be named as permanent Celtic manager.

67HailHail · Apr 11, 2019

Celtic fans will be hoping that club legend’s prediction doesn’t come true

Celtic fans will be hoping that a prediction made by club legend Stiliyan Petrov doesn’t come true.

Read Celtic · Apr 11, 2019

Celtic star will leave soon, says ex-midfielder

Celtic must accept that Kieran Tierney will look for a new challenge in the near future, according to former midfield favourite Stiliyan Petrov.

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