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Volleyball club CSKA - HISTORY



Volleyball club CSKA - HISTORY

Volleyball has always been one of the brightest representatives of the brand CSKA in Bulgaria and abroad. With a total of 51 league titles and 38 cups in men and women, as well as three European Champions Cups, one can hardly find another sports club, which has brought more honors at the Museum of sports glory. From the ranks of CSKA came some of the greatest legends of Bulgarian volleyball, whose names are written in gold not only in Bulgaria, but also in the world.

CSKA's volleyball has existed since May 5, 1948 and is one of eight sports that developed from "September in CDV." Like our football club, in CSKA volleyball, the name was changed several times over the years; in different periods the team has competed as CDNV, CDNA, CSKA, CSKA "Red Flag", CSKA "September flag", and again CSKA.

Just as in football, CSKA volleyball players also won their first title in the year of the team's creation. Athletes who laid the foundations of VC CSKA Sofia are Kostadin Shopov (player-coach of the team), Dragomir Stoyanov, Mitko Dimitrov, Dimitar Elenkov, Konstantin Totev, Ivan Ivanov, Dimitar Dimitrov, Petar Shishkov, Alexander Velev, Milko Karaivanov (later became coach of the male and female prep teams).

CSKA volleyball quickly established itself as the leading team in men and women, not only in Bulgaria, but also in Europe. In 1969, we won the European Cup for men, which is the first award of such rank in team sports. In the final match, CSKA was twice victorious over Romania's Steaua Bucharest.

The won European Champion's Cup in particular helped promote volleyball in Bulgaria as a whole. It was followed by winning the Cup Winners' Cup in 1976. In the finals of this tournament, something amazing happened. The recent captain of CSKA, Dimitar Carov, who now played in Italy, refused to come out against his former team.

After this event, and although Dimitar Carov for 3 years in a row was declared the best player in the Italian championship team, CLIPAN TORINO terminated his contract. His deed, however, remains in big letters in the red history.

CSKA's men's volleyball team participated in the Final Four of the European Cup seven times.

At the home scene, CSKA was an absolute hegemon, giving birth to new stars constantly. The team's big legend Borislav Kyosev has won the record number of 9 championship titles plus 7 Bulgarian Cups, having played over 2000 games for the reds.

The star of another CSKA legend, Lyubo Ganev, came to the limelight in 1983, after he played a very strong first game for the reds at a tournament in Zagreb. Lyubo Ganev participated excellently in the game against the then-Yugoslav champions, Mladost Zagreb, and helped CSKA turn the game around, surprising everyone with his amazing qualities.

Borislav Kyosev and Lyubo Ganev gained excellent recognition in Italy. The two were pronounced the best foreign pair, and have never had problems with one another - they have always supported each other. Even at the provocative questions, like "Who is the best Bulgarian volleyball player?", our competitors answer with a smile:

In 1986 Borislav Kyosev received another big recognition, he was included in the world's top six. Following a game between France and Bulgaria, French newspapers call him "the black mystery".

It is a similar story with the women's team. The European Champion's Cup was won twice in 1979 and 1984.

The women's team's accomplishments are a prelude to the national team's European title from the championship in Sofia in 1981, and the backbone of the team is from CSKA. In 1982, the team is triumphant at the Champion's Cup Tournament.

From this point of view it is safe to say that CSKA's players have always been the powerhouses of Bulgaria's national teams.

Throughout the years, thanks to the champion's spirit and character, the club contributed to the upbringing of several generations of talented volleyball players, who became living legends for Bulgarian volleyball.

Until 1995 CSKA regularly won titles and cups in both men and women. After that, however, with the stepping away from the military leadership from the club's management, and the lack of adequate private financing led to a logical decline, which continued for 10 years.
Still, the women's team manages to remind people of its existence with titles in 2000, 2004 and 2005.

The situation changed in 2008, when serious investors appear on the horizon. As a result, the men are back to back champions three times, and amazing achievements were reached in the Champion's League. This way Alexandar Popov continues to gain medals for his family, which is legendary and worthy of a Guinness World Record.

During the 2009/10 season, CSKA ranked second in the group, together with Zenith (Kazan), but dropped out at the second round against Asseco Resovia.

The following year, however, CSKA played again the semifinals in Europe. This happened in the Cup of the European Volleyball Confederation (CEV), after defeating Ziraatbank (Ankara) in the quarter, and before that the team finished third in the Champions League.

During this period, the female team of CSKA also performed brilliantly and won titles in 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012. In 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2013, the Cups in Bulgaria were won.

In 2013, the men's CSKA volleyball team was left by its main sponsor and fell into a severe financial crisis. The team was rescued by fans of the club, as the necessary funds were raised through the "Hundred Hearts for CSKA" campaign .This method of funding was maintained over the next two seasons, and manager Alexander Popov was forced to rely heavily on adolescents and glorious veterans, who, however, for understandable reasons, could not compete with the current best.

Finally, in late 2015, Alexandar Popov announced at a press conference that CSKA's debts have been paid and the team can once again breathe and look forward to the future.

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