Soccer-Crowd favourite Topuzakov named new coach at Levski Sofia


SOFIA, March 21 (Reuters) - Levski Sofia have named former Bulgaria international Elin Topuzakov as interim coach until the end of the season, the 26-times champions said on Friday.

The former Levski and Hapoel Tel Aviv defender won five Bulgarian league titles and six national cups with the Sofia-based club as a player and helped them reach the UEFA Cup quarter-finals in 2005.

Levski, who mark their 100th anniversary this year, are seventh in the standings on 44 points from 27 matches, 14 points behind leaders Litex Lovech.

Topuzakov replaces Antoni Zdravkov, who resigned after Levski were knocked out of the domestic cup on Wednesday.

Crowd favourite Topuzakov will make his coaching debut on Saturday when Levski, one of the two most popular clubs in the Balkan country, host Botev Plovdiv.

The 37-year-old, who served as one of Zdravkov's assistants, will have to deal with a hugely demanding and impatient fan base.

Last October, Ivaylo Petev resigned as Levski coach a day after being stripped and forced out of his first news conference by hostile fans, who believed he was a supporter of bitter rivals CSKA Sofia. (Reporting by Angel Krasimirov; Editing by John O'Brien)

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