Hristina Hristova: Bulgarian star who captained her national team and tore it up in Italy with Milan
Born: 26 February 1963, Sofia
Position: Right winger
Occupation: Airline Chef (1987)
Hotshot Hristova began her sporting career at hometown club Lokomotiv (Локомотив) then decamped to Akademik (Академик) in 1981.
In the old Iron Curtain days she worked as a chef for Balkan Airlines, the state carrier.
When Bulgaria entered official UEFA competitions in Euro 1989 qualifying, she had already cooked up 30 caps and was the national team captain.
The first match against pre-Ignacio Quereda Spain ended in a tasty 1–1 draw.
The Imitiation of Hrist
Look, in online ‘WoSo‘ circles it’s obviously considered poor form to compare female players to men.
But how could we resist the comparison with Hristina’s contemporary and near-namesake Hristo Stoichkov? That towering figure among Bulgarian football players.
Hristo was an endearingly bonkers genius with dynamite in his trusty left boot. He once got banned for a year, and his short fuse saw him dubbed “the dagger” and “el pistolero”.
He famously rubbed shoulders with Pep Guardiola, Romário et al. in Johan Cruyff’s Barcelona dream team.
Well so what? Hristova won a Scudetto at Milan playing alongside Carolina Morace and Anne O’Brien! Backstopped by goalkeeping great Eva Russo they carried off the 1991–92 title.
Hristova may have been right-footed and lacked Hristo’s hair-trigger temper but nonetheless her achievements surely deserve recognition and respect.
At USA ’94 Stoitchkov turfed out the German holders and blasted six goals for a share of the Golden Boot.
Bulgaria haven’t even entered the 2019 Women’s World Cup. Clearly, their bungling FA need to get their fingers out: stop defacing this proud footballing legacy, you идиотс (idiots).
#One Milan Ladies, there’s only one Milan Ladies…#
Bafflingly, there were TWO Milan teams. Both styling themselves ‘Milan’ instead of the Italian ‘Milano’ and sporting the famous Rossoneri colours.
There was ACF Milan – this was the team variously branded ‘Gommagomma’ and ‘Lombarda’ who signed Rose Reilly and Edna Neillis in the 70s.
Then there was ACF Milan 82, ‘Milan Salvarani’ for a time due to their sponsorship deal. They won the league in 1992 but two years later went bust.
The clubs’ respective fortunes waxed and waned but in 1987–88 their paths had crossed with both competing in Serie A.
Neither entity had the official backing of the AC Milan club, although Reilly recalled playing home matches at the San Siro on occasion.
It seems Hristova served both of these clubs in her Italian stint. Research continues into which Milan outfit signed English stars like Sallie Jackson and Yvonne Baldeo.