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Best 'Eastern European' footballer?

When you think of great footballing nations it is fair to say South American and Western European countries spring to mind. The best players tend to be from the same countries too. However, it is fair to say you get a few gems pop up in what are seen as 'lesser footballing nations'. One (loosely termed) area is Eastern Europe, so let us celebrate the best.

For me there are two stand-outs, who coincidently reached their peak at the same World Cup - USA 94.

Hristo Stoichkov - Bulgaria and Barcelona.
A Balon d'Or winner, a European Cup winner, a 5 time La Liga winner. Perhaps his greatest achievement was leading his country to the World Cup semi finals at USA94.
Stoichkov had a 1 in 2 scoring record in his first spell at Barca, and finished his club career with 289 goals in 595 appearances.
For Bulgaria it was 37 in 83, plus a World Cup golden boot in 94.
The 94 World Cup started in familiar fashion for Bulgaria - defeat. However, 2 penalties helped Stoichkov get off the mark in the next game, a 4-0 win over Greece. The first shock the Bulgarians caused came in the 3rd game, a 2-0 win over Argentina in which Stoichkov scored again. An early Stoichkov opener against Mexico was quickly equalised, leading to a penalty shoot-out in which Bulgaria won. That set up a quarter final against Germany. Bulgaria were underdogs, and it was seemingly mission impossible when Matthaus netted a penalty. However, a stunning Stoichkov free-kick sparked a recovery and Letchkov won Bulgaria the game. Stoichkov also netted in the semi final, but Roberto Baggio proved too good for the Bulgarians.

Gheorghe Hagi - Romania, Bucherest, Real Madrid, Barcelona
Hagi first came to prominence when he helped Steaua Bucherest to the 88 European Cup semi final, and then one step further in 89 with a final appearance. He went to Real Madrid after that and also had a spell with Barca. Neither really saw Hagi reach the heights expected.
However, it was internationally that Hagi really stood out. After helping Romania to the last 16 in 1990 (before David O'Leary hit the decisive penalty to knock Romania out), Hagi really came to prominence in the US. A wondergoal against Colombia in the group stage, the winner in the last 16 against Argentina, the Romanians run was ended in the Quarter Finals in another penalty shoot out defeat.


posted on 24/5/20

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posted on 24/5/20

Stojkovic

posted on 25/5/20

Sinisa Mihajlovic

posted on 25/5/20

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BEPBtehjKpI

posted on 25/5/20

in my lifetime:

Dragan Stojkovic
Hagi
Prosinecki
Nedved
Stoichkov
Modric

posted on 25/5/20

Obviously Puskas, Hagi & Stoichkov are like top 3.

Below that you'll have players like Cech, Nedved, Shevchenko, Modric, Vidic.

Arshavin had the world at his feet for about a year.

posted on 25/5/20

Šuker
Modrić
Savičević
Boban
Prosinečki
Jarni
Vidić
Ibrahimović

Best Eastern European footballers are from Yugoslav countrys. Remember that. Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro and Bosnia predominantly

posted on 25/5/20

Maybe the Russian link was pushing it but they're in European competition so.

posted on 25/5/20

comment by *Michael Edwards FC {Proud owner of the 5 000 000th comment} Super European Champions of the World (U2720)
posted 40 minutes ago
Obviously Puskas, Hagi & Stoichkov are like top 3.

Below that you'll have players like Cech, Nedved, Shevchenko, Modric, Vidic.

Arshavin had the world at his feet for about a year.
----------------------------------------------------------------------

No they are not. Except from Puskas. Coratian players have more national team success with 3rd place in WC1998 adn 2nd place in WC2018. Modrić has Ballon'd Or. And Many of Croatian players have multiple champion league titles. There is no reason to believe that Hagi and Stoichkov should be rated higher that Modrić or Šuker other than subjective reasons or ignorance. Šuker even has World Cup golden boot.

posted on 25/5/20

The best 5 must be Hagi, Stoichkov, Modric, Nedved and Shevchenko imo.

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