Career as a coach (click to scroll down):
Head Coach at Myanmar National Football Olympic Team U-23 / 2019 – Present
Head Coach at Sur Sport Club ( Oman ) 2018
Head Coach at Sisaket FC ( Thailand ) / 2017
Head Coach at Kelantan FA Malaysia / 2016
Head coach at Maldives National Football Team / 2015
Head coach at Suphanburi FC ( Thailand ) / 2014
Head coach at Sur Club ( Oman ) / 2013 – 2014
Head coach at New Radiant Sports Club ( Maldives ) / 2012 – 2013
Head coach at FC Costuleni Moldova (Moldova) / 2011 – 2012
Head coach at FC Liberika ( Horsens, Denmark ) / 2010 – 2011
Head coach at PFC “Cherno More” ( Varna, Bulgaria ) / 2002 – 2010
Head coach at PFC “Spartak” ( Plovdiv, Bulgaria ) / 2000 – 2002
2019 TOP 3 Sea Games ?? Bronze Medal?
2019 Sea Games Group stage Winner
2019 Runner-up AFC U-23 Championship Qualification
2016 TOP 4 Malaysian Super League ?? / QF Malaysia Cup
2014 TOP 6 Thailand Premier League ?? / ½ FA Thai Cup
2013 Treble Winner ???
2013 ?? Dhivehi Premier League Champion ?
2013 ?? FA Cup Winner ?
2013 ?? Charity Shield Super Cup Winner ?
2013 ?? Maldives Haveeru Awards- Best Coach of The Year Award Winner
2013 ?? The Special Excellence Award of New Radiant SC for the historical season winning all domestic titles with 100% record
2013 – AFC Cup Group stage Winner with the best attacking record and qualified for the AFC Cup Quarterfinals
2011 – FC Liberika – Horsens, Denmark- Promotion Winner ??
2008 – Bulgarian Cup Runner-up ??
2006 – The Best Youth Coach-BFU Varna ??
2005 – The Best Youth Coach-BFU Varna ??
* 2019 with Myanmar National Olympic Team U’23 – the biggest
ever win in official match / Myanmar-Timor Leste 7:0 in AFC
ASEAN Cup Qualifiers
* 2016 with TRW Kelantan – the biggest win ever in the history of
the club in away official match for against their biggest rival
Terengganu 6:1 in Kuala Terengganu in the East Coast derby for
the Malaysian Super League
* 2015 with Maldives National Team – in the Indian Ocean Islands
Games the first and only ever win in this competition after 3
participations so far beating the old rival Seychelles 2:1
* 2014 with Suphanburi FC – the first and only semi final in Thai
FA Cup ever in the history of the club
* 2013 with New Radiant SC – becoming the first team ever in the
Maldivian football history to finish off the whole season with a 100
percent record winning all 4 domestic trophies / Dhivehi Premier
League Champions , FA Cup Winner, Charity Shield Super Cup
Winner, President Cup Winner
* 2013 with New Radiant SC – first time AFC Cup Group stage
Winner with the best attacking record and qualified for the AFC
* 2013 with New Radiant SC – the biggest win ever for any
Maldivian club in international competition in AFC Cup 7:0 against
FC Persib in Indonesia
* 2013 with New Radiant SC – the biggest win ever in local
domestic competition 10:1 against VB Sports in the Dhivehi
* 2009 with PFC Cherno More – the biggest win ever against their
biggest domestic rival FC Levski Sofia 4:1 in Bulgarian Cup
Characteristics & Skills :
Former professional football player, recently an experienced UEFA PRO License holder with an International career coaching and managing teams competing in World high level. An all round highly qualified ambitious professional Coach who is educated in all aspects of the high level football, one of the best ambassadors of the Bulgarian Football Coaching guild abroad. Working closely with squads to improve and progress teams and individual players. A self-motivated and driven professional who combines a wealth of experience in the game with strong coaching achievements to improve and progress personal skills and capabilities in order to stay current with industry trends. A proactive, modern and tactically intelligent professional who understands the changing landscape of the modern game, focusing on exceptional coaching, man management and player development skills to build teams capable of progressing to a higher level. Speaks openly within the dressing room and encourages all individuals to air grievances and move on swiftly without bearing grudges. Stresses the importance of realistic optimism, focus and discipline in all areas and creates a “no excuses” culture. Understands that manner is as important as words spoken and that all players should be valued equally in order to avoid undermining team dynamic. Gives each player a sense of improvement and works hard to win the buy-in of their hearts and minds as well as their body. Builds trust by ensuring private discussions remain private and encourages responsibility in players by allowing them to feel involved in the decision making process. Fosters an environment of support which ensures players freely pass the ball rather than passing responsibility. Dedicated to continuous improvement and utilised new developments in sports psychology and science to adapt approach regularly. Applies and blends valuable knowledge learnt from previous managers to hone own unique style. A role model for players and staff alike who sets the example by which others behaviour is measured. Provides an approachable, fair, and knowledgeable figurehead for the club who builds trust and credibility with all partners. Demonstrates a keen eye for detail and a meticulous approach to match analysis, individual player assessment, and tailored tactical planning. Able to anticipate potential problems and take swift preventative/reactive action. Brings an air of informality coupled with authority and respect which contributes to a productive working environment. Establishes high basic standards and strives to put own stamp on training ground and club. A forward thinking individual committed to ensuring a club is steered in the right direction to succeed in the changing landscape of modern football, utilising innovative coaching and management methods to create a winning mentality within a club. A former professional player who has learned valuable lessons playing in domestic, European and international competition as well as always endeavouring to maintain an exceptional level of professionalism throughout his career. Oversaw the overall management of the first team, devising tactical strategies and picking the squad for match day. Coordinated coaching sessions with the squad, ensuring all training techniques were effectively implemented by the entire coaching staff and that sessions contributed to players’ development and fitness requirements. Conducted post match player reviews, providing the player with positive feedback and constructive criticism. Fostered a winning mentality within the team and club, encouraging the continued commitment of players and staff. Worked closely with sports scientists/fitness coaches to monitor player progression and ensure no one was over or under worked. Liaised with the academy coaches to remain up-to-date with player progression and potential graduates to the first team. Played a key and proactive role in scouting and recruitment, identifying talented and cost effective transfer targets. Liaised with board members and the chairman on issues regarding team success, coaching structure, player recruitment, etc. Upheld the public image of the club through professional communication with both media outlets and members of the community. Remained commercially aware to ensure the club always participated in any business, charity, or community events. Designed and implemented personal training plans as part of the Elite Player Performance Plan (EPPP). Worked with players on the mental side of the game to ensure they were ready to make the step up to the first team. Acted as a scout while on European trips to identify prospective transfer targets.
In January 2019 Velizar Popov has been appointed as a new Head Coach of Myanmar National Football Olympic Team U-23 for this year’s 2019 AFC Olympic Qualifiers , AFF Championship in Cambodia and SEA Games in Philippines. Still only 42 but with plenty of managerial experience under his belt already, Popov’s appointment was announced by Myanmar Football Federation (MFF) on Wednesday evening. The Bulgarian – a UEFA Pro Licence holder – is no stranger to the region, having had spells in Thailand with Suphanburi and Sisaket as well as in Malaysia with Kelantan. In fact, Popov has coached solely in Asia since 2012 with stints in Oman and Maldives as well, the latter of which involving being in charge of the national team in 2015. Myanmar are widely regarded as an emerging force in Southeast Asia but have seen their progress stagnate recently, highlighted by their group-stage exit at the last year’s AFF Suzuki Cup following a semi-final appearance in 2016. The Under-23s also finished runners-up at the 2015 SEA Games, which was followed by a fourth-place finish two years later – when the tournament was converted to an Under-22 competition. There is certainly no shortage of outstanding talent for Popov to work with, although inconsistency and indiscipline are often recognised as two factors preventing Myanmar from reaching the level of regional powerhouses Thailand and Vietnam. But, with six players from the AFF Suzuki Cup 2018 squad eligible for this year’s SEA Games – Phone Thit Sar Min, Sann Sat Naing, Soe Moe Kyaw, Ye Yint Aung, Htet Phyo Wai and Lwin Moe Aung – Popov will definitely have some youngsters with valuable experience to build his side around, along with fellow bright prospects Myat Kaung Khant and Hein Phyo Win.
In the AFC Qualifiers Myanmar under Velizar Popov reached the most expressive and biggest win ever in the history of the U-23 National Team against Timor Leste 7-0. In the biggest South East Asian tournament Velizar Popov’s Myanmar have entered the semifinals of men’s football in SEA Games 2019 after impressive group stage campaign winning against the host Philippines 2-1, Timor Leste 3-1, Cambodia 2-1 and drawing with Malaysia 1-1,Myanmar made it 10 points from four group fixtures to enter the knockouts, they have left Cambodia, Philippines and Malaysia, all on four points with one matchday left, to fight it out for the one remaining last four slot available for Group A. Myanmar have claimed the men’s football bronze medal at SEA Games 2019 after beat Cambodia 5-4 on penalties following a 2-2 draw at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in the match for the 3rd place.
- In December 2020, the technical committee of the Myanmar Football Federation, after a thorough analysis of the team’s performance in the last two years, decided to propose a new contract to Popov.
The MFF Secretary General U Ko Ko Thein said that the agreement of his contract extension was reached till the end of 2021 SEA Games.
“We are very pleased with the work of Mr Velizar Popov with the team so far and we reached an agreement last week to renew his contract. He agreed to extend the contract with the U23 Myanmar until the end of the 2021 SEA Games in Viet Nam. We are also planning to sign a contract with Mr Popov soon, ” U Ko Ko Thein said.
Velizar Popov confirmed the proposal of Myanmar Football Federation (MFF) to extend his contract for another year until the end of 2021.
“Delighted to have been offered and can confirm that I agreed to accept the proposal of the Myanmar Football Federation (MFF) to extend my contract for another year until the end of 2021”, said Popov.
“We have already improved many things in technical, tactical, physical, and mental aspects during 2019, both collectively as a team and individually as the development of each player; in 2020 the pandemic has made it difficult and we couldn’t progress the way we wanted, but we’re excited about the future in 2021 and where we want to reach next year is a faraway, distant place right now, so we’ll keep trying and moving forward in order to improve more and to achieve something bigger.
Thanks to the Myanmar Football Federation (MFF) and Myanmar National League (MNL) Clubs, we will restart our preparation for all important tournaments in 2021 as SEA Games, AFC Qualifiers, and AFF Championship with Pre-Season Camp on January 10 until March 14.”, the head coach added.
Velizar Popov is currently shaping Myanmar U-23 men’s national football team to have better movements.
In the AFC Qualifiers, Popov pushed team Myanmar to secure the biggest win ever in the history of the U-23 National Team against Timor Leste by 7-0. Remarkably, in the men’s football competition of the 2019 SEA Games in the Philippines, Popov assisted team Myanmar winning the bronze medal.
In 2018 Velizar Popov had been appointed as a new Head Coach of Sur Sport Club at Oman. Currently they are returned and playing in the Oman Professional Premier League after 2 years in the second tier of the Oman League. Popov is a popular figure among Oman football players and the fans supported his return after already had spells with Sur SC during the season 2013-2014 when made his debut in one of the most attractive derby matches in the Oman League, defeated the local rivals Al Oruba with 3-0. He managed to lead Sur SC climb from the 10th to 3th position in the standings and registered the best attack in the league. As a consequence, for the first time in the history of the club five players from Sur SC became already part of the Olympic national team of Oman and already two players are part of the senior national team. “Delighted to return in Oman and after being approached to come back again as a Head Coach at Sur SC after a few years away it was a easy decision to make, so I’m very excited about ! Looking forward to the new coming campaign with renewed enthusiasm and energy to working with the team and believe we can really push on this season in Oman Professional Premier League.”-explained Popov to the local Oman sport media. With almost two decades worth of experience in football coaching across the world, Popov makes a highly qualified club’s choice and Sur SC would be lucky to have a mind like Popov’s at their fortress. The 42-year-old has had stints in Europe, Asia and the Middle East – having participated in almost a couple of two hundred official matches as Head Coach in International competitions. Popov has also been a part of events such as the AFC Cup, UEFA Europa League, and the Asian World Cup Qualifiers as well, concluded the Oman sport media the presentation about Popov’s return at Sur SC.
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Velizar Popov returns to the Thai Premier League as Sisaket FC Head Coach,after last coaching in the country in 2014 with Suphanburi FC.The Dangerous Koupreys are based in the Sisaket province of Thailand,and finished 13th in the league last season. In 2015 they came the closest to winning a major title, finishing runners up in the Thai League Cup.Bulgarian Popov has been tasked to ensure Sisaket FC, the Thai Premier League relegation battlers,finish out of the last 3 teams in the bottom of the table-the current position of the team at the moment after 6 matches with only 3 points after one win and five defeats.Popov last coached in Thailand in 2014, with Suphanburi FC before leaving to take up the Maldives national team head coach post in 2015.Popov then joined Kelantan mid-way through the 2016 Malaysia Super League season, overturning the Red Warriors’ poor performance and guiding them to a fourth-place finish in the league, and the quarter-final stage of the 2016 Malaysia Cup.However he left the Kota Bharu-based side at the end of the season, after the club could not meet his requirements for a contract extension.
Despite the short time and the difficult schedule, Popov’s Sisaket FC managed to win 15 points by the end of the first half of the season in the Thai Premier league T1 and after the fundamental wins against the direct rivals Sukhothai and Thai Honda managed to climb the team over the area of the relegation zone by equalizing points but with advantage in the direct duels with Sukhothai and Thai Honda.The cruccial away win against Thai Honda was the first away win for Sisaket FC after more than one year in all domestic competitions.
Velizar Popov has officially parted ways with Sisaket FC on good terms after mutual agreement with the management of the club stepped down from the team on August 1, according to the announcement from the Thai Premier League 1 side.His decision was announced on Tuesday,August 1, after the 41-year-old officially had a meeting with the club president and managers and handed in the resignation to withdraw from the coaching responsibility. Popov returns to the Thai League 1 as Sisaket FC head coach in March 2017, after last coaching in the country in 2014 with Suphanburi FC. After that, he left the country to take up the Maldives national team head coach post in 2015. He then joined Malaysia Super League side Kelantan in 2016, and successfully guided them to a fourth-place finish in the league, even took the Red Warriors to the quarter-final stage of the 2016 Malaysia Cup.
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Head Coach at Kelantan FA Malaysia / 2016
On January 2015, Popov was unveiled as the new head coach of Maldives national football team, in a ceremony held before the kick off of 2015 POMIS Cup Final.Velizar Popov has been appointed head coach of the Maldives national team, returning to the country where he led New Radiant to an unprecedented domestic treble in 2013.Popov is a popular figure among Maldivian football players and supporters.The 39-year-old Bulgarian oversaw a league campaign that ended with New Radiant making history as the first team to take the Dhivehi League title with a 100% record winning Dhivehi League,FA Cup and Charity Shield Super Cup.He also lead New Radiant to the quarter finals of AFC Cup in 2013 with the best attacking record in the group stage that includes a local club’s biggest away win in an international tournament. New Radiant beat Indonesia’s Persibo by 7-0 in Solo, Indonesia.Popov embarks on his first foray into national team coaching having had spells in Oman with Sur and in Thailand with Suphanburi and takes over the Maldives National Team.Popov was very close to made one of the biggest surprises ever in the asian football in the world cup qualifiers against Qatar.The favourite Qatar needed 9 minutes of added time to beat the Maldives in a World Cup qualifier with the lone goal coming in the ninth minute of added time,even though there was only supposed to be eight minutes of added time.In the Indian Ocean Islands Games Maldives with Popov won their first match ever in this competition after 3 participations so far beating the old rival Seychelles 2:1.
Head coach at Suphanburi FC Thailand / 2014
For the season 2014 Velizar Popov had been appointed as a new head coach of Suphanburi FC at Thailand.Currently they are playing in the Thai Premier League.Popov lead the team to the 6th position from 20 teams in the final league table for the season 2014 and lead Suphanburi FC to their first semi final in FA Cup ever in the history of the club.
Head coach at Sur Club Oman / 2013 – 2014
Just two days after winning the FA Cup for historic treble with New Radiant, SC Velizar Popov left the Maldive champion after a great season with the Islanders to take on former champion of Oman- Sur Sports Club. On October the 7th he signed a one-year contract until the end of the season 2013 / 2014. Popov made his debut in one of the most attractive derby matches in the Omani League. He defeated the local rivals Al Oruba with 3-0. Whitin 3 months Velizar Popov managed to let Sur Club climb from the 10th to 3th position in the standings and he registered the best attack in the league. As a consequence, for the first time in the history of the club five players from Sur Club became already part of the Olympic national team of Oman.
Head coach at New Radiant Sports Club / 2012 – 2013
In January 2013 Velizar Popov headed the Maldivian champion with New Radiant SC and won the Maldivian championship with a 100% winning record, the best score ever. He also did win the Maldivian FA Cup and the Supercup Milo Charity Shields, making the treble. This was the third time New Radiant won the league. It was the very first time a club confirmed the league title with one round yet to play and with a 100% winning record. New Radiant broke the maximum league points record of 53 points set by VB Sports in 2010 by taking the Blues league points to 57, becoming the first team in history to finish off the league with a 100 percent record. New Radiant won all 19 matches they played in this years league, scoring an outstanding 73 goals in the process and conceeded only 5 goals. In the Asian AFC Cup Popov got too impressive results for the first time in the history of Maldivian football. The team scored the biggest win ever in the AFC Cup 7-0 against Indonesian team Persibo. New Radiant finished on the top of the group stage of this year’s AFC cup with the best attacking record of 20 goals in 6 games and second best defensive record of the tournament receiving 4 goals in 6 games. The club won the group with 15 points from 6 games —the best score ever in Maldivian football history— and qualified for the quarterfinals for the second time in the history of Maldives football defeating Selangor (Malaysia) with 2-0. Velizar Popov won 2013 Maldives Haveeru Awards – Best Coach of the year award after guiding the blues to Charity Shield, Dhivehi League and FA Cup success with a 100% winning record leading the team to AFC Cup Quarter finals and also The Special Excellence Award of New Radiant SC for the historical season winning all domestic titles with 100% record.
2013 Champion with a 100% winning record
2013 Super Cup winner – Milo Charity Shield
2013 FA Cup winner
2013 The Best Coach of the year award
2013 AFC Cup group stage winner with the best attacking record of 20 goals in 6 games and second best defensive record of the tournament receive 4 goals in 6 games !!!The club win the group with 15 points from 6 games-the best score ever in maldivian football history and qualified for the quarterfinals for the second time in the history of Maldive football winning Selangor ( Malaysia) 2-0.
Head coach at FC Costuleni Moldova / 2011 – 2012
For the Season 2011-2012 Velizar Popov lead Moldovan FC Costuleni which play in the Premier League Moldova.
Head coach at FC Liberika Horsens, Denmark / 2010 – 2011
In October 2010 Velizar Popov left Bulgarian PFC Cherno More and moved to Danish Team Liberika Horsens, with which he won promotion in 2011.
Head coach at PFC “Cherno More” Varna, Bulgaria / 2002 – 2010
Velizar Popov had been appointed on 16 September 2009 as the manager of Cherno More Varna to replace Nikola Spasov after two years of working as his assistant manager. He made his debut as a football manager in the Bulgarian A PFG on September 20th, 2009 in a match against Minyor Pernik. The youngest manager in the Bulgarian League led Cherno More in 36 appearances for the A PFG and 3 matches of the Bulgarian Cup. Velizar remains in history the coach who reached the most expressive win of Cherno More against the leader in Bulgarian Championship (Levski Sofia). In December 2009 the sailors defeated the blue team with 4-1 in the Bulgarian Cup. In June 2010 Velizar Popov attracted in PFC Cherno More Brazilian superstar Mário Jardel, who was the most famous name ever having played in the Bulgarian league.
2010-PFC ”Cherno more” Varna-Professional-Head Coach 7 place
2009-PFC”Cherno more”Varna-Professional-Assist Coach/ Head Coach 3 UEFA place
2008-PFC”Cherno more”Varna-Professional-Assist Coach 5 UEFA place
2007-PFC”Cherno more”Varna-Professional-Assist Coach 6 Intertoto Cup place
2006-PFC”Cherno more”Varna-Youth Academy Head Coach 1 place State Champion
2005-PFC”Cherno more”Varna-Youth Academy Head Coach 1 place State Champion
2004-PFC”Cherno more”Varna-Youth Academy Head Coach 2 place national champ.
2003-PFC”Cherno more”Varna-Youth Academy Head Coach 2 place of the state champ.
Head coach at PFC “Spartak” Plovdiv, Bulgaria / 2000 – 2002
PFC Spartak Plovdiv Y
outh Academy Head Coach.
2002-PFC Spartak Plovdiv
Youth Academy Head Coach 2 place.
2001-PFC Spartak Plovdiv
Youth Academy Head Coach 3 place.
2000-PFC Spartak Plovdiv
Youth Academy Head Coach 4th place.
Career as a player:
Coach Velizar Popov is a former
Bulgarian professional football player in the highest division. In his career as a player he played for Lokomotiv Plovdiv, Hebar Pazardzhik and Spartak Plovdiv.
- PFC”Lokomotiv” Plovdiv Academy 1984-1994
- FC ”Armeec” Sliven 09/1994-06/1995
- PFC”Lokomotiv” Plovdiv 07/1995 – 06/1996
- PFC”Hebar”Pazardjik 07/1996 – 06/1999
- PFC”Spartak”Plovdiv 07/1999 – 01/2000