Lost Grounds

Bulgaria: Rakovski Stadium

Written by De Twaalfde Man

Sofia is one of the football capitals of Europe. Four clubs are playing in the highest division. Two more in the second division. Both having a long and interesting history. But the city also has some lost glory. In 2016 Akademik was dissolved. Although Septemvri has plans for building a new stadium, their old Septemvri stadium is still owned by nature. But there is another beauty: Rakovski Stadium.

It was the home of Spartak Sofia. The cup winner in 1968 was after 60 years dissolved in 2007. The oval has place for 5.000 spectators, but if you wander around inside you can imagine it could hold much more than that.

It’s a special stadium. On the one hand because it is still in use on a daily basis. Runners use the old track for their training, as well as the ring above the stands. Even granny finds some exercise in walking up and down the steps of the main stand. On the other hand the stadium decayes more and more every day. Mother Nature is the pride owner of the terraces. The pitch is still in use by the youth of Levski Sofia. So the future and the past are coming together at Rakovski Stadium.

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About the author

De Twaalfde Man

Passionate about football. Loves the game, especially al that happens around the pitch. Prefers to attend matches between the fanatics, the ultras, to experience football how it should be and if possible capture the passion on pictures telling the story. Crazy about authentic football culture, old stadiums and has a soft spot for the Balkans. Travels all around Europe and has been named "derby specialist" bij Panenka Magazine.

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