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One of Bulgaria's heroes at USA 94 dies aged 50

Former Real Betis, CSKA Sofia and Rapid Vienna defender Trifon Ivanov has passed away.

Ivanov earned 76 caps for Bulgaria and starred at  the 1994 World Cup.
Ivanov earned 76 caps for Bulgaria and starred at the 1994 World Cup.

FORMER BULGARIA INTERNATIONAL Trifon Ivanov has died at the age of 50.

The Bulgarian Football Union (BFU) confirmed on Saturday that the former Real Betis centre-back had passed away. It is reported that he suffered a heart attack.

The BFU described Ivanov, who was a key component of the side which reached the semi-finals of the World Cup in 1994, as ”one of the best defenders in the history of Bulgarian football”.

“Before being a great player, Trifon was a great man,” the statement added. “We all mourn the loss of a true friend.”

UEFA Champions League Soccer - Manchester United v SK Rapid Vienna Ivanov facing Manchester United's Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for Rapid Vienna in the 1996 Champions League. Source: EMPICS Sport

He enjoyed success at club level with CSKA Sofia and Rapid Vienna in particular, reaching the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup final with the Austrian side in 1996.

Ivanov, who won 77 caps for his country, had been hospitalised last year with heart problems.

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