I love Bulgaria, its spectacular food, splendid natural beauty, and warm people, but this rosy image is short-lived when I notice the neglect of the state of football. Bulgaria is not alone; a lot of European countries are similar. In a population of over 6 million people with zero pathways for players, there are 3 or 4 clubs at clubs that vacuum the top players, and there are zero plans, investments, or grassroots for others.
There are a handful of people with coaches and academies that can help, but how much can they do? Four clubs for under 19 players; even if each club took 100 players, they would still leave over 100,000 players out. Everyone in South America, Asia, and Africa aims to come to Europe to play football, but there is a vacuum of pathways for players that are currently playing.
This sad affair stems from the fact that there is a lack of insightful programs to channel the young players or provide an action-based plan to execute long-term plans. Lack of any guidance means that most players fall out of football, which is not just a sport but a way to stay healthy, remain in good company, be part of a community, and ultimately learn how to live and work together. I wish we could replicate success stories like formulas so that the kids could avail opportunities and achieve more with football.