Ludogorets - 10 things you really should know
The Bulgarians are in action against Liverpool at Anfield tonight
Ludogorets’ Anicet Abel runs with the ball during a training session at Anfield. Photograph: Phil Noble
Here are a selection of titbits concerning the Bulgarian side.
1. Founded in 2001 as Ludogorie Football Club they acquired the licence of one of the first football clubs in the town of Razgrad, which itself was founded in 1945 but dissolved in 2006.
2. They are the second Bulgarian team after Levski Sofia to reach the group stage of the Champions League.
3. After being beaten by Basel — who they have been drawn in the same group as - in the 2013-14 Champions League play-offs they dropped into the Europa League and reached the last 16 before exiting to Valencia.
4. Nicknamed “the Eagles” they were presented in 2014 with a live eagle, named Fortuna, by Europa League rivals Lazio whom they beat 4-3 on aggregate.
5. Ludogorets are bankrolled by well-known Bulgarian industrialists Kiril and Georgi Domuschiev, who bought the club in 2010.
6. They have won the Bulgarian championship for the last three seasons.
7. As their 6,000-seater Ludogorets Arena in Razgrad does not meet Uefa requirements they play their home European fixtures 200 miles away in the national stadium in the Bulgarian capital Sofia.
8. Romanian centre-back Cosmin Moti shot to fame by saving two penalties in their shoot-out against 1986 European Cup winners Steaua Bucharest in this year’s play-off round after goalkeeper Vladislav Stoyanov was sent off in extra time.
10. Although this is their first competitive visit to England Ludogorets drew 1-1 with Everton in a behind-closed-doors friendly at Goodison Park in 2012.