Matthaeus: Bulgarians Lack International Football Passion

Sports | September 7, 2011, Wednesday // 09:36|  views

German coach Lothar Matthaeus does not hide that many of the Bulgarian players fail to live up to his standards and expectations. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Bulgaria's German coach Lothar Matthaeus has attributed the deplorable performance of the squad in the clash against Switzerland to individual lapses and lack of concentration.

"We did not play smart enough and it was only natural that we were defeated. We had a plan we had to follow, but it did not happen. Once again we were defeated because of individual mistakes. Some players were distracted and their thoughts were not on the pitch," said Matthaeus after the game.

"Some players are not in their best shape, but I do not know why that's the case since the championships have already begun. They lack passion to play at international level," said the former German international.

"We have to be realists. In Switzerland, they are investing heavily in the young players, while in Bulgaria this is not the case. They have the right concept for football and have been developing it for 16 years," he added.

Bulgaria have now lost even theoretical chances to qualify to Euro 2012 after getting defeated by Switzerland in Basel Tuesday night.

Even though they were the first to score, Bulgaria lost 3:1 to the Swiss after getting crushed 3:0 by England in Sofia on September 2.

Bulgaria's defender Ivan Ivanov opened in the 8th minute but the Swiss team got back the goal in the extension of the first half.

Switzerland scored again in the 62nd and 90th minute; all three goals for the Swiss came from 19-year-old FC Basel forward Xherdan Shaqiri. In the 65th minute, Bulgaria's defender Zhivko Milanov got a red card.

The match pitted Bulgaria coach Lothar Matthaeus against his former Bayern Munich manager Ottmar Hitzfeld.

Bulgaria remains fourth out of 5 in qualifying group G with 5 points, losing any hopes to make it even to the second place.

Switzerland next plays away to Wales on Oct. 7, and Bulgaria welcomes the Welsh four days later.

Montenegro hosts England on Oct. 7 before coming to Switzerland for the final match.

England leads by six points with one game left after beating Wales 1-0 on Tuesday.

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Tags: Matthaeus, Lothar, red cards, Zhivko Milanov, Ivan Ivanov, national football team, Wales, England, Montenegro, Basel, Switzerland, Bulgaria, German, coach


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