My name is Ivaylo Petev. I was born оn 9th of July 1975 in Lovech, Bulgaria. A childhood dream that I had come true in 1996 when I signed my first professional contract as a football player with FC Litex Lovech. Being part of the team for six years, I had the chance to experience the great emotion of becoming twice a Champion of Bulgaria (1998, 1999) and once a Bulgarian Cup winner (2001).
Getting closer to the end of my playing career, I decided to take a step forward to my next adventure and to become a football coach. In the last two years of my professional football career I was part of FC Etar Veliko Tarnovo, and a playing manager of FC Lyubimets.
Post my retirement in the summer of 2010 I signed a contract with PFC Ludogorets Razgrad to become their head coach. In just three years we managed to win a promotion to the Bulgarian First League, became two times consecutive Champions of Bulgaria, Winners of the Bulgarian Cup and the Supercup.
In October 2013 I left Bulgaria for Cyprus to become the head coach of FC AEL Limassol. Even though the club was at 5th position in the league when I joined, we manage to qualify for the Champions League and lost out on the league title to APOEL on goal difference.
I left FC AEL in the autumn of 2014 and at the end of the year I was appointed as the head coach of the Bulgarian national team – an honour which I couldn’t miss. I led the team in two consecutive qualification’s periods which was a great experience fulfilled with emotions that I will never forget.
Followed a period in charge of Dinamo Zagreb, where I experienced the magic of the Champions League group stage. In December 2017 I was introduced as the new coach of AC Omonia Nicosia in the Cypriot First Division. During the following two seasons, I was consecutively the head coach of Saudi Arabian Al-Qadsiah FC in 2018 and the manager of Jagiellonia Białystok in 2020.
In January 2021 I was appointed as the head coach of the National team of Bosnia and Herzegovina. For a period of two years in charge of Bosnia, we won a promotion to League A of the UEFA Nations League, after winning the group with one game to spare. Bosnia and Herzegovina has secured a place into Pot. 2 in the qualifying group stage draw for UEFA Euro 2024 and an additional option to qualify for UEFA EURO 2024 through the play-offs. The cohesive atmosphere achieved, the attractive football we played and the development of young players left a memorable mark in my career.
In the begging of 2023 I returned back to where it all began – as a head coach of the Bulgarian Champion – PFC Ludogorets 1945! I took over the team on 7th of March in 2nd place in the league with 4 points behind the second. For three months we managed to secure 14 victories from 17 games in order to win both the Bulgarian Championship and the Bulgarian cup. As s team we set a club record for the biggest victory in Ludogorets history (beating Botev Vratsa 8:1). On a personal note, I became the first coach to win twice the domestic Double with PFC Ludogorets, the coach with the most trophies in Ludogorets history – 6 trophies and I set a club record for the coach starting with most consecutive winning games in all competitions (10 games) and a record-equalling in Bulgaria for 21st century! It was an outstanding achievement for the club and the whole team behind the project.
As a head coach of PFC Ludogorets, I am looking forward to many more achievements on both domestic and European level.
To my experience I would like to add the time at FC Barcelona, Valencia CF and RCD Espanyol. Gaining knowledge and learning from the highly respected and successful managers as Josep Guardiola, Unai Emery and Mauricio Pochettino was fundamental for my carrer. I speak Bulgarian, English, Russian, Serbian and Croatian. I believe that great success comes with hard and constant work.