Kostadinov: ‘I’m a Juventus fan and admire Bonucci’

Bulgaria captain Georgi Kostadinov admits to being a little star-struck ahead of tomorrow’s World Cup qualifier with Italy. ‘I am a Juventus fan and really admire Leonardo Bonucci.’

The game kicks off on Thursday at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT) at the Stadio Franchi in Florence.

“It’s a great honour for me to captain my country,” said the defensive midfielder in a press conference.

“I hope we can build a solid group and put in a great performance tomorrow. There is no apprehension, rather we are a squad of young players who are hungry to impress.”

Italy are the UEFA EURO 2020 winners and on a 34-match unbeaten run, but also have a 100 per cent record after three games in this World Cup qualifying group.

Kostadinov turns 31 next week, although many of his teammates see this trip to Florence as an opportunity to put themselves in the shop window.

“This is our chance, everyone wants to go to a top level club and we want to make a good impression against Italy.”

There is one player in particular that the Bulgaria captain will ask to exchange jerseys at the final whistle.

“I am a Juventus fan and I really admire Bonucci.”