Hristo Stoichkov is a retired footballer, he is regarded as the greatest Bulgarian footballer of all time. In fact he was runner-up for the FIFA World Player of the Year (1992, 1994) and the Ballon d'Or (1994). He is a former player at F.C. Barcelona as well. On 1992 he won the European Champions League with the Catalan team.
Hristo Stoichkov has highlighted his long-standing support for Catalan independence at Radio4G: "When I used to play for the Bulgarian national team, I'd always wear an armband that was the colours of the Catalan flag. I've always been pro-independence, eversince I said as much at Wembley in 1992. Why should you have to depend onsomeone else? Why have to pay what someone else says?"
Nevertheless, Stoichkov disagreed with Éric Cantona's recent assertions about the 2010 World Cup being a purely Catalan victory: "Catalonia didn't win it, Spain did. I have a great deal of respect for Vicente del Bosque. I'm proud of my teammates who wore both the Barcelona and Spain shirts".