A former professional football player is among the 6-red event participants in Albena

He is one of the most interesting names at the 2023 European Championships in Albena (Bulgaria). Simeon Raikov made earlier today his debut in the 6-red event 16 years after becoming a Bulgarian national champion. The reason for this is simple: he had a long and successful football career and managed to reach the Dutch Eredivisie!

Back in 2007, in the early days of snooker in Bulgaria, Raikov became the first national champion. But as an accomplished football player as well he turned to the green grass instead of the green baize. Raikov player more than 190 games in top flight of Bulgarian football, scoring 46 goals and winning Bulgarian Cup and Bulgarian Supercup in 2015.

Two years later he moved to Roda in Dutch Eredivisie but injuries forced him into an early retirement in 2019 aged just 30.

So 16 years removed he’s back at the table and fulfilling one of his childhood dreams. The biggest one (playing alongside Ronnie O`Sullivan) he already accomplished in an exhibition in Sofia in 2011.