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WORLD CUP USA '94 / QUARTERFINALS : Spotlight : ECONOMY CLASS

July 11, 1994|PAUL HAYWARD | Daily Telegraph of London

In reflecting on the precarious finances of the Bulgarian team:

"This is a country that has qualified for six of the nine World Cup finals since 1962, though it had never won a match before this year's competition and was on the fringes of bankruptcy before securing passage to America.

"The sadder stories become less painful with each odds-bucking victory. Few Bulgarians will care to reflect that when he asked if he could travel last year to examine his foreign-based players, Coach Dimitar Penev was told he would have to buy a rucksack and stick out his thumb if he was to get past the Bulgarian border. Now his team is in the heart of preppy America walking down a cultural catwalk with the world championship looking into view.

" 'This is a beautiful stadium,' Penev said when he first saw the great shimmering arena shared by the New York Giants and Jets. 'I wish we could take it home with us.' "

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