The Eternal Derby of Bulgarian Football or simply The Eternal Derby is the name of the local derby football match between the two most popular and successful football clubs in Sofia and Bulgaria: PFC Levski Sofia and PFC CSKA Sofia. The clubs have won 26 and 31 national championship titles and 25 and 20 Bulgarian Cup titles, respectively.
The rivalry started in the late 1940s when the newly founded club of CSKA became a champion in their first year in competitive football in 1948. Both the 1948–49 and 1950 seasons ended with the two teams facing each other in Soviet Army Cup finals with Levski Sofia winning on both occasions after extra time of the second final replay, as the previous two final matches had finished as draws.
During the years, as the two teams became more and more successful, they gained large supporter bases. The confrontations between the clubs and their fans became commonplace and often resulted in tense encounters on the pitch and hooligan clashes between the fans off the pitch.
The hostility reached its climax on 19 June 1985 during the Bulgarian Cup final held at Vasil Levski National Stadium when, after many disputable referee decisions, both teams demonstrated poor sportsmanship which resulted in regular fights between them on the pitch. On 21 June, the Central Committee of the Bulgarian Communist Party issued a decree that disbanded both teams. CSKA Septemvriysko zname had to be re-founded as Sredets and Levski-Spartak as Vitosha. Six players (including Hristo Stoichkov and Borislav Mikhailov) were banned for life from playing competitive football; many other players and staff members were banned for three months to one year. A year later, the decision was abolished and the players continued their sport careers.
During the years, all the matches between Levski and CSKA were held at a neutral venue, in most cases at the Vasil Levski National Stadium. During the 2000s the clubs started to play their eternal derby matches at their own stadiums Georgi Asparuhov Stadium and Balgarska Armiya Stadium but soon they decided to move the matches between them back to the National Stadium because of its higher capacity.
Only once in the history of the Eternal derby it was held outside Sofia – in 1991, Levski won the Bulgarian Cup quarter-final 2–0 in a match that was played at Tundzha Stadium in Yambol.
Note: All matches that have finished with a win after extra time are represented as a win for the respective club. All matches that have finished with a penalty shoot-out are represented as draws with the final score after 120 minutes.
• Total: Levski 26 times higher, CSKA 30 times higher.
7:1 - 23 September 1994
7:2 - 17 November 1968
5:0 - 13 May 1998
4:0 - 16 June 1982
5:0 - 23 September 1953
5:0 - 1 October 1989
4:0 - 14 April 1957
35 - Manol Manolov (CSKA)
32 - Stefan Bozhkov (CSKA)
31 - Emil Spasov (Levski)
15 - Georgi Ivanov (Levski)
14 - Nasko Sirakov (Levski)
12 - Pavel Panov (Levski)
11 - Dimitar Milanov (CSKA)
Highest attendance: 70,000 – 11 March 1967, Vasil Levski National Stadium (final score Levski 1:1 CSKA) and 31 May 1969, Vasil Levski National Stadium (final score Levski 1:3 CSKA)
Lowest attendance: 8,000 – 18 November 1995, Vasil Levski National Stadium (final score Levski 3–1 CSKA) and 26 May 2002, Balgarska Armiya Stadium (final score CSKA 1–0 Levski)