Former Bulgaria defender Trifon Ivanov dies aged 50

Former Bulgaria defender Trifon Ivanov has died at the age of 50, the country's football association has announced.

Ivanov played 77 times for his country in total and the Bulgarian Football Union called him one of the nation's best ever players when announcing his passing on Saturday.

He helped Bulgaria to the semifinals of the 1994 World Cup and also played at Euro 96.

"Trifon Ivanov will remain in the history of Bulgarian football as one of the best defenders,'' a statement read. "Before being a great player, Trifon was a great man with great heart and always ready to help.

"We all mourn the loss of a true friend. Rest in peace, Trifon.''

In his club career, Ivanov played for the likes of CSKA Sofia, Real Betis and Rapid Vienna.