Mar 31, 1964
|Age||57 years old|
In June 1993, Stade Rennais did everything possible to build a team which they considered to be capable to getting them promoted back to the First Division. Lefillatre’s recruitment team made a huge transfer coup for a club in the Second Division by signing the Bulgarian national team captain Nikolaï Iliev. Bulgaria was a country which the French knew only too well, after Kostadinov’s late goal sent France out of the 1994 World Cup qualifiers. Unfortunately, Iliev’s Rennes adventure would be marked by injuries. So much so that this impressive defender got injured between the first and season matches of the season, and didn’t play again for Rennes that year. He recovered just in time to be named in the 22-man squad for the World Cup in America. He ended up watching his countries legendary run to 4th place exclusively from the bench with the pairing of Hubchev and Tsvetanov in outstanding form. Regrettably, any hope of seeing him shine in a Rennes shirt were effectively banished by injuries. After just 4 matches and one red card playing for Stade Rennais, he was forced to retire at the end of 1994 owing to recurring injury problems.