Hundreds of proud fans gather to celebrate Maritza’s triumphal homecoming [video, photos]

Wonderful homecoming celebrations awaited the heroines of Maritza Plovdiv as their buses pulled up at their club base in Plovdiv’s Lauta Park upon returning from a triumphant journey. Within a little over 24 hours from the Bulgarian team’s incredible comeback at Yenisei Krasnoyarsk on the way to a historic spot in the CEV Volleyball Champions League pool stage, their fans pulled a great effort to surprise them with a memorable and well-deserved welcome.

Having started this clash with Russia’s bronze medalists winning the first two sets, but then losing the next three at home in Plovdiv, the Bulgarian champions reversed the course of destiny in Krasnoyarsk. Not only did they in turn come back from two sets down, saving two match points in the fourth in the distant Siberian city, but they also went on to win the golden set and become the first Bulgarian team in the women’s Champions League history making it this far in the competition. “One of the best ever comebacks in CEV Champions League” was what WorldofVolley chose as the headline to their story, adding “Impossible is just a word.”

The team around coach Ivan Petkov took the long journey back home from Krasnoyarsk by air via Moscow to Istanbul, where the two club minibuses were awaiting them for the five-hour drive to Plovdiv. But the Yellow-and-Blues could not dream of a better ending to the exhausting trip on this November Sunday evening. Hundreds of fans, family members and young volleyballers from Maritza’s hatchery had gathered in front of the Lauta volleyball hall to greet the Heroines from Krasnoyarsk, as this set of 14 players is destined to be dubbed in the decades to come.

The smiles and the hugs were mixed up with the joyful tears of sweet triumph from players and fans alike. The flag waving, the chanting, the music, the flowers, the presents, the selfies, the speeches, the champagne and the confetti culminated with a firework display that illuminated the night sky over Europe’s oldest living city.

“There are no invincible opponents or unconquerable goals. It all depends on how much you desire to win and how persistent you are in chasing your dream,” said Maritza’s top scorer in Krasnoyarsk, middle blocker Nasya Dimitrova.

Check out our Facebook album for photos from the event and watch the video:


Photo: Valeri Stankov