The club management selected a variety of great players after winning the last title in the final round of the championship and not dropping out of the UEFA Europa League. Mavis Tchibota’s contract was signed after the player came in February 2019 from Bnei Yehuda. He was the top scorer in the Israeli championship at that time. Dan Bitton also came from Israel, while the wing-back Jordan Ikoko arrived from the French club FC Guingamp. Jorjinho left his club Saint-Etienne. He was famous in Bulgaria as a former CSKA (Sofia) player. Stefan Badji joined Ludogorets after leaving Bursaspor. Natanael left the club and joined Internacional Porto Alegre. Lukas Sasha did the same, as he transferred to Aris Solun.
Stoycho Stoev remained the head coach but a new member joined his crew: Stanislav Genchev joined Ludogorets after leaving Etar (Veliko Tarnovo). He is an ex-team captain who also assisted the coach of the Bulgarian national football team Krasimir Balakov. The season began with a Supercup match: Ludogorets vs Lokomotiv (Plovdiv). The game took place at the “Vassil Levski” stadium in Sofia on July 3rd, 2019. Tchibota and Lukoki each scored a goal and shaped the final 2:0 score. This was the fourth time Ludogorets wins the Supercup, which meant they evened CSKA (Sofia)’s record and surpassed Levski.
The first efbet League match took place at the “Ivaylo” stadium – Tsarsko Selo vs Ludogorets. The match was supposed to be a home game but the “Ludogorets Arena” pitch was still not ready due to the process of renovation of the grass. “The Eagles” won 2:0. A couple of wins followed: Ludogorets defeated 4:2 Beroe in Stara Zagora and Vitosha (Bistritsa) with a 2:0 score. The team lost points in the fourth round of the championship after the even 1:1 final score of the Lokomotiv (Plovdiv) – Ludogorets match.
Another even score followed. The Ludogorets vs CSKA (Sofia) match ended with zero goals scored. The following Cherno More – Ludogorets game ended with a 1:2 score. On August 25th, 2019 Ludogorets and Slavia achieved an even 0:0 score in Razgrad. After the match ended, it was announced that Stoycho Stoev’s second contract has been cancelled. Three days earlier, the first playoff match for Europa League, Ludogorets vs Maribor, ended with a 0:0 score. Stanislav Genchev replaced Stoev and it all seemed to go great after that. His debut was the Maribor – Ludogorets match which ended with a 2:2 score. Ten successful matches followed: “The Eagles” defeated 1:0 Botev (Vratsa), 2:0 Etar (Veliko Tarnovo), 2:0 Arda (Kardzhali), 1:0 Dunav (Ruse), 2:0 Levski (Sofia), 1:0 Botev (Plovdiv) 2:0 Tsarsko Selo (Sofia), 3:1 Beroe (Stara Zagora), 1:0 Vitosha (Bistritsa), and 2:1 Lokomotiv (Plovdiv). The wins against Levski on October 6th, 2019 and Lokomotiv on November 23rd, 2019 were particularly important. Before the Ludogorets vs Lokomotiv match, the champions had an overall score of 42 points while their competitors had 36.
The winning spree was interrupted on December 1st, 2019 after an even 0:0 score in the CSKA (Sofia) – Ludogorets match. The game was played only three days after Ludogorets achieved a 1:1 score against CSKA (Moscow) in Russia. All games until the end of the season ended with even scores: Ludogorets vs Cherno More (1:1) and Slavia vs Ludogorets (1:1). As a result, Ludogorets had seven points in advance overall compared to Levski (Sofia).
On December 16th, 2019, the club management announced that Ludogorets will have a new head coach after January 1st, 2020 - Pavel Vrba. Stanislav Genchev remained as part of his crew.
Vrba is a big name in professional football: he has been awarded as the best Czech coach a whopping eight times. He has managed to lead Zilina to the championship title before that. Vrba is also the most successful coach in Victoria Pilsen’s club history, where he stayed twice: between October 8th, 2008 and December 2013, and between July 1st, 2017 and December 17th, 2019. He led the Czech national football team to Euro 2016. Vrba also has some experience in the Russian Premier League as the coach of Anzhi Makhachkala. His arrival at Ludogorets was a sign of the club’s top class.
None of the main players left the club in the transfer period. Jorge Broun, the replacement goalkeeper, joined Diego Maradona’s team – Gimnasia La Plata. Cauly Oliveira came from Paderborn. Vladislav Stoyanov, the legendary keeper, came back after nearly three years of recovery. He suffered a serious injury that cost him 32 months outside the pitch. Stoyanov returned to his position on the 9th of November 2019 in the Ludogorets vs Hebar match. The gatekeeper trained during the whole winter season alongside his teammate and good friend Plamen Iliev.
Pavel Vrba’s debut in Bulgaria was a devastating 6:0 win in the Ludogorets – Botev (Vratsa) match. The following 1:1 result against Etar in Veliko Tarnovo was not expected. The guests hit the woodwork four times. On March 8th, 2020, Ludogorets defeated 5:1 Dunav (Ruse). This was the last game before the pause caused by the coronavirus outbreak. Ludogorets was about to stand against Levski when the state of emergency was declared. All the players’ paychecks were reduced with a third of their usual salaries during the pandemic. The owners of Ludogorets spend millions on charities to help relieve the coronavirus aftermath. During that time, the club management and Jody Lukoki decided to part ways.
Eventually, it was decided that the rest of the season will continue with a couple of rounds, followed by five playoff matches. Ludogorets won 1:0 the first game on the “Gerena” stadium in front of 30% of the usual audience – this limitation was due to the safety measures related to COVID-19. Cauly Oliveira scored the only goal while Vladislav Stoyanov guarded the gate. The other gatekeeper, Plamen Iliev, suffered an injury – he tore his Achilles tendon. Stoyanov personally took him to the hospital in Sofia for his surgery which indicated their close friendship.
The Ludogorets vs Arda (Kardzhali) match was postponed twice due to the coronavirus and it eventually took place at the “Lokomotiv” stadium on June 10th 2020. Ludogorets was a step closer to winning the title despite the 1:1 score. The following Ludogores vs Botev (Plovdiv) game ended with a 2:1 score. Wanderson and Jorginho scored, which allowed their team to be three points closer to their ninth consecutive championship title. “The Eagles” registered no losses during the regular season.
After the CSKA (Sofia) – Levski match ended with an even 3:3 score, Ludogorets needed a 1:0 win against Beroe to be victorious. The final 2:1 score was even better: Ludogorets won the championship title! Fal scored, but Oliveira and Tchibota quickly turned the tables on Beroe. This meant that Ludogorets achieved the unthinkable: they evened the record held by CSKA (Sofia) for nine consecutive championship titles (1954 – 1962).
Ludogorets received the cup after the 3:0 win against Levski. The great Marcelinho said goodbye to everyone during the ceremony, as he left the club after more than nine years spent in Razgrad.
Ludogorets played a total of 16 matches in the European tournaments. After the loss to Ferencvaros in the first preliminary round of the UEFA Champions League, the team picked up their pace and entered the Europa League group phase. They managed to defeat 5:1 CSKA (Moscow) and 3:0 Ferencvaros in Budapest. The club reached the 1/16 finals where they lost to Inter.
As for the Bulgarian Cup tournament, Ludogorets lost to Levski in the quarterfinals. They still managed to eliminate Neftohimik (Burgas) and Septemvri (Sofia). Pavel Vrba’s players were better on “Gerena” but Dragos Grigore failed to score from the penalty point in the 90th minute. No goals were scored in the added time and the game ended with an even 0:0 score. Vladislav Stoyanov kept the gate safe during this game, which was the first official match he took part in since March 18th, 2017.