The foreigner – Levski –

The last minutes of Levski’s training are passing. Bilal Bari falls to the ground and starts screaming. The pain is serious and the fear is that it is something unpleasant that will create work for the medical staff.

The Frenchman leaves the training ground with the help of his colleague Marin Petkov and people from the headquarters. Before that happens, he says goodbye to Nathan Alder, who is closest to him, but is not to blame for the injury, as Barry will later say, via social media.

Nasko Sirakov is visibly worried and his face shows that he is not very optimistic about the knee of one of the main football players in Levski. The bad predictions came true a few days later and Stanimir Stoilov lost one of his heartiest players for a long period of time. Between six and nine months…

For weeks, Gerena’s fan shop has had t-shirts emblazoned with the words “1, 2, 3 Bilal Barry” and the likeness of the Frenchman with Moroccan roots. Those were different times. The beginning for the striker of “Georgi Asparukhov” was a nightmare. Barry made his debut on February 21, 2021 under the guidance of Slavisa Stojanovic. Scored his first goal for the “blues” on October 16 of the same year with coach Stanimir Stoilov. Such a drought and patience have hardly been given to many players in the history of the club, but Barry did not take anything for granted.

Fans didn’t like it at first sight. Some of the teammates – too, but that was only the first impression, which is very often wrong.

Bilal didn’t stop bawling. He was the only foreigner in Gerena’s darkest days, when many left and were happy to condemn the club. For one reason or another, he was not among them, but remained with many of the club’s juniors and “old dogs” who generally did not have many opportunities ahead of them. Barry was hardly inundated with offers either, but we have to commend his work ethic in those troubled times. Naturally, character as well, because it’s not at all easy to be a striker, when the team is weak, and you can’t find the way to the goal. Players in this position “feed” on goals, and in those months Barry was “starving” in this regard.

Bilal bided his time on Gerena and started scoring. Scored twice at Ludogorets, punished PAOK, started the season strong, but everything froze at the end of that training session when he fell to the grass and let out a loud cry.

Now the road for him will be very difficult. A lot of work, effort and a huge dose of patience awaits him. The good news is that he is not afraid of work, likes to put in the work and is willing to wait as long as necessary. His status in the team is radically different. Respect is earned and Barry has long earned it. He is valued by teammates, coaches and fans. It’s not Karim Benzema, but it’s the only foreigner who stayed when some of the club’s “spawns” were applying to leave. Naturally, Levski’s fault…

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