Villa captain Petrov sets 2012 international retirement date

11 February 2010 12:43
Aston Villa skipper Stiliyan Petrov is to retire from international football with Bulgaria after the 2012 European Championships.

The midfielder wants to end his career with his country on a high by finishing ahead of England in the qualifying group after the agony of failing to reach the 2010 World Cup.

But he will be 32 by the time of the next European finals in Poland and Ukraine.

End of days: Petrov has set 2012 as the year for his international retirement

The former Celtic player said: 'No doubt people have noticed that Bulgaria are in the same qualifying group as England for the European Championships!

'I can confirm this will be my last international qualifying competition.

'The fact we will not be involved in this summer's World Cup will make us all the more determined to qualify.'

  Petrov, in his fourth season at Villa, made his international debut 12 years ago and has won 91 caps, scoring eight goals.

He quit playing for his country once before in 2006 after a fall-out with coach Hristo Stoichkov but returned to the international fold the following year.

Petrov is currently battling to overcome an ankle problem suffered in Wednesday's draw with Manchester United in a bid to be fit for Sunday's FA Cup fifth-round clash at Crystal Palace.

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Source: Daily_Mail