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Berbatov rules out Bulgaria return, says Matthaeus

SoccerNews in European Championships 30 Sep 2010

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New Bulgaria coach Lothar Matthaeus admitted on Thursday he has failed in his bid to persuade Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov to come out of retirement to help his country qualify for Euro 2012.

“I have had several conversations with him, but he is not ready to play for Bulgaria again,” Matthaeus told German magazine Kicker.

“He gave me no reasons, but for me the issue is settled for Berbatov and other players can now take their chances.

“It’s like the Germany team before the 2010 World Cup: Ballack got injured so Ozil and Khedira took their chances and are now at Real Madrid.”

The 29-year-old United star Berbatov announced in May that he was ending his international career having scored 48 goals for his country.

Having been beaten 4-0 by England at Wembley last month and then 1-0 at home by minnows Montenegro, Bulgaria are currently bottom of Euro 2012 qualifying Group G and face Wales in Cardiff next Friday.

Bulgaria have not participated in the finals of a major tournament since Euro 2004.

Matthaeus, 49, will be in charge for the first time against the Welsh having taken over as head coach earlier this month.

A former captain of the West German national team and 1990 World Cup winner, Matthaeus was named the first ever FIFA World Player of the Year in 1991.

After ending his career as footballer, the former midfielder coached a range of teams, including Partizan Belgrade, Hungary’s national team and Red Bull Salzburg.

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