Berbatov: FA Official Forced Me to Turn My Back on BulgariaSports | September 5, 2011, Monday // 18:53| views
Dimitar Berbatov (middle) is pictured here watching the Bulgaria-England football match in Sofia. Photo by Sofia Photo Agency
Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov, who announced last year his retirement as captain of the national team, has for the first time named the man that forced him turn his back on Bulgaria.
"I'm not in the national team because of some people in the Bulgarian Football Union. I have only good memories from the president Borislav Mihaylov, but there are others who stir troubles and Lechkov is the group leader," the former Bulgaria captain and all-time leading scorer told journalists.
"He only knows how to criticize but he can't see what he looks like," Berbatov said, referring to Yordan Lechkov, best known as a key member of the Bulgarian football squad that finished fourth at the 1994 World Cup in the United States.
The statement was made shortly after Bulgaria played deplorably against England in the Euro 2012 qualifier in Sofia and suffered a deserved 0:3 defeat.
Lechkov, who is currently serving as mayor of the town of Sliven, did not hesitate to strike back, insulting Berbatov. According to him the Manchester United striker "is the best football player among artists and the best artist among football players".
Dimitar Berbatov announced at the beginning of May last year his retirement from international football with immediate effect. He was captain of his country and scored a national record 48 goals in just 74 matches.
He has repeatedly said that the decision about leaving Bulgaria's national football team was not taken lightly, but it is final.
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