Paris - Dimitar Berbatov, Bulgaria's joint all-time leading international scorer, said on Thursday that he was retiring as a player after more than a year without a club.
"Although when I think about it, it's never The End, because I will stay in the game in one way or another, the time has come to say that after almost 20 years playing football I am stoping with my professional ACTIVE football career!" he wrote in a long Instagram post accompanied by a video.
Berbatov, a languid but elegant, imaginative and effective striker, made his debut for CSKA Sofia, where his father Ivan also played.
He moved to Bayer Leverkusen before joining Tottenham who sold him to Manchester United for £30.7 million two seasons later.
He spent four seasons at Old Trafford, winning two Premier League titles and sharing the league's Golden Boot with Carlos Tevez in 2010-11. He spent two season each with Fulham and Monaco, before finishing with less succesful stints at PAOK in Greece and the Kerala Blasters in India.
He played 77 times for Bulgaria, scoring 48 goals, which tied him for most with Hristo Bonev, who played 96 internationals between 1967 and 1979.
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On this special day today, / if you don't know why, check the story ??/ i decide to share this with you, which i was preparing to post a while ago, but didn't... I don't know why... I know some of you already thought that i retired, and now maybe you are like WTF Berbs we know that you don't play, but i did try to find something last year.. Didn't happened ??????? So, someone told me i need to say something, and seeing that people where asking me, especially back home, i need to give a farewell message! So, here it is! My last game was more then one year ago, so i think its the right time now to stop and its long overdue! Although when i think about it, its never The End, because i will stay in the game in one way or another, the time has come to say that after almost 20 years playing football i am stoping with my proffesional ACTIVE football career! I will miss it! I will fucking miss it! Everything! The games, trainings, the goals, preparations, the presure, my teammates... the roar of the fans when i scored another banger ???? I was blessed and work hard to have the oportunity to play with one of the best ever and against some of the best ever! And coming from small country this makes it even more special for me! I had my highs and of course some lows in my career, won my fair share of trophies, score some goals along the way as well! I played the way i wanna play, and i scored the goals i wanted to score! Thank you to all the people who helped me develope, and became the player i always wanted to be! Thank you to all my former teams my teammates and my coaches and staff! It was a pleasure! I know at times i was not easy to work with, but i always gave my everything for the teams i played for! I hope you all have enjoyed my game, and everything i gave to entertain you on the pitch! ???? Damn it, i will miss all of this, peopleee, because i love football so much... But i am sure you will miss me as well ?? Thank you! ???? DB9
A post shared by Dimitar Berbatov (@berbo9) on