Petrov retirement talk rejected

Agent clears up rumours over Bulgarian reports

Stiliyan Petrov: Not planning to retire despite reports in his native Bulgaria

Stiliyan Petrov's agent has rejected reports that the Aston Villa captain was retiring from football after being diagnosed with acute leukaemia.

Reports emanating from Bulgaria claimed Petrov said he was quitting football in an interview with Bulgarian sports newspaper Tema Sport after the shock news of his condition.

Petrov's illness was diagnosed following tests after the Bulgaria international developed a fever following last Saturday's defeat to Arsenal.

The 32-year-old was a surprise spectator for Villa's clash with Chelsea at Villa Park with the former Celtic man set to begin treatment on his condition on Monday at a London specialist hospital.

Not true

"I would like to thank all of the people who have left messages of support - the response has been overwhelming and I appreciate it very much."

Stiliyan Petrov

Quotes of the week

In the interview, Petrov was quoted as saying "No more football, this is the end."

However Petrov's agent, Stephen Hughes of Base Soccer, has moved to clear up the reports, insisting the midfielder has no plans to retire.

"It is not true that Stiliyan has said he is retiring from football," Hughes told Sky Sports.

"What he did say was that he was fighting for his life and that he will fight to recover."

Thanks

Meanwhile, Petrov has thanked everyone for the well wishes he has receieved and admits he has been overwhelmed by the support that has come in for him since his condition came to light.

"I would like to thank all of the people who have left messages of support - the response has been overwhelming and I appreciate it very much," Petrov told Villa's official website

"This is a difficult time for my family and myself and I ask people to respect our privacy.

"With the help and love of my family, my team-mates, all of my friends in football, Aston Villa Football Club and all of the fans, I am sure I will beat this illness and I am determined to do this.

"I saw the picture released yesterday by Fabrice Muamba, my fellow player, and it has inspired me, as has all of the support in the past 24 hours.

"For me, football will have to take a back seat for a while, but I'm here to support my teammates today and I will continue to support them, as I know they will support me.

"Thank you to everybody."

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