Stiliyan Petrov: Ex-Aston Villa captain wants to play professionally again

Stiliyan Petrov
Stiliyan Petrov earned 92 caps for Bulgaria

Former Aston Villa captain Stiliyan Petrov is in training with a view to coming out of retirement four years after being diagnosed with leukaemia.

The Bulgarian, 36, wants to play professionally again and says the relegated club is his "priority".

Petrov played for Wychall Wanderers in the West Midlands Central League in 2014 having retired the previous year.

"I have decided to start trying to play football at a higher level again," said the former Celtic midfielder.

Petrov, who is training with Villa's Under-21s, was diagnosed with leukaemia after he developed a fever following a 3-0 defeat at Arsenal in March 2012.

He had four months of chemotherapy before it was announced in August of the same year that the disease was in remission.

Stiliyan Petrov
Petrov won 10 major honours with Celtic, including four league titles

"I am very excited," added former Bulgaria captain Petrov, who briefly joined the Villa coaching staff in March 2015.

"People will be asking a lot of questions and will have a lot of doubts.

"My fitness is getting close to when I retired, so let's see where we go. Aston Villa remains my priority."

Petrov made 218 appearances for Villa, relegated to the second tier for the first time since 1987, after joining from Celtic for £6.5m in 2006.

He has set up a foundation to help leukaemia sufferers.

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