Former Manchester United and Bulgaria forward Dimitar Berbatov has confirmed his retirement from professional football at the age of 38.
The striker, who played over 650 games in a career that lasted two decades and took him to clubs across two continents, made the announcement over a year after his last game for Indian Super League outfit Kerala Blasters.
A double Premier League winner with United, for whom he made just shy of 150 appearances between 2008 and 2012, he made his debut in 1998 for CSKA Sofia in his home country.
He subsequently spent five and a half seasons with Bayer Leverkusen in the Bundesliga before joining Tottenham in 2006, subsequently spending the better part of a decade in the Premier League and English football.
“I know some of you already thought that I retired,” Berbatov penned in a long message posted to his Instagram feed.
“My last game was more [than] one year ago, so I think it’s the right time now to stop. It’s long overdue!
“I will miss it. The games, the goals, the pressure, the roar of the fans when I scored another banger. I was blessed… to have the opportunity to play with one of the best ever and against some of the best ever.
“Thank you to all the people who helped me develop and become the player I always wanted to be. Thank you to all my former teams, my team-mates, 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 will miss all of this, people, because I love football so much… but I am sure you will miss me as well[!] Thank you!”