Fulham striker Dimitar Berbatov has been heavily criticised in his homeland after he snubbed the Bulgarian national team for a second time in 28 months.
Bulgaria supporters have branded the country's leading scorer as "greedy", "unworthy" and as "a man who can't keep his word" on internet forums after he refused to play for the national team in the World Cup qualifiers against Italy and Armenia.
"Berbo betrayed [coach] Lubo [Penev]," was the headline in the sports daily Meridian Match on Tuesday while Sportline website said: "His refusal to play for the national team will forever remain an act devoid of moral dignity."
The 31-year-old, who quit the team in 2010, was called up for the Balkan country's opening 2014 World Cup qualifiers after signalling he was ready to end his self-imposed international exile.
But Berbatov, who left Mancherster United last week to join Fulham, changed his mind.
"Berbatov is a player who polarises public opinion with the fans divided between those who love him or loathe him," said Football Weekly.
Critics accuse Berbatov of slowing down play while others admire his languid, passing style and scoring ability.
"He is an amazing player," former Scotland and Manchester United striker Denis Law told Bulgarian media.
"I can't remember all of his goals but I'll remember how he touched the ball, his passing and his desire to attack."comments