Petrovs rule out international retirement

SOFIA - Bulgarians Stilian and Martin Petrov have ruled out the possibility of retiring from international football, denying media reports they will quit the national team after the Euro 2012 qualifying campaign.

"We have no intention of terminating our participation in the national team," the two Petrovs, who are unrelated, said in a joint statement on Wednesday.

"We've always played with pride for Bulgaria and we've tried to defend the country's honour."

The experienced pair, who play for Premier League clubs Aston Villa and Bolton Wanderers, were left out of Bulgaria's squad for the friendly in Belarus on Wednesday as coach Lothar Matthaeus wanted to try out new players before the qualifier against England on September 2.

"I explained to them it'll be better for them not playing in Belarus because the Premiership starts this week," Matthaus told reporters before flying to Minsk. "Also, I would like to see some new faces in action."