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Petrov returns to Bulgaria fold

Midfielder Stilian Petrov has ended his international exile by answering Bulgaria coach Hristo Stoichkov's call to play against Albania in Sofia on 28 March.

Aston Villa FC midfielder Stilian Petrov has put his differences with Bulgaria coach Hristo Stoichkov to one side to help his country's quest to qualify for UEFA EURO 2008™.

Settled differences
Petrov announced he was retiring from international football in October 2006 following Bulgaria's UEFA EURO 2008™ qualifier against Luxemburg, citing differences with Stoichkov. But after clearing the air with the coach the former Celtic FC playmaker is ready to fly the flag for his country once again and has been recalled to the squad to face Albania a week on Wednesday.

'Compromise reached'
"I met up with Hristo Stoichkov three weeks ago," the 27-year-old said. "We talked face to face and concluded that the national team is more important that Hristo Stoichkov and Stilian Petrov. We have reached a compromise. I also have the support of Aston Villa and the club will allow me to join up with the national team for the qualifier against Albania in Sofia." Real Vallodolid forward Vladimir Manchev is out of the match having injured his nose playing in the Spanish second division at the weekend. Bulgaria are second in Group G with eight points from four games and trail leaders the Netherlands by just two points.

Bulgaria squad
Dimitar Ivankov (Kayserispor), Georgi Petkov (PFC Levski Sofia).

Defenders: Radostin Kishishev (Leeds United AFC), Elin Topuzakov (PFC Levski Sofia), Igor Tomasic (PFC Levski Sofia), Lucio Wagner (PFC Levski Sofia), Alexander Tunchev (PFC CSKA Sofia), Valentin Iliev (PFC CSKA Sofia), Petar Zanev (PFC Litex Lovech).

Midfielders: Dimitar Telkiyski (PFC Levski Sofia), Hristo Yovov (PFC Levski Sofia), Zdravko Lazarov (Kayseri Erciyesspor), Georgi Peev (FC Amkar Perm), Chavdar Yankov (Hannover 96), Marian Hristov (VfL Wolfsburg), Blagoi Georgiev (FK Crvena Zvezda), Stilian Petrov (Aston Villa FC).

Forwards: Tsvetan Genkov (PFC Lokomotiv Sofia), Dimitar Berbatov (Tottenham Hotspur FC), Valeri Bozhinov (Juventus), Svetoslav Todorov (Portsmouth FC), Zoran Yankovich (Dalian Shide FC).