Stiliyan Petrov to return to football in a bid to help Aston Villa

The Bulgarian, diagnosed with leukaemia in 2012 has now declared himself almost as fit as previously – and wants to get back on the pitch as soon as possible.

Stiliyan Petrov has today revealed his shock plans to return to professional football next season, and aims to help get Aston Villa back up to the Premier League after their disappointing relegation.

The former Villa club captain, now 36, was forced to retire after being diagnosed with Leukaemia in 2012.

Despite this, years of treatment and training has made the Bulgarian ready enough to make a return to the football pitch next season.

He intends to train with relegated Premier League basement side Villa in pre-season with the aim of winning a playing contract.

And he is desperate to help Villa straight back up from the Championship after training with the club’s U21s to get fit again.

“I am announcing my return to football,” said Petrov, speaking at his golf day for the Stiliyan Petrov Foundation.

“I have looked after myself quite good and I think I have a big shot.

“Villa’s new manager will come in and I will run this through him.

“But I plan to train in pre-season and take it from there.

“I have spoken to a couple of managers but have always said Villa will be my first option.”

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