Petrov hoping to play again as a pro

Stiliyan Petrov

Stiliyan Petrov earned 92 caps for Bulgaria

Former Aston Villa captain Stiliyan Petrov is in training with a view to coming out of retirement four years after being diagnosed with leukaemia.

The Bulgarian, 36, wants to play professionally again and says the relegated club is his “priority”.

Petrov played for Wychall Wanderers in the West Midlands Central League in 2014 having retired the previous year.

“I have decided to start trying to play football at a higher level again,” said the former Celtic midfielder.

Petrov was diagnosed with the disease after he developed a fever following a 3-0 defeat at Arsenal in March 2012.

He had four months of chemotherapy before it was announced in August of the same year that the disease was in remission.

Stiliyan Petrov<!–

Petrov won 10 major honours with Celtic, including four league titles

“I am very excited. People will be asking a lot of questions, and will have a lot of doubts,” added Petrov, who joined the Villa coaching staff in March 2015.

“My fitness is getting close to when I retired, so let’s see where we go. Aston Villa remains my priority.”

He made 218 appearances for Villa – who have been relegated to the second tier for the first time since 1987 – after joining from Celtic for £6.5m in 2006.

After winning his battle against the disease, he set up a foundation to help leukaemia sufferers.

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