New Bulgaria coach Lothar Matthaus admits he has failed in his attempt to persuade Dimitar Berbatov to come out of international retirement.
Matthaus, who took over as head coach earlier this month, had hoped Manchester United striker Berbatov would help his country in their bid to qualify for Euro 2012.
“I have had several conversations with him, but he is not ready to play for Bulgaria again,” Matthaus told Kicker.
“He gave me no reasons, but for me the issue is settled for Berbatov and other players can now take their chances.”
Matthaus is hoping fresh talent will emerge to take advantage of Berbatov’s absence, as was the case at the World Cup finals this summer when Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira emerged after injured captain Michael Ballack was ruled out.
“It’s like the Germany team before the 2010 World Cup,” he added. “Ballack got injured so Ozil and Khedira took their chances and are now at Real Madrid.”
Bulgaria currently sit bottom of Euro 2012 qualifying Group G following their 4-0 defeat to England at Wembley last month and 1-0 loss at home to Montenegro.