Former Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur striker Dimitar Berbatov has announced his retirement from football, 18 months after leaving India's Kerala Blasters, bringing an end to a glittering 20-year career.
The 38-year-old, Bulgaria's record goalscorer, also played for CSKA Sofia, Bayer Leverkusen, Fulham, Monaco and Greek side PAOK, but he has been without a club since leaving India's Kerala Blasters 18 months ago.
"Someone told me I need to say something, and seeing that people were asking me, especially back home, I need to give a farewell message," Berbatov wrote on Instagram on Thursday.
"My last game was more then one year ago, so I think its the right time now to stop, and it's long overdue."
The gifted striker, who won two Premier League titles with Manchester United and was named Bulgaria's Footballer of the Year seven times between 2004 and 2010, added that he planned to remain in soccer in some capacity.
"When I think about it, its never the end, because I will stay in the game one way or another," he said.
Berbatov joined Manchester United from Tottenham in 2008 for what was then a club record fee of STG30.75 million ($A56.51 million).
Australian Associated Press