Bulgaria drop Petrov, Bojinov for qualifiers

Experienced Bolton Wanderers winger Martin Petrov and clubless striker Valeri Bojinov have been left out of Bulgaria's opening 2014 World Cup qualifiers at home to Italy on September 7 and Armenia four days later.

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Bulgaria drop Petrov, Bojinov for qualifiers
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Martin Petrov, Bulgaria

Coach Luboslav Penev refused to discuss Petrov's omission at a news conference but it signals the potential end of his long international career. Petrov has scored 19 goals in 89 internationals since making his debut against England in a Euro 2000 qualifier in 1999.

Bojinov, largely ignored by previous coach Lothar Matthaeus, was part of Penev's previous squads and even scored against Hungary in a friendly in February but the 26-year-old remains clubless after being released by Sporting Lisbon earlier this year.

In the absence of Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov, who quit the national team last year and Aston Villa midfielder Stiliyan Petrov, who is battling leukaemia, Penev included four players from Bulgarian champions Ludogorets.

Bulgaria have been drawn in qualifying Group B, also containing Denmark, Czech Republic and Malta.

Squad:

Goalkeepers: Nikolay Mihaylov (Twente Enschede), Stoyan Kolev (Chernomorets Burgas), Vladislav Stoyanov (Sherif Tiraspol)

Defenders: Yordan Minev (Ludogorets), Nikolay Bodurov (Litex Lovech), Iliya Milanov (Litex Lovech), Ivan Ivanov (Partizan Belgrade), Alexander Alexandrov (Cherno More Varna), Petar Zanev (Volin Lutsk), Veselin Minev (Antalyaspor)

Midfielders: Svetoslav Dyakov (Ludogorets), Vladimir Gadzhev (Levski Sofia), Georgi Sarmov (Kasimpasa), Boris Galchev (Dinamo Bucharest), Georgi Milanov (Litex Lovech), Stanislav Manolev (PSV Eindhoven), Emil Gargorov (Ludogorets)

Forwards: Ivelin Popov (Kuban Krasnodar), Ivan Stoyanov (Ludogorets), Iliyan Mitsanski (Kaiserlsautern), Alexander Tonev (Lech Poznan)

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