Cardiff Manager Recalls Stiliyan Petrov's Early 'Depression' in Glasgow

Sports | February 24, 2012, Friday // 17:12
Bulgaria: Cardiff Manager Recalls Stiliyan Petrov's Early 'Depression' in Glasgow Aston Villa's Stiliyan Petrov (R) in action against Arsenal's Jack Wilshere (L). Photo by BGNES

Bulgarian midfielder Stiliyan Petrov was severely depressed upon arriving in Scotland's Celtic in 1999 as a 19-year-old youngster, recalled former teammate Malky Mackay.

In an interview with the Daily Mail Friday, the current Cardiff City manager said that the experience with Petrov taught him to be especially attentive and sensitive to his players.

"In his first year at Celtic, Petrov would train and then at 2pm he would go back to his flat on his own," said Mackay, recalling that the Bulgarian knew no English and had no friends in Glasgow at the time.

"After six months he didn't know how to pay a bill or use a bank. They were going to cut his water off, his gas off, his electricity. He wasn’t going out. It was only when the Celtic doorman asked him one day how he was that he broke down in tears. The doorman and his wife took him home and fixed up his house and got his bills sorted," added Mackay.

Stiliyan Petrov has himself recounted, in previous interviews, that he suffered severe emotional breakdowns due to loneliness, culture shock and home sickness during his first months at Celtic.

The Bulgarian midfielder, currently veteran captain of the Bulgarian national football team, then went on to adjust to the climate and lead an acclaimed career at Celtic and England's Aston Villa.

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Tags: depression, Malky Mackay, Aston Villa, Scotland, Glasgow, Celtic, Bulgarian national football team, Stiliyan Petrov, Cardiff
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