Matthaus wants Berbatov to return
© AFP

New Bulgaria coach Lothar Matthaus has targeted qualification for UEFA EURO 2012 as his number one objective and would like Dimitar Berbatov back on board to lead the charge.

Matthaus, a former captain of the West German national team and 1990 FIFA World Cup™ winner, said: "I am going to try to catch up on what has been lost, we want to finish at least second in our group."

The German football great said he also planned to hold talks with Manchester United striker Berbatov in a bid to try and persuade Bulgaria's best player to rethink his decision to retire from international football.

Matthaus signed his new contract to coach Bulgaria today, 48 hours after having been unveiled as successor to Stanimir Stoilov.

I plan to start talks with Berbatov. He is still welcome in the Bulgarian national team. As a Bulgarian player he should be proud to play for his country.
Lothar Matthaus on Dimitar Berbatov

On his attempt to entice Berbatov back into the international fold he said: "I plan to start talks with Berbatov. He is still welcome in the Bulgarian national team. As a Bulgarian player he should be proud to play for his country."

Berbatov announced his international retirement in May, explaining at the time that he had become "discouraged" by his performances for his country.

Matthaus's first match in charge will be Bulgaria's third qualifier against Wales in Cardiff on 8 October.

The 49-year-old, the first foreign coach of Bulgaria, has promised to adopt an "attacking style of play".

His last managerial position was with Israeli club Maccabi Netanya, while he has also had spells at Partizan Belgrade, Hungary's national team and Red Bull Salzburg.

The position became vacant when Stoilov resigned after Bulgaria lost their opening two EURO 2012 qualifiers against England and Montenegro, which has left them with no points and propping up Group G.