Hughes coy on Everton interest
Thu, 09 May 2013 10:24:00
Aston Villa captain Stiliyan Petrov has announced he is quitting football to set up a charity for leukaemia sufferers.
The Bulgarian is in remission from the disease which was diagnosed in March 2012 after he complained of feeling fatigued during a game at Arsenal.
'Soft treatment' remains ongoing and Petrov, who won eight major trophies in seven years at Celtic before joining Villa in 2006, has decided to devote himself to charity work rather than return to football.
In a statement released on the Villa website he said: "It is with a heavy heart that I am announcing my retirement from the game.
"The emotions are overwhelming really, but the continued support of family, friends and the great people I have come to know will make it easier for me to move on from the only life I've ever known.
"That I am ready to embrace new challenges will make this process much easier.
"Since being diagnosed with acute leukaemia in March 2012, I have come to understand and appreciate the way in which this disease impacts the lives of so many people.
"I can help and I want to help and, in setting up a foundation to help address the issues involved when people are diagnosed with this illness, I hope to make a difference.
"For the life I've lived in football, I will always be incredibly grateful. For the opportunity this crazy thing that happened in my life has given me, I also feel grateful in a strange kind of way.
"This crazy thing, somehow, has touched people and I want to try to channel this in a positive way. This will be the greatest challenge of my life.
"I wish to thank the fans of Aston Villa and the Villa chairman, Randy Lerner, chief executive Paul Faulkner and manager Paul Lambert, also the fans of Celtic, the Bulgarian fans and fans of football all over the world who have helped me through the past year."
Moyes is widely expected to leave Goodison Park to replace Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford following the 71-year-old's decision to retire at the end of the season.
Hughes, who enjoyed one season at Everton during his playing career, admits the Everton role if it becomes available if a big opportunity for somebody.
Former Blackburn and Manchester City boss Hughes, who has been out of work since being sacked by QPR last November, admits the Everton job would be one that would interest him as he looks to get back into management.
"It's not happened yet [Moyes leaving] and I think when one manager leaves there are opportunities for other managers who are currently out of work, which includes myself," Hughes told Sky Sports News.
"It's a great club; it's a club that I had the fortune to play for and really enjoyed my time there.
"I got close to playing for them a number of times, but eventually made it towards the back end of my career and had a great, great period there and really enjoyed my time there."
Hughes admits whoever takes over from Moyes should he leave Merseyside has a big job on his hands following the impressive work carried out by the Scot at Goodison Park.
"Whoever gets that opportunity it's a big role, a big club and big shoes to fill because David Moyes has done an excellent job there and it's been done under difficult circumstances sometimes with a lack of funds.
"But he has done a really marvellous job there so whoever goes in there it is very similar to David's situation, if it is David going into Manchester United, has big shoes to fill.
"It's an opportunity for somebody and I back my abilities for most jobs in the Premier League.
"And it's a big job in the Premier league and there is only certain amount, 20 jobs available so everybody wants to work in the Premier League if that's possible."