(CNN) -- Manchester United and Bulgaria striker Dimitar Berbatov has announced his retirement from international football with immediate effect.
The 29-year-old was captain of his country and scored a national record 48 goals in just 74 matches.
However, Bulgaria flopped in their World Cup qualifying group -- failing to reach the finals in South Africa -- and the former Tottenham's star's performances drew widespread criticism from within his own country.
Confirming his decision at a press conference in Sofia, Berbatov said: "It isn't a decision I took lightly and I have reconsidered making it several times.
"Everything has a beginning and an end and that end is today. I feel exhausted and now there are many guys who can emerge from my shadow. For them the moment has come."
Berbatov, who overtook Hristo Stoichkov's scoring record in a friendly match against Malta last year, has endured a troubled season at Manchester United.
He has struggled to make an impact since his big-money move from Tottenham in August 2008 and was overshadowed by strike partner Wayne Rooney as United failed to retain their English Premier League title.