Manchester United's Bulgarian striker Dimitar Berbatov vowed on Thursday to stay and fight his way back into the first team after he was left out of the club's Champions League final against Barcelona.
The 30-year-old did not even make the substitutes bench for United's 3-1 defeat last Saturday, raising question marks about his relationship with United manager Sir Alex Ferguson and his future at Old Trafford.
"I am a Manchester United player and I will be glad to fulfil my contract," Berbatov told the Bulgarian daily 24 Hours in an interview published on Thursday.
"Everyone has some difficulties but I have always fought and will keep fighting for a prime place (in the squad). I never gave up in my life," he added.
The former Bulgarian national team captain, who has one more year on his contract at Old Trafford, denied reports that he had stormed away from the stadium before the Champions League kick-off at Wembley on Saturday.
"The truth is that I was in the dressing rooms and watched the game on TV. I was just so very disappointed and ashamed that I was left out of the squad. I cannot hide my emotions and I did not want people to see how sad I was," Berbatov said.
Yet he did not blame Ferguson for his decision to leave him out.
"I was indeed very disappointed and it hurt me a lot. But this was the manager's decision... The pain from Wembley cannot make me give up but only fight more," he said.
The Bulgarian was upbeat about his future at United and said he would keep targeting the Champions League title in his career.
"There is always next year. I will aim for this title as long as I play football," he said.
Berbatov was England's Premier League joint-top scorer alongside Manchester City's Carlos Tevez this season, as United won their 19th league title, and said he was ready to help the club win again next year.
"I am very proud. Winning England's top scorer title is a grand achievement for me as a foreigner," he said.
"Manchester United is the highest step for me. Everything after that will be a step down."
"This moment will come but for the time being I am a United player and I want to stay and help win the 20th title, which I am certain is on its way."