By THOMAS FLOYD
Four months after being diagnosed with leukemia, Stiliyan Petrov is in remission.
The Aston Villa captain and Bulgaria international was diagnosed after he developed a fever following a match March 24 against Arsenal. Petrov, 33, has suspended his career while receiving treatment and was the subject of numerous tributes around the English Premier League this past season. On Thursday, Aston Villa announced the improvement to Petrov's outlook.
"It is with great delight that the club can confirm on behalf of our long-standing captain, Stiliyan Petrov, that Stan's acute leukaemia is in remission. Stan would like to take this opportunity to express his deep gratitude to the medical staff who have looked after him so well since his condition was diagnosed just over four months ago," the club said.
"He also wishes to place on record again his profound sense of appreciation for the incredible outpouring of love and support he has received from Villa fans, his teammates and colleagues at the club, as well as football fans and many more people around the world during this period."
Here are some more stories to keep your Thursday going:
SANTOS INTENT ON KEEPING NEYMAR
Barcelona may have its sights set on Brazilian phenom Neymar, but Santos President Luis Alvaro de Oliveira Ribeiro said the 20-year-old is staying put until his contract expires in 2014. The club has maintained a consistent stance that it won't part ways with Neymar until after the World Cup despite a lengthy list of suitors ready to pay top dollar for the Brazilian star.
"It is impossible for Neymar to leave Santos before 2014," Ribeiro said to Catalan daily Mundo Deportivo. "When I sign a contract I fulfill it, and the player wants to do the same.
"I do not think of a player as a product, but as a human being. What Neymar generates for Santos over all the years he is here would more than compensate for him leaving for free."
SUAREZ CRITICIZES BRITISH FANS
Liverpool striker Luis Suarez said British fans showed a "total lack of respect" when they repeatedly booed him once more during Uruguay's 1-0 loss to Great Britain on Wednesday that eliminated the South American side from the Olympics.
The booing of Suarez, who was suspended last season in a racial abuse case involving Manchester United's Patrice Evra, interrupted Uruguay's national anthem before the match in Cardiff.
"I think they jeer me and they boo me because they must be scared of facing a player like me," Suarez said. "I can take the abuse … but I think it was a total lack of respect from the crowd to boo when we were trying to sing our national anthem. I think those things should not happen."
CHINESE GROUP TO INVEST IN INTER MILAN
Inter Milan took a step toward building a new stadium Thursday when it was announced a Chinese group had invested in the organization, becoming its second-largest body of shareholders.
Club President Massimo Moratti will retain control, while a subsidiary of construction company China Railway will provide engineering prowess and investment for a new stadium. The venue is hoped to be finished by 2017.
How happy are you to hear Petrov's cancer is in remission? Should Santos sell Neymar? Do you really expect him to stay with Santos through 2014? Is Suarez right to be angry at the British fans? What do you think of Chinese investors assuming a large share of Inter Milan?
Share your thoughts below.