Raheem Sterling received a video call from Hristo Stoichkov in which the Bulgarian legend apologised for the country's fans' racism towards England players earlier this month, Sky Sports News has learned
Stoichkov, who won the Ballon d'Or in 1994, was so ashamed of the treatment of England's players in Sofia that he wanted to make the personal apology on behalf of his nation's footballers.
Stoichkov is said to have broken down in tears during the call, which took place on the day after the Euro 2020 Qualifier on October 14.
It was organised by Stoichkov's former teammate Txiki Begiristain, who is Manchester City's director of football.
The 53-year-old Stoichkov was also seen in tears on Mexican television as he worked as a pundit on the night of the game, which was already being staged partially behind closed doors because of previous incidents involving Bulgaria fans.
Both the head of the Bulgarian FA and the team's head coach have since resigned, as UEFA prepares repercussions for the incident.