Football

/ Profiles

/ Dimitar Berbatov

Powered by ESPNfc

Dimitar Berbatov
Bulgaria

  • Full name Dimitar Berbatov
  • Birth date January 30, 1981
  • Birth place Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria
  • Current age 33 years 265 days
  • Height 6 ft 2 in
Dimitar Berbatov in action for Fulham
Profile

Berbatov finally earned his dream move to Manchester United as the seconds ticked down to the transfer deadline on September 1, 2008 after a summer-long transfer saga - though he has struggled to win fans and critics over since moving to Old Trafford for a club-record £30.75 million.

Berbatov's career began in his birthplace Blagoevgrad with the team of Pirin, before he moved on to CSKA Sofia in 1998. Registering a goal every other game, Berbatov won the national cup in 1999 before moving to Bayer Leverkusen, with whom he played in the final of the Champions League in 2002. Earning his first national cap as an 18-year old against Greece, Berbatov has been the star of the Bulgarian team over the past decade and is the county's all-time record scorer, though he announced his retirement from international football in 2010.

Scoring over 40 goals in his final two seasons with Leverkusen, Berbatov moved to Tottenham for £10.9 million in 2006 - making him the most expensive Bulgarian in history. He scored his first Spurs goal on his home debut against Sheffield United in August 2006 and was rightly hailed as one of the best players in the Premier League after his stunning debut season, being named in the PFA Team of the Year by his fellow professionals. His class, grace, passing and goalscoring ability made him a King of White Hart Lane as he plundered 23 goals in 49 games.

The Bulgarian's exceptional form continued in his second term as he scored 23 goals in 52 appearances, including a superbly-taken penalty in the League Cup final triumph over Chelsea. One of the most coveted players in European football, Berbatov was continually linked with moves to a host of leading clubs during the 2007-08 season and in the dying minutes of the transfer deadline day of the 2008-09 campaign Sir Alex Ferguson swooped for the Bulgarian, beating rivals Manchester City to his signature.

His first season saw him pick up a Premier League winners medal, but despite his 9 goals and 10 assists, he attracted criticism for his ''lazy'' style of play. The departure of Cristiano Ronado and Carlos Tevez in the summer of 2009 should have seen Berbatov become the focal point of the United attack alongside Wayne Rooney. But again he flattered to deceive, eventually losing his place in Ferguson's starting XI as the United boss settled on a 4-5-1 formation with Rooney spearheading the forward line.

Berbatov scored 21 Premier League goals in the 2010-11 season, enough to earn him a share of the Golden Boot - but found himself out of the team towards the end of the season following the emergence of Javier Hernandez. After being confined to the bench for the majority of the 2011-12 season, Berbatov eventually left to rejoin Martin Jol at Fulham.

Strengths: Possessing a silky touch, Berbatov's incredible ability to keep the ball under control in tight situations ranks among the very best in the world.

Weaknesses: Prone to drifting in and out of games and, not helped by having the bullish Rooney as a strike partner, he has drawn accusations of being lazy.

Style: Languid forward who effortlessly floats between midfield and attack in a bid to probe the opposition's back-line. Has been far from prolific at United and his role now appears to be more concerned with creating than finishing chances.

Career High: In 2009, Berbatov became Bulgaria's all-time leading scorer with a brace in a friendly against Malta in November 2009 - overtaking Hristo Bonev.

Career Low: Being part of the Bayer Leverkusen side that came runners-up in the Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup in 2002. A bitter pill to swallow.

Quotes: "Dimitar is a great player, you can see the quality. He is fantastic. There are very few players who can produce moments like he does in games. It can decide them." Sir Alex Ferguson shortly after Berbatov signed for United in 2008.

Trivia: Berbatov has won the Bulgarian Player of the Year award on six occasions, once more than legendary former Barcelona forward and 1994 World Cup hero Hristo Stoichkov.

Top

Latest Articles
Latest Photos

Jul 18, 2012

Dimitar Berbatov looks to use the ball

Jul 17, 2012

Dimitar Berbatov lines up a volley in Manchester United training

Jan 31, 2012

Dimitar Berbatov is congratulated by team-mates

Dec 21, 2011

Dimitar Berbatov back heels into the net

View the full list of related photos »

Top