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Berba: Great Quality Doesn’t Require Much Effort

Dimitar Berbatov was last season’s Premier League top scorer, although the 20 league goals he scored weren’t enough to even get him a place on the bench for the Champions League final.

Berbatov watched the game from the dressing room, to keep his emotions hidden, something he claims has lead fans to misjudge him over the years.

“I am a very proud person,” said Berbatov. “I don’t like to show my weaknesses. I don’t want to show my emotions in public. That is why people probably sometimes misjudge me.”

“Lazy” and “languid” are words often used to describe Berbatov, but the Bulgarian claims that quality doesn’t require for him to run around like a headless chicken.

“Yes,” he said, when asked if the claim he does not care bothers him. “I always play like this. That is what got me here. You are not going to see me puffing around the pitch. There is a saying in Bulgaria that great quality doesn’t require much effort.”

The highlight of Berbatov’s season was probably the hattrick he scored against Liverpool in our 3-2 win at Old Trafford, followed by the five goals he scored against Blackburn.

“I didn’t know scoring three goals against Liverpool would mean so much to so many people,” he said. “Obviously three goals – and the second one was a bit special – it will stay in my memory for ever – and after that I scored five! What makes me really proud is that there have been so many foreigners playing in English football, I am the only one with five goals. But it is something I have to push to the back of my mind. Last season I had highs in my career. But what if we didn’t win the title? Then these things wouldn’t matter so much.”


About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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63 Comments

  1. Scolar Visari says:

    With Berba you either like him, or you love him. No two ways about it!

  2. denton davey says:

    WillieRedNut @ 17:22: “If Berbatov sticks one of the 2 chances away against city, we probably wouldn’t be having this discussion.”

    But, of course, he didn’t.

    If horses had wings they could fly; if my aunt had bollox she’d be my uncle.

  3. willierednut says:

    No they couldn’t fly. Stop talking shite.

    Maybe your aunt, is your uncle?

    Your posturing over Berbatov is weird.

    Each to their own, I guess.

  4. StatesideAussie says:

    He didn’t do much wrong on the first of those chances. Got the ball on target fair enough, was denied by a very good save. As for the second chance, which occurred 14 seconds after the first, he had an open goal but the ball was way out in front and he has to half jump, half slide to reach it, while a defender also slid in next to him, and Berb got his foot slightly under it. His shots/goals ratio last year was only slightly worse than Hernandez’s, and both of them were way, way better than Rooney (Chicharito 0.27, Berbatov 0.23, Rooney 0.13).

  5. KingOfStretfordEnd says:

    Hail the Berbs.

  6. kk says:

    Want can a man do to please some people but I like his attitude…it is what got me here.

  7. denton davey says:

    Willie/StateSide – he missed; at that level it’s all about finishing. Dimmy didn’t do that in the crunch – twice ! – of an FACup semi-final against the noisy neighbours.

    That was inexcusable and he paid for his failure. I really don’t see any other explanation for why he was not even put on the bench against Barcelona for what could have been the biggest game of his life.

  8. willierednut says:

    Every forward misses chances.

  9. smartalex says:

    denton davey

    By saying that you really don’t see any other explanation for why Berbatov was not even put on the bench against Barcelona, you are effectively saying that a single result was the only reason. Therefore you absolutely consider that in every other way Berbatov should have played. You consider Dimi to be entirely deserving of selection to play in the biggest game in the world last season.

    Which means that you totally agree with willierednut’s “If Berbatov sticks one of the 2 chances away against city, we probably wouldn’t be having this discussion.”

  10. denton davey says:

    smartalex @ 14:29: ” you are effectively saying that a single result was the only reason. Therefore you absolutely consider that in every other way Berbatov should have played. You consider Dimi to be entirely deserving of selection to play in the biggest game in the world last season.”

    Actually, it was a double-result – he missed two sitters, not one. But more to the point, Dimmy did himself no favours by missing the target six or seven times against Blackburn. That’s why WIllieRedNut’s claim (@ 13:49) that every striker misses is really beside the point – Dimmy missed not once, not twice, but multiple times in the previous weeks.

    For what it’s worth, I think that SAF made a mistake not having Nani in the starting line-up against Barcelona and made an even bigger mistake by not having Dimmy available from the bench. Even if he was “punishing” him for those misses, Dimmy would have been a much better option than LittleMikey who wasn’t even put on the pitch.

    After the match in Wembley, I wrote a critique of SAF’s team selections and, more significantly, his in-game, strategic non-response to being tied 1-1 at half-time in this forum. In brief, my opinion – and let’s not get bent-out-of-shape about this ‘cos it’s just my opinion – was that SAF’s nerves cracked in that game. If SAF was “lucky” to have gotten to the half-time with the score level, he was intimidated to keep the same team/set-up on the pitch from the beginning of the second half.

    While – obviously ! – Dimmy isn’t my-cup-of-tea, just like Nani (who wasn’t brought on until the game was effectively over) he could have been a useful strategic game-changer if he had been available. My opinion was – and remains so – that SAF “punished” Dimmy for his crucial misses at Wembley a few weeks earlier.

    Not having Dimmy on the bench was a strategic mistake – and, who knows, maybe inserting Dimmy into that match at half-time would have been a strategic act-of-brilliance. We’ll never know the answer to those questions but it makes no sense to ignore what seems to be the only explanation for not having the option of a 20-goal scorer to insert into the CL final while making a weaker, like-for-like replacement of LittleMikey for Chicharito.

    So, to answer your point that I block-quoted: NO, I don’t consider that Dimmy “was entirely deserving of selection” but, nevertheless, I can’t understand why he was not even selected for the substitutes’ bench.

    Finally, SAF has been a fantastic manager but that doesn’t mean that his managerial career is without mistakes. Just saying, like……

  11. willierednut says:

    It’s not beside the point Denton. It is the bloody point!

    All strikers miss chances.

    My main point still stands.

    If you want to blame Berbatov for us losing at Wembley.

    Then, Scholes must accept some of the blame as well, for his sending off.

    As much as I love the wee man, when he went, our chances of getting back into the game, went with him.

  12. denton davey says:

    WillieRedNut @ 17:42: I disagree – obviously.

    SAF is renowned for being a very, very tough taskmaster who goes ballistic (the famous “hair dryer” and SirDavey’s black-eye being outstanding examples) when his guys don’t do-the-business.

    The point is that Dimmy didn’t do the business; it’s “beside the point” that other guys have also screwed up because the point-in-question being why was Dimmy left out of the CL team.

    And, yeah, the GingerNinja’s leg-gouge (the footie equivalent of GBH) on Zabaleta was another reason why TheLads couldn’t beat the noisy neighbours. And, undoubtedly, it was a contributing factor to the decision Paul Scholes made that the game was finally – and inexorably – passing him by. It was, you could say, his RedNevMoment.

  13. willierednut says:

    Of course you disagree. Wouldn’t be you, if ya did not.

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