Here is the full transcript of the interview between Naiden Todorov with the newspaper, “24 Chasa” in Bulgaria.
Dimitar Berbatov: Great. It was cool. Very nicely done. Except that the weather was bad. But that didn’t prevent so many people coming out in the streets to celebrate the title with us. It was great. I had never been a part of a parade. Only Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes from all of us had experienced the one in 1999 after winning the treble. Now the rest of us have had an amazing experience with the historic 19th title.
NT: Although you are often attacked from all sides, this time all the fans stood by your side. They sang for you, chanting your name, screaming that they love you and that you should stay. How did you feel listening to them?
DB: These things make me feel uncomfortable. I’m not used to it. I really was uncomfortable, but it made me feel proud that people appreciate what we did this year. And what I did to help the team. I guess every player becomes a little uncomfortable. We look at the reactions as the fans start to sing for someone and everyone starts making fun of them. But it is cool.
DB: He didn’t stop. At the end he had lost his voice. But he is funny because he thinks he can sing, so don’t let him near the microphone!
NT: For the other players, Evra shouted their names, but he was composing songs about you..
DB: (Laughs). This is because we are close and we are great friends. So he’s always fooling about. It was a little uncomfortable, but very cool.
DB: I am very proud of that fact. I come from a small country. To become the top scorer in England with the “Golden Boot” is a great thing for me. I’ll cherish it forever.
NT: Which of all your goals is the most valuable to you?
DB: Of course, we can not forget the hattrick against Liverpool. I hope this will remain in the hearts of all United fans. To score three goals against Liverpool is a great achievement. And fans constantly remind me so I can’t forget it. Especially the second goal. It ranks amongst the finest I’ve scored. And I was very proud after that match.
NT: Were you scared in the last game against Blackpool that Tevez was going to score and you would miss out on the Golden Boot?
DB: I am thrilled that he didn’t score as Carlos was I didn’t, I guess. I watched the games afterwards. He kept missing and I kept missing. So it’s fair that we split the prize. But what matters at the end is that we won a record 19th title with Manchester United and that a Bulgarian is the top striker in England. What more can I want? I really felt very happy after the title was won. Things ran perfectly.
NT: Let us clarify what a big disappointment it was last weekend. There were lots of stories written about it. Where were you watching the Champions League final at Wembley?
DB: It is normal for people to come up stories after not seeing me in the stands. It is normal to think that I was not the stadium. The truth is that I was in the locker room watching the game on TV. I was just disappointed and I was ashamed that I was not in the team. So I did not want people to see me how I was and how sad I was, because I hide my emotions. So I preferred to stay alone and watch the match from the dressing room.
DB: Before the match. The manager then tells the group and notified me about his decision. I was very disappointed but you can not do anything. You must accept it. So I stayed in the locker room, watched the match. After the loss I remained in the locker room and waited to see what Sir Alex said.
NT: Did you talk to Sir Alex alone after the game?
DB: No. It was his personal decision. I was really disappointed and it hurt a lot. But I could not do anything. Sorry that Bulgaria could not see me in the finals, sorry that Bulgaria couldn’t be happy, or cry with me. Everyone now wonders why the team didn’t do well or why Berbatov was not in the squad, but I already told you why, it is the decision of the coach. But there’s always next year. While playing football, one of my fights will be to win this cup. And basically I have to take it. But the biggest disappointment in general was that after the match I went to the bus and one person passed by me. I was thinking about something and I looked up at the person and saw he was carrying the Cup. It was like I was in a movie. I wanted to pass by and walk casually so that he didn’t suspect that I wanted to take it so much!
NT: Do you believe that you will get a fourth chance for the Champions League final?
DB: Sure. Why would I not believe? Evra has played in four finals. And before the game told me: “Now if I lose the final third …” Because he had lost two and won one. Although I’d give everything to be in his place, at least to have won one Cup. I will give everything to have another chance. But even if it did not happen, at least I had the opportunity to play in two finals. There’s no room for complaints.
NT: Did your future plans change after May 28, 2011?
DB: No. I am a player of Manchester United and I am happy to fulfil the contract. Everyone has difficulties but I’ve always fought and will fight for a starting place. If I was a man who gave in I would never have come to Manchester United. I never quit in life. July 4th is coming and it will start all over again – fight for all the titles, the fight for a starting role.
NT: After the final at Wembley BBC wrote, “Thank you and goodbye, Dimitar”…
DB: It is normal to write that after having thought that I was not at the stadium. After the match, Sir Alex also said that I was in the stadium. Why wouldn’t people believe him? Why would you think he is lying? I’m a Manchester United player and I am happy to fulfil my contract. At United, I have many happy moments, we became champions for the 19th time. And after 19 comes 20. Right? To become a champion and top scorer does not mean we should stop here. I want more success. The team is great and there are lots of games for everyone.
NT: In an interview after last season I wished you 20 goals. Now that you will stay and fight, I wish you 30 for the 2011/2012 season at Manchester United.
DB: (Laughs). It’s true I wanted 20 goals. Obviously when a person believes in himself, things happen. One day I was talking with my friends. They were watching a film about positive thinking in the life of this man. I sat and watched it. I sat down and wrote on a piece of paper ‘I want to be top scorer for England, to take the “Golden Boot” and become champions.’ Well, I also wrote about the Champions League, but that did not happen. But I strongly believe that I will become a scorer and we will be champions. I wanted us to win the Champions League and we didn’t. But this does not reduce my enthusiasm for next year.
NT: How about your contract with Manchester United?
DB: There’s another year on it. And I’m excited to stay despite the disappointment suffered. The pain of Wembley could not stop me. It motivates me.
NT: So, Sir Alex has not come to tell you to leave?
DB: No, no. I have my contract and my desire is to stay. This is Manchester United. Competition for places often creates even more good performances on the pitch.
NT: Many Bulgarians have reacted emotionally after Wembley and their view is that you shouldn’t play for Manchester United any more…
DB: I’ve always aspired to higher goals. And my arrival in Manchester was the highest step for me. After Manchester United, everything is a step down. I’m a footballer for Manchester United and my desire is to stay to help win the 20th title.
Thanks to Inna Vettel for some of the translation
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