On 31st August 2008, Dimitar Berbatov’s long saga finally came to a happy end with the silky striker putting pen to a paper, becoming the first Bulgarian ever to play for the Red Devils.
United already had a plethora of fabulous strikers -namely Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and Carlos Tévez- but paid £30.75 million to Tottenham Hotspur for a player who is a class on his own and widely tipped to be the ultimate piece of the jigsaw.
Dimitar Ivanov Berbatov remained four years at Old Trafford, playing 149 matches, scoring 56 goals and winning two Premier League, one Football League Cup, two Community Shields and one FIFA Cup World Cup.
His best season was 2010/11, when Berbatov was named in the PFA Team of the Year and achieved the Premier League Golden Boot (jointly with Manchester City’s Carlos Tévez) after scoring 20 goals, including an astonishing 5-goal exhibition on 27th November 2010 in the 7-1 demolition of Blackburn Rovers at Old Trafford.
His lowest moment came when was Berbatov was omitted from the 2010/11 Champions League final team, as devastating as it must had been for a player of his caliber, Berbatov never complained in public. This is still considered one of Sir Alex Ferguson’s most shocking decisions, an omission considered as unfair by many pundits, which was the beginning of the end for the Bulgarian classy player.
Following the arrival of Robin van Persie, it became obvious that Berbatov would have virtually no chance to play regularly for Manchester United, so he joined Fulham in a reported £5 million fee. Berbatov has quickly settled at Craven Cottage and is now a pivotal member of Martin Jol’s squad.
Possibly due to his languish style of play, some fans tend to think that Berbatov was a selfish player during his spell at Old Trafford. They couldn’t be more wrong. Regardless he was on the pitch, on the bench or even on the stands, the Blagoevgrad-born striker always showed his commitment towards the club, teammates, manager, staff and fans.
Not a massive success, not a flop by any means, Berbatov contributed to the success of Manchester United despite not being given a big deal of minutes and always was what you expect from a professional, behaving properly, taking care of himself and being a loyal servant.