So thanks but no thanks
Dimitar Berbatov: 'Lazy? No, I was smart', says ex-Tottenham & Man Utd striker
In a wide-ranging interview with BBC Radio 5 Live, the former Tottenham and Manchester United forward revealed that his languid playing style was in fact a ploy to lull defenders into a false sense of security.
With 94 goals in 229 Premier League games, it would be fair to say that it often worked.
During his conversation with former team-mate Jermaine Jenas, who described the Bulgarian as "one of the best players I’ve played with", Berbatov also touched on his time at Bayer Leverkusen, Tottenham and Manchester United, why Harry Kane could have a similar transfer dilemma to the one he faced, and his potential plans to move into coaching.
Berbatov on... being lazy
He was known for his technical ability and composure, but not for his bustling physical style - qualities that often led to people suggesting he did not work hard enough...
Everybody is different in the way they see the game and play. My difference was that sometimes you would see I might not be into the game, but at the same time I was scanning the pitch to see where to position myself at the right moment, at the right time in a pocket of space - and you can give me the ball so that I have more time to myself and not have someone on my back.
When I have that time and space I have more time to think about where to put the ball.
Some people don't understand it, but if you are clever in your head, even if you are slow in speed, you can still be quick. You can position yourself better and be even more use to your team.
If you were to put it into order of the players who would run in my Tottenham team I would say Jermaine, [Robbie] Keane and then probably everybody else - with me behind.
But I was running in my head. And when I see someone in a better position than me I always give the ball. No selfishness. In the end we win and lose together.
It seems a bit strange, but in every team I have been in, you see my style of play and sometimes fans and players don't understand that and they become a bit afraid of it, like I am not helping and not good for the team.
But after a while you get used to it because this style can bring results.
Berbatov on... Manchester United
His move to Old Trafford was a controversial one, coming very late on deadline day in September 2008, although the fee of £30.75m did net Spurs a tidy profit...
I am coming from a small country, from Bulgaria. I am hoping to play my whole career in England with just one team, but it is not the case.
Spurs gave me the opportunity to show what I can do; the final step on my mountain of success was United.
When they came I knew I would make people disappointed, especially the Spurs fans. But I was following my own path and I knew that if I missed that chance another will not come like that. This is how it is in football.
Everybody was so welcoming, and even if you don't speak much you can still learn. They had players that had been champions and won the treble and I was like: 'Berbs, I have finally made it.' This is what I had worked to all my life.
I was happy, but I was thinking: 'What am I doing here?' Like a kid. This can sometimes stop you showing what you can really do.
Sir Alex [Ferguson, then United manager] was great to everybody. He knew how to stick with everybody individually - some you have to be gentle with, some tough with. He knew how to do that.
Even he never told me that I needed to change. This was a good thing. He trusted me in his own way.
This post has been edited by alien2003: May 3 2020, 11:51 PM