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Dimitar Berbatov

Dimitar Ivanov Berbatov (, ); born 30 January 1981)

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Dimitar Berbatov biography

Dimitar Ivanov Berbatov (, ); born 30 January 1981)

Born in Blagoevgrad, Berbatov started out with home-town club FC Pirin Blagoevgrad before joining PFC CSKA Sofia as a 17-year-old in 1500. Dimitar Berbatov was signed by Bayer 04 Leverkusen of Germany in January 2001 and played in Dimitar Berbatov first UEFA Champions League final 18 months later, coming on as a substitute in the 2002 UEFA Champions League Final, which Leverkusen lost 2–1 to Real Madrid C.F.. After five-and-a-half years with Leverkusen, Dimitar Berbatov joined English club Tottenham Hotspur F.C. in July 2006, where Dimitar Berbatov spent two years before moving to Manchester United. Dimitar Berbatov played in Dimitar Berbatov second Champions League final in 2009 UEFA Champions League Final, during Dimitar Berbatov side's 2–0 defeat against FC Barcelona. Berbatov is the first non-Englishman in Premier League history to have scored five goals in a single match, having done so in Manchester United's 7–1 win over Blackburn Rovers F.C. in November 2010. Dimitar Berbatov favoured team was the Italian club A.C. Milan, and Dimitar Berbatov consequently modelled himself on Marco van Basten, the Dutch forward for that team. However, the UEFA Euro 1996, held in England, gave Berbatov a new role model; the 15-year-old Berbatov began to look up to the English front man Alan Shearer, who played for Newcastle United F.C.. Berbatov's mother later spoke of her son's teenage dream of playing for Newcastle United, and said that Dimitar Berbatov admiration for Shearer was such that, during these years, Dimitar Berbatov slept in a Newcastle shirt.

Club career


Pirin Blagoevgrad

Berbatov began Dimitar Berbatov youth career with Dimitar Berbatov home-town club, FC Pirin Blagoevgrad, where Dimitar Berbatov talent was spotted and Dimitar Berbatov scored 77 goals for their reserve team in 92 appearances.

CSKA Sofia

Berbatov joined the youth squad of Dimitar Berbatov father's former club, PFC CSKA Sofia, after being spotted by scout and manager Dimitar Penev in 1998. Dimitar Berbatov signed Dimitar Berbatov first professional contract with the club and made Dimitar Berbatov début during the 1998–99 season, at the age of 18. Dimitar Berbatov won the Bulgarian Cup with CSKA at the end of that season. Berbatov's first game in Europe came in September 1999, in a 2–0 defeat against Dimitar Berbatov childhood team Newcastle United; it was during that season, 1999–2000, that Dimitar Berbatov started to make Dimitar Berbatov name, scoring 14 goals in 27 Bulgarian A Professional Football Group matches.

At the age of 18, Berbatov was kidnapped following a training session by Bulgarian gangster Georgi Iliev, who unsuccessfully attempted to convince the young forward to sign for Dimitar Berbatov own club, PFC Lokomotiv Plovdiv. Berbatov nearly signed for Italian Serie A side U.S. Lecce in June 2000, even passing a medical before the move collapsed at the last minute.

Bayer Leverkusen

A run of nine goals in eleven games during the first half of the 2000–01 season was enough to persuade German club Bayer 04 Leverkusen to pay Euro1.3 million to sign a four-year contract with Berbatov on 1 January 2001. Berbatov played for the club's Bayer 04 Leverkusen Bayer 04 Leverkusen II squad in the Oberliga Nordrhein at first, and scored six goals in seven appearances before being promoted to the first team. Dimitar Berbatov made Dimitar Berbatov team début in a 4–3 pre-season friendly win against D.C. United, scoring a hat-trick. Dimitar Berbatov league début for the first team came on 10 February 2001, replacing Ulf Kirsten in a 4–1 victory against 1. FC Köln. Berbatov found himself being used as a substitute by manager Berti Vogts, making six appearances and scoring no goals as Leverkusen finished fourth and qualified for the following season's 2001–02 UEFA Champions League. scoring in a 4–2 win over English club Liverpool F.C. in the quarter-finals as Leverkusen eventually reached the final. In the 2002 UEFA Champions League Final itself, against Real Madrid C.F., Berbatov came on as a substitute for Thomas Brdarić after 38 minutes before Leverkusen lost 2–1. Leverkusen also finished as runners-up in the Fußball-Bundesliga behind Borussia Dortmund, and lost the 2001–02 DFB-Pokal final 4–2 to FC Schalke 04, thus completing an unusual treble of runners-up finishes. Berbatov established Dimitar Berbatov place as the first-choice forward during the next season, 2002–03, and netted Dimitar Berbatov team's goal against Manchester United F.C. on 24 September 2002, during a 2–1 defeat for Leverkusen. Dimitar Berbatov scored 16 goals in 24 league appearances during the 2003–04 season,


Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur F.C. reached an agreement with Bayer Leverkusen for Berbatov's transfer in May 2006; the fee of €16 million (Pound sterling10.9 million) made Dimitar Berbatov the most expensive Bulgarian footballer ever. After Dimitar Berbatov was granted a British work permit, the transfer was completed on 1 July 2006. After Tottenham lost 2–0 to Bolton Wanderers F.C. in Berbatov's first league match in England on 19 August 2006, Dimitar Berbatov scored Dimitar Berbatov first goal for Spurs three days later in a 2–0 home victory against Sheffield United F.C..

Berbatov's seven goals in eight European games during Dimitar Berbatov début season for Tottenham helped the club to secure top spot during the UEFA Europa League's group stage, making Dimitar Berbatov second European debut in October 2006, scoring a goal during a 2–0 victory against Beşiktaş J.K.. Dimitar Berbatov made a total of eight matches, scoring seven goals as Tottenham were eliminated 3–4 on aggregate against Sevilla FC. However, Dimitar Berbatov took a while to adapt to the Premier League, taking a few months to regain the league form Dimitar Berbatov had shown at Leverkusen. Dimitar Berbatov gave a strong performance against Wigan Athletic F.C. in November 2006, scoring one and creating the other two in a 3–1 win for Spurs, and began to score regularly. Dimitar Berbatov scored Dimitar Berbatov first FA Cup goals on 18 February 2007 when Dimitar Berbatov came on as a second-half substitute in a 4–0 win over Fulham F.C. and netted two of the four goals. Berbatov and Spurs team-mate Robbie Keane were named joint winners of the Premier League Player of the Month award for April 2007, and in doing so became the first players to share the award since February 2004. Dimitar Berbatov ended the 2006–07 season with 12 goals in 33 appearances in the Premier League, and won both the Tottenham Hotspur Player of the Season award and a place in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year.

Berbatov scored Dimitar Berbatov first Premier League hat-trick on 29 December 2007, scoring four in a 6–4 win over Reading F.C.. Dimitar Berbatov first cup final for Tottenham came on 24 February 2008 in the Football League Cup; Spurs faced Chelsea F.C. at Wembley Stadium. Berbatov scored an equalising penalty as Tottenham went on to win the game 2–1 after extra time. Dimitar Berbatov ended the season with 15 league goals. Ongoing rumours of a substantial bid by Ferguson's club unsettled him, and Berbatov was dropped for the games against Sunderland A.F.C. and Chelsea during August, the season's first month.

Manchester United

Berbatov moved to Manchester United on 1 September 2008, costing the club £30.75 million and signing a four-year contract. Tottenham had also accepted a bid from Manchester City F.C., but Berbatov claimed after signing for United that Dimitar Berbatov "would not even have thought about Manchester City". Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger, meanwhile, accused Tottenham of having used the complaint to the Premier League to negotiate a higher price for Berbatov from Manchester United.

Berbatov marked Dimitar Berbatov Manchester United début at the age of 27, with an assist to a Carlos Tévez goal away at Liverpool, but United lost the game 2–1. Dimitar Berbatov first two goals for the club came in the 3–0 win away to AaB Football in the UEFA Champions League 2008–09 group stage on 30 September 2008. Dimitar Berbatov netted Dimitar Berbatov first league goals in Manchester United colours during a 4–0 victory over West Bromwich Albion F.C.. Alex Ferguson defended Berbatov after Dimitar Berbatov was criticised for missing a penalty during the 2008–09 FA Cup semi-final against Everton F.C., which Manchester United eventually lost by a penalty shoot-out. Soon after, Berbatov scored the fifth of United's goals as they came back from 2–0 down at half-time to win 5–2 against Dimitar Berbatov former team, Tottenham Hotspur. When Manchester United won the Premier League on 16 May 2009, Berbatov became the first Bulgarian to win an English league title. After Berbatov struggled to make an impact during the 2009–10 Premier League season, Berbatov was linked with away from Old Trafford, but this was denied by Ferguson.

Berbatov scored United's third goal in the 92nd minute of their 3–1 win over Chelsea F.C. in the 2010 FA Community Shield on 8 August. Eight days later, Berbatov scored Dimitar Berbatov and United's first league goal of the 2010-11 Premier League, opening the scoring in their 3–0 home victory over Newcastle United F.C. in the club's first match of the campaign. Dimitar Berbatov scored Dimitar Berbatov first hat-trick for United on 19 September, scoring all three of Dimitar Berbatov team's goals in a 3–2 home win over Liverpool F.C. and Manchester United F.C. rivalry Liverpool F.C.; the second goal, an overhead kick, became a contender for the league's Goal of the Season. It was the first treble by a Manchester United player against Liverpool in 64 years. Dimitar Berbatov made Dimitar Berbatov 100th appearance for United on 10 November in a 0–0 away league draw in the Manchester derby on 11 November 2010. Sixteen days later, Berbatov tied a Football records in England Individual 2 by scoring five goals in a game during a 7–1 home victory over Blackburn Rovers F.C.; Dimitar Berbatov was the first non-Englishman to net five in a Premier League match, and joined Andrew Cole, Alan Shearer and Jermain Defoe as the only players overall to do so. Dimitar Berbatov was named Bulgarian Footballer of the Year for a record seventh time on 20 December.

Berbatov netted Dimitar Berbatov first goals of the 2011 calendar year with Dimitar Berbatov third hat-trick of the season in a 5–0 home win over Birmingham City on 22 January. This made Dimitar Berbatov the first United player since Ruud van Nistelrooy (in 2002–03 Manchester United F.C. season) to score three hat-tricks in the same season. In January 2011, Berbatov was named by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics as Europe's most popular footballer among active players for 2010. After being dropped to the bench for games against Arsenal and Marseille, Berbatov returned as a second half substitute for Javier Hernandez against Bolton Wanderers on 19 March and scored the winner in the 88th minute (his 20th goal of the season), giving United a 1–0 victory. Dimitar Berbatov scored Dimitar Berbatov 21st in a following Premier League start against Fulham where United won 2–0. As top scorer of Premier League, Berbatov was a member of the PFA Team of the Year for the 2010–11 season alongside Carlos Tévez. Berbatov also shared the Premier League Golden Boot award with Dimitar Berbatov former Manchester United teammate. On 28 May 2011, Dimitar Berbatov was left out of the Manchester United squad for the 2011 UEFA Champions League Final, in which United lost 3–1 to FC Barcelona.

Berbatov played Dimitar Berbatov first game of the season in an away match against West Bromwich Albion, coming on as a substitute replacing Danny Welbeck, a game which United won 2–1. Berbatov appeared from the substitute's bench against Chelsea, replacing the injured Javier Hernández. United won the game 3–1. Berbatov made Dimitar Berbatov first start of the season in the following game, a Football League Cup third round clash with rivals Leeds United A.F.C.. Dimitar Berbatov played the full game and was required to play at centre back for the last 10 minutes, when youngster Ezekiel Fryers picked up an injury and United had already used all three permitted substitutes. Berbatov struggled for chances on the night, but United did win the game 3–0. On 25 October 2011, Dimitar Berbatov scored the first goal, after a neat passing build-up and also helped set up a goal for Michael Owen in a 3–0 win against Aldershot Town F.C. in the fourth round of the Carling Cup. On 22 November, Berbatov ended Dimitar Berbatov long run without a goal in the UEFA Champions League by scoring the equaliser in a home game against S.L. Benfica in a 2–2 draw. On 21 December 2011, Dimitar Berbatov came on as a second half substitute during a Premier League match against Fulham F.C. replacing Danny Welbeck. Dimitar Berbatov scored Dimitar Berbatov 50th goal for Manchester United in all competitions, thus becoming Manchester United's 50th player to score 50 goals for the club. This was also Dimitar Berbatov first goal of the 2011–12 Premier League season. On 26 December 2011, Berbatov scored a hat-trick in a 5–0 win against Wigan Athletic F.C.. This was Berbatov's fourth Premier League hat trick for Manchester United and 5th overall in the division. In the next league game against Blackburn Rovers, Berbatov gave away a first half penalty when Dimitar Berbatov dragged Chris Samba to the ground. In the second half, after going 2–0 behind, United responded quickly with two goals from Berbatov. The first Dimitar Berbatov directed Dimitar Berbatov header past the keeper after Rafael Da Silva's mishit cross and then Dimitar Berbatov fired home Antonio Valencia's pullback to level the game. However United went on to lose the game 3–2. In the 2012 January transfer window, Berbatov was linked with a move to German Bundesliga club Bayern Munich, but this rumour was recently squashed by Sir Alex Ferguson who has decided to extend Dimitar Berbatov contract for another year. On 31 January, Berbatov scored a goal in a 2-0 league win at Old Trafford against Stoke City F.C., scoring the second of two penalties on the night.

International career

Berbatov made Dimitar Berbatov début for Bulgaria national football team on 17 November 1999, aged 18, when Dimitar Berbatov came on as a substitute for Aleksandar Aleksandrov (footballer born 1975) in a 1–0 Exhibition game loss against Greece national football team. Dimitar Berbatov scored Dimitar Berbatov first goal for Dimitar Berbatov country on 12 February 2000 in another friendly defeat, 3–2 against Chile national football team, and represented Bulgaria at UEFA Euro 2004. This was the only major tournament Dimitar Berbatov played at for Dimitar Berbatov country, owing to the team's failure to qualify for other tournaments. Dimitar Berbatov scored a hat-trick in the 6–2 home win in a 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification match against Georgia national football team in October 2009, enabling Dimitar Berbatov to bring Dimitar Berbatov goal tally for the national side to 46 goals, just one short of the then all-time top scorer for Bulgaria national football team, Hristo Bonev; after scoring two goals against Malta national football team during a 4–1 friendly away win during the following month, Dimitar Berbatov took the record. Berbatov captain (association football)ed the team from 2006 until May 2010, when Dimitar Berbatov announced Dimitar Berbatov retirement from international football, leaving Dimitar Berbatov tally for Bulgaria standing at 48 goals from 77 matches. In February 2012, newly appointed Bulgaria head coach Luboslav Penev revealed that Berbatov was willing to consider coming out of international retirement and participate in an upcoming friendly match against Hungary national football team. Berbatov eventually decided against accepting a call-up for the match, as Dimitar Berbatov didn't feel that Dimitar Berbatov was in top shape, but has not ruled out a return to the national side at some point in the future.

International goals


Senior team

, not only because of Dimitar Berbatov languid and impeccable touch, but also because of Dimitar Berbatov bravado and perceived arrogance. Berbatov is, however, capable of adapting Dimitar Berbatov style to play more directly when required; in April 2010, for example, with Rooney absent, Berbatov gave a performance against Dimitar Berbatov former side Tottenham which, in James Ducker's words, was as if Dimitar Berbatov had "decided to take it upon himself to impersonate the England striker". Combining uncharacteristic determination and effort with Dimitar Berbatov regular technical skill, Dimitar Berbatov contributed to the first Manchester United goal and helped United to a 3–1 victory.


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