Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
'The Incredible Sulk' has a smile
by Paul Kennedy, September 20th, 2010 1:04AM

MOST READ
TAGS:  england

MOST COMMENTED

[PORTRAIT] Manchester United signed Dimitar Berbatov for a club record transfer fee of $44 million in 2008, but the Bulgarian arrived from Tottenham with the reputation of being a moody player. After two indifferent seasons, "The Incredible Sulk" has finally put on a new face.

Berbatov, the greatest Bulgarian player since Hristo Stoitchkov, has come out on fire for United this season, capping a fantastic first month with a hat trick in a 3-2 win over Liverpool that included a spectacular goal on an overhead kick.

"It felt like a magical day, very special for me because I scored a hat trick and we beat our rivals," Berbatov said. "Everyone is very happy in the dressing room. I will be going home with a smile on my face but to my kids I am nothing special."

Berbatov's hat trick was the first for a United player against Liverpool in 64 years and gives him seven goals in his first six games of the season.

His second goal was a touch of genius. He flicked a ball played into the area by Nani and he lofted it off the crossbar into the Liverpool goal.

For United manager Alex Ferguson, the goal was important for what it means in terms of Berbatov's confidence.

"Not many of those end in the net," Ferguson said, "but we are probably now beginning to see Dimitar believe in himself."

During Berbatov's first season, Cristiano Ronaldo was the focus of the United attack. Last year it was Wayne Rooney. But with Rooney sidetracked by personal problems, Berbatov's new-found confidence is a key development.

"There was a lot of criticism of him last season," said Ferguson, "but it happens when players sign for United for a lot of money and they aren't scoring hat tricks in every game. That's the way of the world with some players who come here. But this season he has started in the right fashion."

Ferguson acknowledges that Berbatov, 29, had become something of a whipping boy.

"We paid a lot of money for him," he said, "but a lot of the criticism last season was unfair and we should have understood that. Certainly, this is a big season for him, one that could determine the rest of his career."



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
Wright-Phillips closes in on scoring record    
[MLS: Saturday] New York's Bradley Wright-Phillips is within three goals of the MLS record for goals ...
Lopez hat trick completes story-book ending    
[USL PRO: Semifinals] Sacramento Republic FC's magical season continued as Rodrigo Lopez scored a hat trick ...
Soccer America Women's Top 25 Scoreboard    
[ROUNDUP: Saturday] No. 10 North Carolina came back from two goals down to stun No. 12 ...
What They're Saying: Yaya Toure    
"I've been in Manchester for four years now and I have never demanded a birthday cake." ...
Minnesota downs Scorpions before record crowd    
[NASL: Fall Week 11] Minnesota United FC regained the lead in the NASL fall standings as ...
Soccer America Men's Top 25 Scoreboard    
[ROUNDUP: Saturday] No. 2 UCLA defeated UC Santa Barbara, 1-0, on a goal by German star ...
Harrisburg pulls another upset on the road    
[USL PRO: Semifinals] The eighth-seeded Harrisburg City Islanders, who had ousted regular-season champion Orlando City in ...
Where to Watch European Soccer    
The new European club season has started up. Here are places Soccer America readers recommend where ...
This is how you score from 90 yards     
[VIDEO PICK: Golazo] SC Paderborn 07, playing its first season ever in Bundesliga 1, finds itself ...
Quick Arsenal blitz drops Guzan's Aston Villa    
[AMERICANS ABROAD] The unbeaten start of Brad Guzan's Aston Villa to the English Premier League season ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives