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
U.S. U-18s split two-game series with Germany    
The U.S. under-18 men's national team dropped a 3-2 decision to Germany's U-18s to finish with ...
MLS Trade Central: Friday's deals    
After two disastrous years in England, Brek Shea is back in MLS, signing with expansion club ...
MLS lines up exciting tripleheader for first Sunday    
MLS will open its 2015 season on March 6 when the defending champion LA Galaxy hosts ...
Video Pick: Alex Meier on Fire     
The leading scorer in the Europe's highest scoring league is a player you may not have ...
What They're Saying: Chris Wondolowski    
"I'm not over it. I'm not sure I'll ever get over it. [Pause] I actually think ...
U.S. U-20s win at San Pedro Sula    
San Pedro Sula is no easy place to play as the USA (2-1 loser in the ...
Press and Lloyd combine for all seven in U.S. win    
After a tie and loss in its first two games at the Torneio Internacional da Brasilia, ...
What They're Saying: Juergen Klopp    
"He took a wrong turn at some point. But everything is back to normal now. He ...
TV Report: MLS expansion teams ink local deals    
As expected, New York City FC has entered into a multi-year agreement with YES Network, while ...
Timbers land Wake's Vidovich to run T2    
The Portland Timbers, who dipped into the college ranks to get head coach Caleb Porter, have ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives