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
Real Salt Lake forges forward in wake of Plata injury    
A good season ended badly for RSL, which has cut loose several veterans as it reboots ...
Video Pick: Journeyman hits volley golazo off corner kick    
Victor Curto Ortiz, a 32-year-old Spaniard who 11 years ago played for Barcelona's reserves and has ...
USA's 2016 Olympic building blocks take shape    
The U.S. national team that faces Chile on Wednesday includes a mixture of World Cup veterans ...
Philly fans crying out for sustained success    
By nailing down three veterans whose combined ages top the century mark, the Philadelphia Union is ...
MLS Trade Central: Busch returns to Chicago    
The Chicago Fire signed free agent Jon Busch, who finished the 2014 season with San Jose ...
U.S. U-18 boys heading to Copa Chivas    
The U.S. U-18 men's national team, which ended 2014 splitting a two-game series with Germany, will ...
Four newcomers join U-17 residency program     
Coach Richie Williams' spring semester roster of 28 players for the U.S. under-17 residency program in ...
What They're Saying: Sunil Gulati     
"We're going through the FIFA process and hope to have Gedion eligible by March or April. ...
MLS Trade Central: Oduro moves to seventh club    
The Montreal Impact continued to deal as it acquired Ghanaian forward Dominic Oduro from Toronto FC ...
What They're Saying: Pachuca's Marco Garces    
"We keep scouting the U.S. and send scouts every so often and one of them came ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives