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
Eleven teams will battle for five Champion League spots    
Eleven teams have qualified for the knockout stage of the Champions League, and 11 more teams, ...
Video Pick: Bend it like Uesato    
Our favorite free kick goal of the week comes from J-League 2, where Consadole Sapporo's Kazumasa ...
Breaking down the NCAA Division I women's quarterfinals    
The NCAA Division I Women's Tournament moves into the quarterfinals with three games on Friday and ...
A back-heel sombrero from Greek boy     
[VIDEO PICK: Skills] Greek youth soccer, in a game between AO Ioannina and Agia Eleousa, delivers ...
What They're Saying: Jose Mourinho    
"Obviously they must be very sad with the result but when we lose against a team ...
Report: W-League champion Pali Blues are folding    
The LA Blues won W-League titles as the Pali Blues in 2009, 2009 and 2013 and ...
The Messi files: Eight amazing scoring records    
Lionel Messi holds all the single-season scoring records. Now, he is cleaning up on the all-time ...
Mulroy departs NASL runner-up Ft. Lauderdale Strikers    
Tommy Mulroy, the longtime soccer promoter, is out as the president of the NASL Ft. Lauderdale ...
Business Reporter: adidas to open store in Orlando stadium    
MLS sponsor adidas will operate the league's first in-stadium store starting in 2016 with the opening ...
Three takeaways from Manchester City-Bayern Munich     
The Champions League actually includes runners-up and third- and fourth-place finishers, but this Group E game ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives