Dimitar Berbatov tells United fans he does care

26 July 2011 03:45
Dimitar Berbatov insists fans confuse his laid-back approach to football with a misguided belief that he does not care.[LNB]The Manchester United striker should be heading for the new campaign on a high after sharing the Premier League's Golden Boot prize with Carlos Tevez and firing the Red Devils to a record 19th title.[LNB]Instead, Berbatov is facing up to what most would perceive to be the biggest challenge of his career after he did not even manage a place on the bench for the Champions League final.[LNB] My way: Dimitar Berbatov says his style of play is what got him to Manchester United in the first place[LNB] Left out: Berbatov was not included in Manchester United's squad for the Champions League final[LNB]The Bulgarian is said to have spent the 3-1 defeat to Barcelona alone and in tears, trying to mask his desolation from concerned club officials.[LNB]Last week, in Chicago's Four Seasons Hotel, Berbatov was a more contented figure.[LNB]So obviously uncomfortable in an interview setting, the former Tottenham star had no wish to rake over the coals of that horrendous night.[LNB]However, he was keen to set the record straight about his attitude to the game.[LNB]'I am a very proud person,' said the 30-year-old.[LNB]'I don't like to show my weaknesses. I don't want to show my emotions in public.[LNB]'That is why people probably sometimes misjudge me.'[LNB]The truth is Berbatov wants to win. But he wants to win with style.[LNB]Throughout his career, no one criticised his style of play.[LNB]It was only following his arrival at Old Trafford, when demanding supporters watched him replace the obvious industry of Carlos Tevez, the sniping began at a player Sir Alex Ferguson was so convinced of he broke the club record by spending ?30.75million.[LNB]'Yes,' he said, when asked if the claim he does not care bothers him.[LNB]'I always play like this. That is what got me here.[LNB]'You are not going to see me puffing around the pitch. There is a saying in Bulgaria that great quality doesn't require much effort.'[LNB] If that awful experience at Wembley is a no-go area, and so too any discussion about his contract, which is about to enter its final year, Berbatov is happy to talk about other matters.[LNB]Closest to his heart is the Dimitar Berbatov Foundation aimed at children of talent back home in Bulgaria who lack the resources to make the most of their abilities.[LNB] Hero: Bulgarian international Hristo Stoichkov in his Barcelona days with Johan Cruyff (left) and players Michael Laudrup (2nd left)[LNB]Berbatov's status as a role model sits comfortably on his shoulders, even if he recoils from the thought he could be regarded as an icon, reserving that status for his own hero, Hristo Stoichkov.[LNB]'When I was young, I was looking to people like Stoichkov,' he said.[LNB]'I told myself one day I would like to be as successful as him. Dreams do come true sometimes.'[LNB]Although there was one cataclysmic low, Berbatov experienced some dream days last year too.[LNB]The first United player to score a hat-trick against Liverpool in 64 years, a tally that included a magnificent overhead kick, the first non-Englishman to score five in a Premier League game, the Golden Boot for his 20-goal haul.[LNB]'I didn't know scoring three goals against Liverpool would mean so much to so many people,' he reflected.[LNB]'Obviously three goals - and the second one was a bit special - it will stay in my memory for ever - and after that I scored five![LNB]'What makes me really proud is that there have been so many foreigners playing in English football, I am the only one with five goals.[LNB] Earning his Spurs: Berbatov says he had the same laid back attitude at Tottenham[LNB]'But it is something I have to push to the back of my mind. Last season I had highs in my career. But what if we didn't win the title? Then these things wouldn't matter so much.'[LNB]Talking to Berbatov, it is clear that he does care, both about his team and his performance.[LNB]It seems he wants to be liked, not in an arrogant way, but as an individual who tried to do things a little differently.[LNB]'As a good player, doing things the fans enjoyed,' he replied, when asked how he would like to be remembered.[LNB]'I always tend to think my goals are beautiful goals. That is what I want to score; beautiful goals, and create beautiful chances.'[LNB]How long will that attitude prevail at Old Trafford, where the challengers, all younger, are queuing up to oust him?[LNB]Berbatov does not answer. What he is prepared to concede is that once leaving United, the only way is down.[LNB]'Smaller clubs might be able to match Manchester United with the way they play, with their organisation, everything. But Manchester United are at the top,' he said.[LNB]'Where can you go from there? Maybe Barcelona. At the moment, I don't see anything else.[LNB]'If you go somewhere else it is a big step down.[LNB]'I come from a small country. I have the good fortune to play for Manchester United. For the time I am here I try to do my best and win everything there is to win.[LNB]'There is no other way I can play.' [LNB] Fergie warns 'noisy neighbours' City ahead of Community Shield clashSafe keeping: De Gea recovers from early blunder to deliver assured debutI'm going nowhere! Nani warns Young and Valencia he'll fight for future at UnitedAll the latest Manchester United news, features and opinion[LNB]

Source: Daily_Mail