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What’s up, Football fans! It’s time for Bulgarian Stories here in the channel. Dimitar Berbatov retired. I was waiting for the right moment to present to you his story. Well, it came Of course, you see the jersey of Dimitar Berbatov in the backround of each of my videos. Because I respect him and I know how much he achieved, so the fans worldwide can hear about Bulgaria. I doubt that somebody will ever forget his games for Bayer Leverkusen, Tottenham, Manchester United and all the clubs he played for. Аlso the matches with the Bulgarian national team. I guess that’s all from me. Enjoy watching! It is difficult to write about Dimitar Berbatov. Difficult because sometimes words are not enough to illustrate the emotions of hundreds of thousands of Bulgarians. More good, less bad. Words can hurt. Dimitar Berbatov is the man who has heard a lot about himself from known and unknown football experts. Today, however, we’ll talk with facts about the footballer and the man Berbatov. And we’ll go back to where it all began. Dimitar Berbatov was born on January 30, 1981 in Blagoevgrad in the family of sportsmen – Margarita – a former handball player and Ivan – a former footballer. A little later, his brother Asen was born. His grandfather Dimitar, whom he is named after, played for the Struma football team. Young Dimitar’s day often begins at 6am in the bread queue, sent by his family, followed by school and track and field and long jump practices in first and second grade. 10-years-old, he embarks on a difficult football journey. You will hardly be surprised where – at the local side Pirin. The team that almost every boy from Blagoevgrad wants to play for. In school he is a classmate with a boy named Ivan, who, along with Dimitar, shines in the school matches. The aforementioned Ivan Tzvetkov, slightly older than Berbatov, also shows technique in Pirin, not long after being noticed by the Dutch Heerenveen, where he begins his football career. But Dimitar is technically skilled as well. As a teenager he is spotted by CSKA Sofia. At the age of 17 he travels to Sofia with a thought – to become a football player. He trains hard, which leaves almost no time for school. He doesn’t really know his new classmates at the 81st Victor Hugo High School in Mladost. Graduates remotely, without fanfare, without prom. Far from his loved ones, but with a dream – to make his CSKA debut. It only takes him a year to sign his first professional contract in 1999. And the debut, with the legendary Dimitar Penev as his coach, comes right after that – in the eternal derby with Levski, lost 2:3. The youngster, however, is met with criticism, and although he scores in the next Cup game against Minyor Pernik, he is not enjoying his easiest years at CSKA. Misses, seen also by many other young players, are about to set the crowd against him, but Dimitar knows that he is in CSKA to score. He still has the support of his coach Penev. And so it begins. Berbatov wins the Bulgarian Cup in the same season and scores at total of 37 goals in his 65 games for the Reds. In July, 2000, CSKA receives an offer from the German Bayer Leverkusen wanting to sign the youngster. Bayer pays 3.3 million marks to buy Berbatov. For him, however, it seems that there is no place in the first team. He has to prove himself in the second team. And he does it with ease. Berbatov makes his Bayer debut against Stuttgart and, in the 2001/2002 season, scores his first official goal with the red-and-black kit against regional rival Borussia Dortmund. In a season where everything else is with Bayer, but not luck. Second place in the Bundesliga and lost finals for the German Cup and the Champions League. Yes, I know that you remember that volley of Zinedine Zidane. Well, Berbatov remembers it best after entering the game in the first half. During the campaign, however, the striker scores against Lyon and Liverpool. He misses Bulgaria and his family, but the focus now is there in between the two posts. Berbatov has to score more if he wants to grow. In November, 2004, the Bulgarian impresses scoring a rarely beautiful away goal against Roma at “Olimpico”. In total 77 goals in 184 Bundesliga and Champions League games. Not bad for a youngster? For the last time Berba plays with the jersey of Leverkusen against his beloved CSKA. As an interesting fact – his team loses twice against the Bulgarian side. So it comes 2006, when Tottenham pays 15.7 million euro for the striker. There in a league filled with solid tackles and great speed, with a manager Martin Jol, a giant with a good heart, Berbatov forms a great partnership with Irishman Robbie Keane and amazes the fans of the Premier League not only with wonderful goals. Yes, it is the job of every striker to score, but the Bulgarian has something different. Something not so often seen on in Great Britain. He now posses an exceptional first touch and elegance. Berbatov plays as if it’s easy. Why strain so much when you can just pass him the ball and enjoy. With manager Juande Ramos Berba wins the League cup after a final against Chelsea. First trophy for Tottenham in so many years. The fans sing about Berbatov, they praise him, and he is ashamed. He doesn’t like to talk much. No need for empty talks. But his teammates understand this and give him the peace of mind to shine. He doesn’t like attention either. The attacker does not even let his father come to watch him live because the burden of playing in front of his family is different. Thousands of miles away from home, Tottenham becomes his family, and the magic of the Bulgarian fascinates even a man who has seen so much in the game – Sir Alex Ferguson. After long talks and drama on the last transfer day in the summer of 2008, literally in the last seconds, Berbatov is fulfills his dream – to reach the top. From small Blagoevgrad to the “Theater of Dreams”. Transfer worth over 38 million euro. Sir Alex Ferguson’s most expensive purchase ever. For whom? For a silent Bulgarian with one magic touch and number nine on the back. Berbatov puts on his socks, his boots and stands in the tunnel of “Old Trafford” next to Ronaldo, Neville, Vidic, Evra, Giggs, Rooney and Van der Sar. He looks at them and says to himself: “You have to cherish this moment forever.” Then he looks at his opponents. They are already beaten. So many screams “Unbelievable”, “Incredible”, “Amazing” by English commentators, so many goals goals like that memorable hat trick against Liverpool or the five ones against Blackburn, a Premier League record. Assists like that literal mockery of James Collins and West Ham’s defense. Long sleeves that are close to cover all his fingers and a dream coming true. Berbatov leaves a mark in Manchester, in Sir Alex’s mind and in the hearts of all the fans. A mark which will never be erased. There, he wins his first League title, there he learns to play behind the striker with more responsibility in building the attacks. With the Red Devils, he also wins the Club World Cup trophy and the Carling Cup twice. Of course, that Golden Boot as a Premier League Top Goal Scorer after 20 goals in one season. And despite that Champions League final against Barcelona, where he doesn’t come in, Berbo leaves United with pride and many friends. Until the end of his career, he also plays for Fulham, Monaco, PAOK and Kerala Blaster. And in some of these teams, he reminds all critics that in football, qualities are more important than age. And with that in his mind, he starts looking for a new challenge. But it never comes. Berbatov says goodbye to the beautiful game at the age of 38 at home – in Bulgaria. After so many conquered hearts around the world, he remains here with his family – Elena, Dea and Elia. Here he meets his old friends, here he watches his favorite movies and draws from time to time. A man, like any of us. Because Bulgaria is his homeland. The captain’s armband of which he wears long time with honor. He scores 48 goals for the Lions, leveling the top scorer Hristo Bonev. before leaving the team. Did we understand Berbatov right? Did we realize that he doesn’t want to talk. He does not want to make excuses in front of journalists and fans after every defeat. He speaks on the pitch because sometimes the words are not enough. But many people always find them. And just those unnecessary words to bring you down. Berba, thank you. On behalf of the Bulgarian fans. Remember, we are such people. A country in which some love and others hate passionately. It’s your decision whether you will stay to help developing the Bulgarian football, but you have already left a message for all of us. With the team of Bulgaria. It is difficult to write about Dimitar Berbatov. It’s easy to watch… Football fans, this was the story of Dimitar Berbatov, part of the series Bulgarian stories. Thumbs up, if you liked the video! Don’t forget to subscribe to the channel for more football content! You could like and follow Football Brain on the other social media platforms here: Remember:
The game lives in the heart and drives the brain crazy! See you soon, Football fans!

David Frank

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