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- First Name:
- Last Name:
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- Date of Birth:
- Jan 30, 1981
Berbatov's career as a footballer started in his home town of Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria where he played for Pirin Blagoevgrad's youth team. He was spotted by Bulgarian legend Dimitar Penev - now a highly rated scout - and was given the chance to follow in his father's footsteps and play for CSKA Sofia. It was an offer that was too good to turn down and he signed for them aged 17. He scored 37 goals in 65 games for the Bulgarian side and his prolific scoring record earned him a move to German team Bayer 04 Leverkusen in January 2001.
In 5 years at the club he achieved impressive statistics of 90 goals in 200 appearances. He was also beginning to showcase his talents on the European stage, helping Bayer to the Champions League final in 2002. They lost 2-1 to Real Madrid at Hampden Park, but Berbatov had shown that he had what it takes to compete on the biggest stage.
Speculation that Berbatov would move to Tottenham Hotspur had started in 2004, but it wasn't until 2006 that they made their move. A £10.9 million fee was enough to secure his signature and he moved to White Hart Lane in the Summer of 2006.
His debut was a friendly game against Birmingham City in which he made the net bulge twice in two minutes. His competitive debut was against Sheffield United at White Hart Lane. He got himself on the score sheet again just two minutes into the game. It was a dream start for him.
He built an impressive partnership with Robbie Keane and despite Martin Jol's rotation system, firmly established himself as first choice centre forward ahead of Jermain Defoe and Mido. His form was so good that he won Spurs player of the year award and was voted into the PFA Team of the Season.
His first taste of silverware in English football came in 2008. He scored a penalty against Chelsea in the League Cup final to level the scores in the second half. Jonathan Woodgate scored the winner for Spurs in extra time to hand Spurs their first trophy since 1999.
It soon became clear that his form was attracting the interest of United. After a Summer of speculation, United had a bid of £30.75 million accepted by Spurs on transfer deadline day. Manchester City also had an offer accepted and offered Berbatov a much bigger salary, but there was only one place he wanted to play football so he turned down City's money and signed for United just minutes before the transfer window closed.
His first season at United was a promising sign of things to come, but he didn't hit the consistently good levels he had done at Spurs in the previous two seasons. Even so, there were lots of dazzling skills, deft touches and brilliant passing, along with FIFA Club World Cup and Premier League winners medals that will give United fans much to look forward to.
In August 2012 Berbatov was no longer required at United and signed for Fulham for an undisclosed fee.
- Played (start/sub):
- 148 (108/40)
- Goals (hattricks):
- 58 (4)