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Dimitar Berbatov Biography

Sat 03 April 2021 | 17:30

As his country’s top scorer of all time and winner of the Bulgarian Footballer of the Year award on no less than 7 occasions, many consider him as the best striker in the history of Bulgarian football. In this article, we take a look at Dimitar Berbatov biography.

Dimitar Berbatov, born 30 January 1981 in Blagoevgrad, is a former Bulgarian international football player who played as a striker for the Bulgarian national team and many clubs, notably for

Manchester United

between 2008 and 2012.

He started his career in 1991 in the team of Pirin (Blagoevgrad). In 1998 he moved to the youth team, and in 1999 - to the senior team of CSKA (Sofia). Since 2001 he has played for

Bayer Leverkusen

. In May 2006 he moved to English Tottenham, and in September 2008 he moved from Tottenham to Manchester United. From August 2012 to 2014 he played at

Fulham FC

, and in the 2014/2015 season, he played at Monaco. In June 2015, Monaco and Dimitar Berbatov parted ways.

With Manchester United, he won the Premier League title twice and shared the Golden Boot for the league's top scorer. On 24 February 2013, he became the first Bulgarian footballer to play 200 matches in the English Premier League. In total, he has played 305 matches and scored 122 goals during his entire stay in England.

In the 2010-11 season, he received the Premier League Golden Boot (along with Carlos Tevez), and became the league's top scorer with 20 goals. He also won the 2008 FIFA Club World Cup with United. He was Bulgaria's No. 1 player of the year a record seven times (2002, 2004, 2005, 2007-2010), captain of the Bulgarian national football team from 2006 to 2010, when he retired from the national team. Berbatov scored 48 goals for the Bulgarian national team, a record alongside Hristo Bonev.

All You Need to Know About Dimitar Berbatov Biography

He played for the Bulgarian national team between 1999 and 2010. He participated in Euro 2004, in

Portugal

. He also participated in the qualifiers for 2002, 2006 and 2010 World Cups, but his team failed to qualify for any of these World Cups.

Dimitar Berbatov Information

Now that you know the Bulgarian legendary striker better, in this section of

Dimitar Berbatov biography

, we will share the same general information about him such as

Dimitar Berbatov nationality

to let you know him even more. Stay tuned.

Dimitar Berbatov Bio

  • Full Name: Dimitar Ivanov Berbatov

  • Nickname: Dimitar Berbaflop

  • Profession: Professional Footballer

Dimitar Berbatov Physical Stats

  • Weight: 75 Kg

  • Height: 1.89 m

  • Eye Color: Black

  • Hair Color: Brown

Dimitar Berbatov Football Information

  • Position: Striker

  • Jersey Number: 9

  • Professional Debut: 1998

Dimitar Berbatov Date of Birth and Personal Info

  • Date of Birth: 30 January 1981

  • Birth Place: Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria

  • Zodiac Sign: Aquarius

  • Nationality: Bulgarian

Stay tuned to this section of

Dimitar Berbatov biography

as we will share some information about

Dimitar Berbatov childhood

and more.

Dimitar Berbatov Early Life

Dimitar started his youth football in his hometown, in the Pirin Blagoevgrad team, where he showed his skills as a striker: in 92 matches he scored 77 goals for Pirin Blagoevgrad's reserve team. He then made 9 appearances and scored 2 goals with the first team, where he played from the beginning of the league until January 1998, when, at the age of 17, he was bought by a big Bulgarian club, CSKA Sofia.

Dimitar Berbatov Profile

Dimitar Berbatov started his professional playing career at CSKA after he transferred from Pirin Blagoevgrad to the school of the capital grand in March 1998, at the age of 17. In the spring of 1999, Berbatov signed a professional contract with the club and became part of the CSKA's senior team, where he made his debut on 3 March in the 2-3 loss against Levski.

The Blagoevgrad player's first goal in an official match for CSKA was scored only four days later - in the 2-1 victory against the Minor Pernik in the Bulgarian Cup.

His European debut was again with the CSKA team - against Northern Ireland's Portadown, while against Moldova's Construktorul Berbatov set a record for the most goals in a single match in Europe, scoring five. Berbatov scored 37 goals for CSKA in 65 games and won one trophy - the Bulgarian Cup in 1999 after a 1-0 win against Litex in the final.

Bayer 04 Leverkusen

In July 2000, Berbatov signed a preliminary contract with German Bayer Leverkusen for four and a half years, which came into effect on 1 January 2001, with a transfer fee of 3.3 million marks. Under the guidance of coach Bertie Vogts, the Bulgarian made his debut with the Leverkusen team in the Bundesliga when he played 15 minutes against Stuttgart. His first goal in an official Bayer match came the following season (2001/02), in a match against

Borussia Dortmund

.

Bayer Leverkusen, led by Klaus Topmöller, made history that season by becoming Bundesliga runners-up and losing the German Cup and Champions League finals. In the Champions League, Berbatov was credited with goals against Lyon and in the highly dramatic 4-2 win over Liverpool, and the highlight of Berbatov's career up to that point was the final match, which was lost 1-2 to Real Madrid. He entered the game in the first half after an injury to Berdaric, but failed to help his team.

A poor season followed in which Bayer narrowly escaped relegation and Berbatov scored five goals. In the 2003/04 season, the Bulgarian scored 19 goals in all competitions, and in the following two years he improved his achievements - 26 and 24 goals respectively in all tournaments.

He scored a total of 68 goals in 154 Bundesliga matches. In Champions League matches he scored 9 goals in 30 games. Berbatov's last match for Bayer in Europe was against CSKA in 2005, when they fell 0-1 twice to the CSKA in the first round of the UEFA Cup.

Tottenham Hotspur

Speculation was high over a potential move in 2004 for the newly crowned Bulgarian Footballer of the Year. But it was not until May 2006 that Berbatov finally joined Premier League club

Tottenham Hotspur

for a fee of around £10.9 million, making him the most expensive player in the history of Bulgarian football.

After receiving a work permit, the deal was completed and Berbatov joined Tottenham on 1 July 2006. In his first game as a Tottenham player, he scored two goals in ten minutes against Birmingham City in a friendly match.

Berbatov scored his first league goal for Tottenham two minutes into his

Premier League

home debut against Sheffield United at White Hart Lane. He quickly developed a strong partnership with the fellow striker, Robbie Keane. Despite coach Martin Jol's famous rotation system, including his strikers, Berbatov still managed to establish himself as a regular first-choice striker at the club.

He scored five goals in four games in the UEFA Cup group stage, and his performances earned him two Man of the Match awards in the group stage against Besiktas and Club Brugge.

Despite his good form in the European competition, it took Berbatov some time to settle in the Premier League. But he soon started to adapt to the league when, among other excellent efforts against Wigan, he scored one goal and created the other two in a 3-1 win. On 9 December 2006, Berbatov scored his first Premier League goal for Spurs in a 5-1 win against Charlton Athletic.

Berbatov came on in the second half against Fulham in the

FA Cup

, scoring his first two goals of the tournament. He scored his first Premier League goal away at Goodison Park against Everton with a shot from the edge of the penalty area after a set-piece by teammate Aaron Lennon, in a match that Spurs won 2-1.

Berbatov and Spurs teammate Robbie Keane were both winners of the Premier League Player of the Month award in April, the first players to share the award since Arsenal's Dennis Bergkamp and Edu jointly won the award back in February 2004.

Based on his very impressive efforts especially in the latter half of the season, Berbatov received the Player of the Year award at Tottenham Hotspur. A great honour after his first season at the club. He finished his first season at Tottenham Hotspur (2006-07) with 12 goals in 33 Premier League appearances and 11 assists.

Speaking after Spurs suffered a narrow loss to

Arsenal

in a North London derby on 22 December 2007, Arsène Wenger, the Arsenal manager, famously compared Berbatov to Thierry Henry. His first hat-trick for Spurs came on 29 December 2007, after he scored four goals in a 6-4 win versus Reading at White Hart Lane.

Berbatov played his first Cup final for Tottenham on 24 February 2008 in the Football League Cup at Wembley Stadium versus Chelsea. He scored the equaliser from the penalty spot and in extra time, teammate Jonathan Woodgate brought the trophy home to White Hart Lane.

Consequently, Berbatov had won his first trophy in English football. On 9 March 2008, he scored from a header in a 4-0 win over West Ham United. This brought his Premier League goals tally for the season to twelve, equalling his previous season's total.

He finished the season with 15 league goals and a total record of 23 goals and 11 assists. He scored Tottenham's 100th goal of the season when Tottenham met Wigan on 19 April in a 1-1 draw.

For Berbatov, the 2008-09 season got off to a turbulent start. Over the summer he had expressed his desire to move to a bigger club, and when English champions Manchester United were ready to pay his purchase price, the whole transfer saga began.

Berbatov trained with Spurs but was still dropped for the games against Sunderland and Chelsea. United manager Alex Ferguson tried to dismiss these rumours, describing it as "less optimistic" that they would secure new signings before the end of the transfer window.

Stay tuned to this section of

Dimitar Berbatov biography

as we will share some information about his Man United career.

Manchester United

Tottenham didn't want to let go of Berbatov until the last moment and that became a reason for many people to be sceptical about his transfer to Old Trafford. Moments before the transfer window closed in September 2008, Berbatov switched to Manchester United for a reported sum of £30.75 million, thus becoming the most expensive player bought by Alex Ferguson up until then. Manchester United head coach Sir Alex Ferguson believed Berbatov was one of the best players in the world.

Dimitar Berbatov was a Red Devils player from 1 September 2008, after signing a four-year contract with his new club. The transfer of the Bulgarian national team captain was the biggest in the history of Bulgarian football. The transfer sum given for Berbatov placed him on the world's most expensive players list.

In his debut match for Manchester United in the English Premier League on 13 September 2008 against Liverpool, Berbatov assisted Carlos Tevez's goal, but after taking the lead, United lost 1-2. Berbatov missed Manchester United's first match of the 2008/09

Champions League

season due to a knee injury. He made his Champions League debut for United in their second match on 30 September 2008 in an away match against Danish side Olbor BK. In this match, he also scored his first two goals for Manchester United. The Red Devils won 3-0, with Berbatov scoring the second and third goals.

Berbatov scored his first goal for Manchester United in the Premier League on 18 October 2008 in the 8th matchday in United's 4-0 home win against West Bromwich Albion. With his two goals in the match against Celtic, he climbed to the top of the Champions League's provisional scorers' standings. However, Sir Alex Ferguson was relying more on him as a playmaker, putting him behind the central forward.

In his first season (2008/09) with the United team, Berbatov won the England Premier League title. For him, it was his first championship title. He finished the season with 14 goals in all competitions and 10 assists in the Premier League alone, sharing second place with Fabregas, Gerrard and Lampard. In the same season, the team won the Club World Championship and the Carling Cup.

In the second season (2009/10) Berbatov scored 12 goals, all of them in the Premier League. Manchester United finish second in the league but again won the Carling Cup.

During his first two years at Old Trafford, Dimitar Berbatov repeatedly pleased United fans with brilliant performances. Above all, his assist against West Ham, when with a great feint he got past James Collins and passed the ball to Cristiano Ronaldo, as well as the back scissors against Sunderland stand out.

During his third season (2010/11), Berbatov was among the leading players in United and the Premier League in goals and assists. Dimitar Berbatov was the first player in Manchester United's history since World War II to score a hat-trick against arch-enemies Liverpool - on 19 September United defeated the Merseysiders 3-2, with Berbatov scoring all three goals.

His second goal was fabulous back scissors which were his most beautiful goal for Manchester United and in his career in general. On 27 November 2010, he scored 5 of the seven goals for his team in the match against Blackburn with a final score of 7-1. The Bulgarian forward made history in the English Premier League after his five goals against Blackburn were the most scored by a single player in a single match.

By that measure, he is level with Newcastle legend Alan Shearer, who scored five goals against Sheffield Wednesday, Andy Cole, who netted five times against Ipswich with the Manchester United outfit, and Jermaine Defoe, who scored five goals for Tottenham in a match against Wigan. Berbatov scored his third hat-trick of the season against Birmingham on 22 January 2011 - an achievement in the entire history of English football only achieved by Rudd van Nistelrooy and Alan Shearer.

He scored a total of three hat-tricks, finishing the season with 20 league goals and was one of two winners of the Premier League's Golden Boot for the season. He was left out of the squad for the Champions League final.

He started 82 games and came on as a substitute in 24 Championship games for Manchester United, in which he scored 49 goals.

Fulham

Berbatov moved to Fulham for £5m. He was signed by coach Martin Jol for the second time after buying him in 2006 for Tottenham. Dimitar Berbatov signed a 2-year contract with Fulham on 30 August 2012. He played his debut on 1 September against West Ham United and came on as a substitute in the second half. On 15 September, he started for the first time and scored two of the three goals in the win against West Bromwich. On 27 October, he scored the third goal for Fulham in the 3-3 draw against Reading. Berbatov played 90 minutes against Arsenal on 10 November, with an assist and two goals in the 3-3 draw.

Dimitar later scored a goal against

Southampton

, after which he received a yellow card for his decision to remove his shirt, under which he wore a T-shirt that read "keep calm and pass me the ball." On 1 January 2013, Dimitar Berbatov scored the first Premier League goal of 2013 in Fulham's important away win against West Bromwich Albion.

On 30 January 2013, on the eve of his birthday, Berbatov scored in the 3-1 win against West Ham, his eighth goal of the season. On 23 February, he scored the only goal in the win against Stoke City and another in the 2-2 draw against Sunderland on 2 March. In Fulham's next game, Berbatov scored the only goal in a win against Tottenham.

On 1 April, Berbatov scored twice in a 3-2 home win against Queens Park Rangers, increasing his tally to 13 goals for the season, and also becoming the first Fulham player since Steed Malbrink to score in four consecutive games. In the final game of the season, he scored the winner against Swansea, rounding up his goal tally to 15 goals.

Berbatov played an important role at the club, and the style of play was based on Berbatov's strengths. At Fulham, Berbatov played a greater role in organising play compared to Manchester United. Dimitar Berbatov finished his first season at Fulham with 15 goals scored and was recognised for his good play by being named Fulham Player of the Season for 2012/2013.

During the next season, Dimitar Berbatov played a total of 18 Premier League matches for Fulham, scoring 4 goals. He also scored a goal in his only League Cup match that season.

AS Monaco

In January 2014, Berbatov's signing by A. S. Monaco to replace the injured Radamel Falcao García for the remainder of the 2013-14 season was confirmed. At first, it was thought to be a loan deal, but it was later revealed that Fulham released Berbatov from his contract. On 12 February, Berbatov scored his first goal for Monaco in a 1-0 victory over OGC Nice in the round of 32 of the 2013-14 Coupe de France.

He scored his second goal for Monaco and his first league goal in a 2-1 home victory over Sochaux on 8 March. In the 29th matchday of Ligue 1 on 16 March, Berbatov scored back-to-back goals and provided two assists to lead Monaco to a 2-3 win over Olympique Lyonnais and starred in the match. On 26 March, in the quarter-final of the Coupe de France, he scored the second goal and provided an assist as AS Monaco beat RC Lens 6-0 to advance to the semi-finals of the cup.

He scored the equaliser in the semi-finals of the Coupe de France on 16 April, but AS Monaco would eventually lose 3-1 with two extra-time goals to EA Guingamp in a shock elimination. Berbatov was on the scoresheet again on 20 April in the 34th league matchday, scoring the only goal in a 1-0 home win at OGC Nice. On 26 April, he scored two goals and provided an assist in a 4-1 thrashing of AC Ajaccio, taking him to eight goals in thirteen games in his season as a Monaco player.

Greece, India and Retirement

After AS Monaco refused to extend the Bulgarian footballer’s contract, Dimitar Berbatov decided to sign for the Greek club PAOK. During his only season there, Berbatov played 25 matches in all competitions, scoring 5 goals.

For the next season, he was signed by the India club Kerala Blasters FC. He only scored one goal in 9 matches he played for the club and at the end of the season, announced his retirement from playing football.

Bulgaria National Team

Berbatov received a call-up to the senior national team, led by Dimitar Dimitrov, for the friendly against Greece in November 1999, in which Berbatov made his debut after coming on as a substitute in the 66th minute.

He scored his first goal for

Bulgaria

on 13 February 2000 in the friendly against Chile (2:3), and his first official goal came in the

World Cup

qualifier with Denmark as an away goal. In the 2002 World Cup qualifiers, Berbatov scored two goals, but the team failed to qualify.

Five more goals followed in the 2004 European Championship qualifiers in Portugal, for which the players of coach Plamen Markov qualified as the first team in their group. Berbatov played in all three of the matches at the Old Continent championship but failed to score. In the 2006 World Cup qualifiers, Berbatov scored 7 goals, and in the 2008 European Championship qualifiers, Berbatov scored 6 goals, but the team missed out on both.

The striker has won 78 caps for the Bulgaria national team, scoring 48 goals (an average of 0.61 per game). In the all-time ranking for the most goals in the A national team, Berbatov is in the first place together with Hristo Bonev, who also has 48 shots, but from 96 matches (average 0.5 per game). In the ranking for the top scorer in all age groups of the national football team, he is second with 52 shots, two less than Atanas Mihaylov. Berbatov announced that he was leaving the national team on 13 May 2010.

Stay tuned to this section of Dimitar Berbatov biography as we will share some information about his playing style.

Style of Play

Berbatov is known for his football intelligence, technical ability and composure, particularly his calm approach to goal, he was described by The Scotsman Tom Lappin as "elegant and cool". He also possesses exceptional passing and shooting accuracy, moving with the right timing for a correct attacking manoeuvre.

He is regarded as a centre forward capable of giving great depth to the play, receiving passes from the midfield, holding the ball and then using his tactical acumen to score. His imposing stature combined with the aforementioned skills makes him a complete striker.

Reception

Many football fans and pundits regard Dimitar Berbatov as the best striker in the history of Bulgarian football.

Goal Celebration

Berbatov never had a signature goal celebration to his name, but one of his goal celebrations that we cannot forget was when he took off his shirt to reveal a t-shirt with a slogan on it saying "Keep calm and pass me the ball" after scoring against Southampton.

Dimitar Berbatov outside Football

In 2018, the Bulgarian film Revolution X was released, in which Berbatov played the role of a member of a criminal gang nicknamed Caravaggio.

Dimitar Berbatov Personal Life

In this section of Dimitar Berbatov biography, we will take a look into his personal life, sharing some information about things like Dimitar Berbatov religion and Dimitar Berbatov life story.

Family, Children and Relationships

He has a younger brother named Assen Berbatov, who is also a football player. His mother Margarita is a former handball player, and his father Ivan is a former football player who played for Vihren (Sandanski), Pirin (Blagoevgrad) and PFC CSKA (Sofia). His grandfather Dimitar, after whom he is named, played for FC Struma.

Berbatov is in a relationship with Elena Shtilyanova. On 15 October 2009, their first child was born, a daughter who was named Dea. On 19 November 2012, their second daughter was born, who was named Elia.

Philanthropy

In April 2008, he has established the Dimitar Berbatov Foundation. The main mission of the Foundation is to help young people to get educated, develop their talents and gifts, as well as to give them a chance to express themselves to the world. The Foundation defines itself as carrying out activities for the public benefit. It is a non-profit, non-religious and politically independent public organization.

Dimitar Berbatov Foundation's first project of its own is "Awards for the Successful Children of Bulgaria". With this project, the Foundation annually awards school-age children for their yearly accomplishments in arts, science and sports.

On 14 June 2017, the Foundation held a charity match in Sofia between Dimitar Berbatov's United Stars and Luiz Figo's All-Stars. It was attended by around 35,000 spectators and featured former players such as Paul Scholes, Gary Neville, Ryan Giggs, Patrice Evra, Nemanja Vidić, Robbie Keane, Mitchell Salgado, David Trezeguet, Robert Pires, David James, Jens Lehmann and others.

Legal Issues

At the time of writing this article, there are no reports about any legal issues and disputes to his name on media.

Dimitar Berbatov Career Statistics

In this section of Dimitar Berbatov biography, we will take a look into the player’s career on the international and club level. Stay tuned.

Club

During his 20-year career, Berbatov has played a total of 665 matches for many clubs, scoring 281 goals. The highlight of his career was his spell at Bayer Leverkusen, where he scored 91 goals in 201 matches.

International

Between 1999 and 2010, Berbatov played a total of 78 matches with the Bulgaria national team and scored 48 goals for his country in different competitions and friendly matches.

Dimitar Berbatov Honors

Berbatov is one of the most decorated Bulgarian footballers, winning Bulgarian Cup, Football League Cup, Premier League,

FIFA Club World Cup

and many others during his club career.

On an individual level, Berbatov has won many titles and awards including kicker

Bundesliga

Team of the Season, Bulgarian Footballer of the Year, PFA Team of the Year and Premier League Golden Boot among others.

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source: SportMob