Winning the Bulgarian Footballer of the year for a record seven times seems a pretty great achievement. But this fades away in the light of the burden of performing for Manchester United who have paid £30.75 million for you. You are being nick-named “Berbaflop”. What do you do? You put your head down, put your hearts in and practise like hell. This is what Berbaflop had to do last summer. And now his nick-name has been tweaked. He’s now “Berbatop”. The hat-trick against Liverpool was the high-light of the season for him.
You have to give him credit for this amazing transformation. Some call him lazy with his movements, but this season he has shown his pace with the ball and also brilliant finishing. Responding for the team when they need you the most. He was compared to “Thierry Henry” by Arsene Wenger. This, even for the Man Utd fans is a compliment.
Let’s take a look at the statistics
Season 1: 14 goals in 43 games
Season 2: 12 goals in 43 games
Season 3: 20 goals in 28 games
The transformation is just not in the statistics. It is also in the belief. He was close to being offloaded with just two seasons with the club, but thanks to SAF and Berbatov’s hard-work, he s considered the spear-head of their attack now. With the departure of Tevez and CR7, adding to it the slump in the form of Rooney, someone had to rise. Berbatov has done just that. And he just attributes it to the hard work during the summer and the managers backing, of course.
Here is the routine he followed. He worked very hard on his fitness. He ran six miles every day during the off season. He watched one World Cup match, went for a run, then watched another and went for another run. He said “ I’ m Not Tired. I Feel Alive.”
Even in the on-going season he had a ten game drought. So for him the challenge would be to improve his consistency through out the season. SAF expects him to reach the 25 goals ,mark in the EPL. That will be no problem SAF.
By Nikhil Kulkarni