Bulgarian Berbatov Has Following Wherever He Plays

Views on BG | July 23, 2011, Saturday // 15:23|  views

from The Chicago Tribune

By Jack McCarthy,

One of the attractions for Manchester United players on tour in Chicago is a chance to get away from the intense glare and attention back home.

That is, unless you happen to be Dimitar Berbatov of Bulgaria.

The Red Devils forward is the darling of his countrymen, and they turn out in force wherever he plays.

"There are a lot of Bulgarians here (in the U.S.)," the native of Blagoevgrad told the Tribune on Friday. "They always come out to training and speak with me and in the games they are always there with the Bulgarian flags. It makes you feel like you're not far away from home."

Another delegation waving white, green and red banners is expected at Soldier Field on Saturday when Berbatov and Manchester United take on the Fire.

The 30-year-old veteran, now in his third season with the Red Devils, captained Bulgaria's national team from 2006-10. The prolific scorer is a seven-time winner of that country's Footballer of the Year, two better than former Fire star Hristo Stoichkov.

Berbatov scored 20 goals in the English Premier League in 2010-11, including five in one game in November against Blackburn to become the first non-Englishman to score that many in a Premier match.

"It was awesome because I didn't expect it," he said. "After the second goal I was thinking about a third one. Only four players in the Premier League ever did it."

He ended up sharing the Premier League Golden Boot award as league's top scorer with Manchester City's Carlos Tevez.

Berbatov has one year left in a four-year United deal and shrugged off a question about continuing with the Red Devils after next season.

But he said there was never a regret in coming to Manchester.

"Who's not going to be happy to come to one of the biggest clubs in the world," he said. "It's a dream come true. I'm from a small country and to make it to one of the biggest clubs is a great achievement and I'm very proud."

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Tags: Dimitar Berbatov, Bulgarian, Chicago, Manchester United, striker, Premier league, goal


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