Dimitar Ivanov Berbatov is one of Bulgaria´s most famous celebrities and the most talented footballer of the recent Bulgarian generation. Berbatov was born on the 30th January, 1981 in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria to Ivan and Margarita Berbatov. During Dimitar Berbatovs´ teenage years he is said by his mother to have looked up to the Dutch player Marco Van Basten and English striker Alan Shearer as his two icons in football. Berbatovs´ love for Shearer is said to have gone so far that he slept in a Newcastle United shirt every night. His first club where he began his youth career at was Pirin Blagoevgrad. He played in their reserves and was scouted after scoring 77 goals in just 92 appearances.
His dad played for Pirin Blagoevgrad as well as CSKA Sofia and Dimitar followed in his fathers footsteps by transferring to CSKA Sofia. He made his debut for the team during the 1998-1999 season at the age of 18 and helped CSKA Sofia to win the Bulgarian cup. He played his first European cup game that season against his beloved Newcastle united in a 2-0 defeat for his team. The following season, Berbatov scored a total of 14 goals in 27 games. He was kidnapped at the age of 18 by a Bulgarian gangster Georgi Iliev who wanted Berbatov to play for his local team Lokomotiv Plovdiv but Dimitar refused to do so.
In the 2000-2001 season he scored 9 goals in 11 games and this was enough to attract the attentions of German Bundesliga side Bayern Leverkusen who signed him from CSKA Sofia for £1.4 Million on a four year contract. On his first team debut for Leverkusen he scored a hat-trick in a pre-season friendly versus DC United. His league debut was on 10th February 2001 when he came on as a sub in a 4-1 victory over FC Koln. During the next season he scored 16 goals for Leverkusen including a goal in his teams 4-2 quarter-final victory over Liverpool in the Champions league. He came on as a substitute for Thomas Brdaric during the final against Real Madrid which Leverkusen lost 2-1. Over the next two seasons Berbatov was Leverkusens´ star striker and scored a goal against his future club Manchester United. Berbatov over the next few seasons started to attract attention from foreign clubs in Europe after scoring 46 goals in 2 seasons for Leverkusen. In May 2006 Tottenham Hotspur paid £10.9 million for Dimitar Berbatov making him the most expensive Bulgarian footballer ever.
In his first season at Tottenham it took him some time to adjust to the premier league and he scored 12 goals in 33 games in the league. He won Tottenham’s player of the year as well as a place in the Premier league team of the year. Berbatov scored his first premier league hat-trick on 29th December, 2007 versus Reading scoring 4 in a 6-4 win for his club. Berbatov scored an equalising penalty in a 2-1 victory for Spurs over Chelsea in the league cup final of 2008. Manchester United signed Dimitar Berbatov for £30.75 million on the 1st September 2008 on a four year contract. Berbatov became the first Bulgarian to win the premier league title in 2008-2009 season for Manchester United. Berbatov was linked with a move away from Old Trafford during the 2009-2010 season, but stayed for the next season and since then Berbatov has been prolific for United finishing the 2010-2011 season with 21 league goals.
Berbatov scored his first hat-trick for Manchester United against bitter rivals Liverpool on 19th September, 2010. This hat-trick included a memorable exquisite overhead kick. Berbatov became the first non-Englishman to score 5 goals in a single premier league game after scoring 5 against Blackburn Rovers only 16 days after his hat-trick versus Liverpool. Berbatov scored his 3rd hat-trick of the season against Birmingham City on 22nd January. Berbatov though towards the end of the 2010/11 season has been playing as a substitute behind Manchester United´s Mexican star Javier Hernandez. Dimitar Berbatov is famous for his what some say is a lazy style of play as he is known for not having a high work rate. BBC “Match of the day” pundits have said he is the only player they have ever seen who can play the game walking. Dimitar Berbatov recently announced his retirement from international football after captaining the team for four years. He made his debut for the team on 17th November 1999 as an 18 year old in a 1-0 loss versus Greece. The only major tournament Berbatov went to as a Bulgaria player was Euro 2004. Berbatov holds the record for all time top goal scorer for his country with 48 goals in 77 games.