Tuesday, 4th September, 2012
Dimitar Berbatov has slammed Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson for not treating him with respect towards the latter stages of his time at Old Trafford.
The Bulgarian hitman joined Fulham from the Red Devils just days ago, bringing to an end a four-year stint under Ferguson at the Premier League giants.
In the 2011 Champions League final against Barcelona, Berbatov did not even make the bench, overlooked in favour of Michael Owen, in what signalled the beginning of the end for him as a serious striking option at Manchester United.
Berbatov featured less and less in a Red Devils’ shirt, clocking up just 12 appearances in the Premier League last season and quickly claiming that it would be far better for both parties if he left.
And now the 31-year-old has done so – and with bitter words for Ferguson.
"I said goodbye to the people who deserve it, I couldn’t say goodbye to Ferguson", the forward was quoted as saying on the BBC.
"I know he’s the boss but he has lost, to some extent, my respect because of the way he treated me", he added.
"I don’t think I deserved such treatment at United, not playing in the last year.
"I went probably 15 times to ask the coach if they need me. And every time I was told that I’m an important player and should not leave but then again I was not in the team.
"Maybe I should have gone when he left me out of the squad for the Champions League final."
Berbatov stressed that Ferguson did explain why he was omitting the Bulgarian however, with the veteran boss wanting to adopt a style of play he felt did not suit the striker.
And while Berbatov accepts this to be the case, he still believes that he could have played an increased part if given the chance.
"He tried to explain to me that the team will be using a more direct style, with more speed, but I’ve never been among the fastest players, I like to hold the ball, this is my style.
"I found it hard to accept his decision, I still have my dignity. I scored many goals, I won the league two times, and I was the league top scorer, so it’s not bad.
"I’ll have no problems playing against United as this already happened in my career. But there’s no point to look back again."
Berbatov is due to lock horns with his old club on 2nd February, when Ferguson takes his Manchester United side to Craven Cottage.