Who does Berbatov think is cool?
We all know how cool Dimitar Berbatov is, but what are his opinions on the subject?
The Bulgarian returned to Old Trafford to play in the recent Legends of the North game with Liverpool, scoring and showing his usual swagger, while also switching positions with consummate ease during last weekend's Soccer Aid clash in London.
When we caught up with our ex-striker before his exertions in the charity clashes, we asked who he felt was the coolest footballer – apart from his good self, of course!
Berbatov's concept of cool
There are few cooler than Dimitar Berbatov but which players does he think have that quality..?
“Oh ha, ha, ha!" he laughed, in response. "There are so many cool footballers out there who know how to play the way football should be played. I tend to look at players who know how to pass the ball, not necessarily finish and scoring goals, but to pass the ball like [Andres] Iniesta, Xavi, like Kevin De Bruyne is doing at the moment. Knowing how to play football. Complete footballer players.
“And then, of course, the striker options at the moment, you have Harry Kane, who is unbelievable and can score goals for fun. [Cristiano] Ronaldo and [Lionel] Messi, I’m not even putting them in that conversation, because they are on a different level!
“Back in the day, The Phenomenon, the other Ronaldo, was unbelievable in what he was doing. So everybody can be special in their own way. It’s why I say to young people that you can be inspired by your idols, and even try to copy them in your own way, but find your own personality, know who you are and stick to it. This is very important.”
In a separate interview with a previous edition of Inside United, the official club magazine, Dimi elaborated on characters outside of football that he felt were cool and style icons.
“I have great memorabilia back home with pictures and quotes from Muhammad Ali," he told us. "I like him because he was backing up everything he was saying. Even when he was losing, he always made it look classy, funny, admitting what he was doing wrong. You cannot be like 'ha ha, I told you,' with him.
“Ali just knew how to handle stuff. The way he was speaking, all the quotes he used to say, it was just entertainment, how you must be. But then he was backing everything up. I still watch some of the fight where he beat [George] Foreman, the Rumble in the Jungle. The film they made after that, it showed you that he was using strategy, to stay on the ropes for eight rounds with Foreman, to get pounded like a bag, but you have your plan and you stick to it. You watch, as he is hitting you, you see how Foreman puffs and gruffs and then with three smooth movements, with style, he was on the floor. This is how Ali did it. This is how it must be done.”
And who else? “Outside football, I like Frank Sinatra, for example," he declared. "Obvious reasons. Sinatra was so cool. When he goes on the stage with the cigar, the whisky, every time wearing the suit… the drinking, the old school, he has that aura.
“He was just oozing cool with that suit, he was great.”