What do Ali, Sinatra & Busquets have in common?
Dimitar Berbatov is among the coolest players in Reds history.
As usual, Berba does it in his own way, combining two of the most iconic figures from the 20th century with the oft-unsung hero from our upcoming Champions League opponents, Barcelona.
Check out what Dimitar has to say…
“I try to be cool. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. In football terms, trying to remain calm, especially on the ball, is very important for me. These are the type of players I like.
“I like Sergio Busquets, for example. That guy can read the game better than anyone else. Three steps ahead of the opposition, three steps ahead of most of his team-mates – probably not Messi, but up there with him. Unbelievable. Tall as me, slim as me, not the quickest one, but always in the right place. He has that style that I like. Calm. People at the back of him? It doesn’t matter. He’s there, smooth movements. I heard they call him ‘octopus’ in Barcelona. He’s unbelievable, it’s a joy to watch him. Ok, sometimes it’s ugly as when you’re tall as me or him, sometimes your movement can make for funny angles. It doesn’t matter, it does the job. That’s why I like watching him.
“When I was playing I tried to do the same thing: smooth, anticipate the game, reading of the game, the ball is travelling towards me, I’m already watching where the other guy is, did he start to run, did he stand in one place accepting the ball, is someone attacking me from the back? All this stuff needs to be in your head, to anticipate. This becomes a style of play.
“Most important, be calm on the ball. I see players who are fighting with the ball, wrestling with the ball… don’t get me wrong, you need to have players like this, you need that mix because this kind of player will take the ball and pass it to you, and then you start to control. But for me it was always calm. Someone is coming? Remain calm. This is how I used to play. In football, calm is cool.”
THE FELLOW SPORTSMAN: MUHAMMAD ALI
“I have great memorabilia back home with pictures and quotes. 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
“haha, 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 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.”
THE NON-FOOTBALLER: FRANK SINATRA
“Outside football, I like Frank Sinatra, for example. 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.”