Dimitar Berbatov breaks shirt-swapping tradition with one exception during illustrious career
Dimitar Berbatov has disclosed that the only player he exchanged shirts during his playing days.
His impressive performances for Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League resulted in his transfer to Manchester United.
Berbatov's natural and graceful playing style made him a well-liked figure among Manchester United's supporters during his tenure at Old Trafford.
Berbatov achieved two Premier League titles, two FA Community Shields, one League Cup, and a FIFA Club World Cup with United while being mentored by Sir Alex Ferguson.
Berbatov mentioned in a recent interview with BT Sport that he has never exchanged shirts with any player, except for the legendary Brazilian Ronaldo Nazario, whom he made an exception for.
“I never swapped a shirt in my life when I used to play football. Why? I did not care about who I played with. Obviously, I have respect for everybody. But I was more constrained or winning.
“But once in a while, there's a player that you want their shirt. Ronaldo was one of these guys. He was phenomenal. We all know that. We played at the Bernabeu with Leverkusen. I was very shy back in the day, but I wanted his shirt. We drew 1-1. I scored.”
“I never swapped a shirt in my life when I used to play football, but once in a while there is a player! Ronaldo was one of these guys.”— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 28, 2023
Dimitar Berbatov shares how he secured R9’s shirt when he played against Real Madrid 😅#WhatIWore | @classicshirts | https://t.co/xcYTlN0em6 pic.twitter.com/IKF6uCgdak
Berbatov revealed that he requested one of his teammates to obtain Ronaldo's shirt on his behalf, citing his own shyness as the reason for doing so.
The Bulgarian continued:
“And I didn't have the heart, and my shyness was in my way to ask him for the shirt. So I played with a teammate who was Brazilian. 'Please, please, please go to him'. This is happening after the game. 'Go to him and say I want a shirt, please'.
“Five minutes later, I'm sitting there praying, 'Please, please, please'. He brings my shirt. The one shirt I wanted.”
Berbatov also revealed that he was a huge fan of Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer.
He said: “Seeing the Newcastle shirt, of course, the memories. This is the guy who I was worshipping [Shearer], still worshipping to this day. He was the reason that I wanted to score goals.
“Obviously, Shearer was not a big technician on the ball, going past people with some tricks. He would just bully his way past defenders; elbows, headers... It didn't matter as long as the ball ended up in the back of the net.”