Ex-United, Spurs star Dimitar Berbatov set to bolster Blasters’ attack
Two-time Hero Indian Super League (ISL) finalists Kerala Blasters FC have added further firepower to their already potent attacking force by signing up former Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov.
The 36-year-old Bulgarian will also reunite with former Manchester United teammate Wes Brown, and will link up with all-time ISL top scorer Iain Hume.
Berbatov kickstarted his career with native bigshots CSKA Sofia before moving to the Bundesliga with Bayer Leverkusen and establishing himself there as one of their most prolific strikers. He was part of the Leverkusen squad that recorded an unusual treble of runner-up finishes in the 2002-03 campaign, having finished second-best in the Champions League, Bundesliga and the DFB-Pokal.
By the time he left the German club, Berbatov had made a century of appearances as well as amassed 69 goals over his five-year professional stint with them. The striker, however, rose to prominence after signing for Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur, and the €16 million transfer made him the most expensive Bulgarian player ever. With Spurs, Berbatov was pretty free-scoring, and was instrumental in steering them to a spot in the UEFA Cup group stages in his debut season itself. The highlight of his stint though came in the 2007-08 Carling Cup season where he helped his team lift the trophy in a run that saw them beat fellow London rivals Chelsea FC in the final – in which he scored from a penalty.
The switch to Manchester United, though, brought out the best in him and there he won a couple of Premier League titles as well as another League Cup and a Community Shield.
The 2010-11 season was the one in which he was most prolific, sharing the Premier League Golden Boot with Carlos Tevez, after scoring 20 times in the league.
The record seven-time Bulgarian Footballer of the Year also had stints with Fulham and Monaco later on.
Berbatov is known to be a goal poacher, as well as a striker who can put his laces through the ball and find his target. What made him even more dangerous was that he could hold up play well, and his exquisite finishing capped off many a classic Manchester United counter-attack. Besides Hume, he will also have the services of CK Vineeth from the flanks, and on paper at least, this is a Blasters side that will not only prove to be improbable to penetrate, but also tremendously tough to halt on a scoring spree.