Berba - Fergie's lost my respect
Dimitar Berbatov admits he lost respect for Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson during his unhappy final season at Old Trafford.
Last Updated: 03/09/12 5:55pm
Fulham striker Dimitar Berbatov admits he lost respect for Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson during his unhappy final season at Old Trafford.
The Bulgarian frontman departed United for Craven Cottage on transfer deadline day after falling out of favour with Ferguson, with the arrival of Robin van Persie from Arsenal this summer pushing him further down the pecking order.
Berbatov had initially impressed at the club following his £30million move from Tottenham in 2008, lifting two Premier League titles with the Red Devils and becoming joint top-scorer of the 2010-2011 campaign.
However, the 31-year-old failed to make the squad for the 2011 UEFA Champions League final against Barcelona and took a backseat role for much of last season, making just five league starts.
The striker admits his final year at Old Trafford was not a happy time and says his relationship with the manager deteriorated.
"I don't think I deserved such treatment at United - not playing in the last year," Berbatov told reporters.
"I went more than 10, 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've gone when he [Ferguson] left me out of the squad for the Champions League final. I know he's the boss, but he has lost, to some extent, my respect because of the way he treated me."
Berbatov claims Ferguson's change in style was one reason for his slide out of the United first-team.
"He [Ferguson] tried to explain to me that the team will be using a more direct style, with more speed," he added. "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. I said goodbye to the people, who deserve it. I couldn't say goodbye to Ferguson."
The striker insists he will not miss playing Champions League football after linking up with the Cottagers.
"It won't kill me not to play in the Champions League anymore," added Berbatov. "I want to play football, to enjoy the game."
Before signing with Fulham on Friday, Berbatov was in talks with Italian Serie A clubs Fiorentina and Juventus but is adamant he never promised them anything.
"Various clubs asked me (to join them), but I didn't say 'yes' to any team," he added. "I am not the first, nor the last football player to have refused at the last minute."