A letter to Sir Alex Ferguson – By Dimitar Berbatov
Yes, Dimitar Berbatov is being released by Manchester United at the end of this season. Here’s a few things that Berbatov would probably want to say to Mr. Fergusson on his departure:
Dear Sir Alex,
Thank you. Thank you for making me the player I am today. Thank you for making me the person I’ve always wanted to be. Thank you for giving me the chance to play for Manchester United and the opportunity to serve your club.
At the age of 27, you brought me on board as your costliest signing ever and I vowed to myself that I’d never let you down. Through all these years, you‘ve been there with me, whenever I scored a goal, whenever I got injured or whenever I was going through a rough patch in my career.
My first goals for Manchester United came in a 3-0 away win to Aalborg BK in the Champions League group stage and at Old Trafford, I scored for the first time in United’s colours in a 4-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion. From then on, there was no stopping and when Manchester United won the Premier League trophy in May 2009, I was one proud Bulgarian, and daresay the only one to win an English Title.
There was a time in my second season when fans were calling for my head because I wasn’t performing well and the media too had written me off and called me a failure. But when you said that you have faith in me and my abilities; that gave me the necessary boost I needed. In the 33 games I played that season, I netted the ball 12 times and you were happy.
I remember telling a journalist, “He [Sir Alex Ferguson] is one of the most successful managers in the history of the game. I write things down about the way we train and how he treats people. It is like a school. You work with the best manager and play with the best players. I try to learn. I am at the biggest club in the world. If I can learn anywhere it is here.”
And that was true. The hat-trick against Liverpool proved that there can be only one manager like Sir Alex Ferguson and being a part of his squad is a great honour.
I dedicated that hat-trick to you, and you deserved it. “I always tried to become my best, the boss always believed in me. Today my performance is for him as well, he always pushes me to be the player he wants me to be. It was 2-0, then 2-2 and we were playing Liverpool so the boss was going to be very furious after the game. We scored the third goal; we deserved it more than them. 3-2 for us is a good result – everybody is going to be happy.”
Personal accolades mean nothing when it comes to the trophies I’ve won by being a part of Manchester United. 2 Premier League medals, 1 Football League Cup, 2 FA Community Shields, 1 FIFA Club World Cup and the runner-up UEFA Champions League Medal – list these awards down and you won’t be in any denial of our club being the strongest.
I may not have been the most prolific player in the team, but I know I gave my best to the club I love the most. Yes, disappointment did come in the form of not being selected to start our Champions League final against Barcelona and not getting enough play-time this season, but I know you have your reasons for that.
I’m sure it must’ve been heart-breaking for you to issue the statement that changed everything – my future at United for the most part. “At the moment, he remains at United. But I’d listen to what he says. I think he’s concerned he isn’t getting enough first-team football. It’s difficult for me to guarantee that. At 31, you can understand he wants that. It may lead to him looking elsewhere.”
It difficult to imagine a life without Manchester United; waking up in the morning and not wearing my United colours to come to practice; not kidding around with the boys in the dressing room; not listening to your prep talks during half-time; not going out there on the field and hoping to score. There are too many memories attached to Old Trafford.
But before I can term myself as a ‘Manchester United player’, I am a footballer first. My heart lies in playing the game and serving my team. And with this very heavy heart I would like to tell you to either let me play or let me move out gracefully. It was my dream to get old and tire in the United shirt, but that dream will perhaps remain a dream.
All I can now ask for is to be a part of the team that wins their 20th Premier League trophy and hopefully, that’ll happen this season itself. You’ve been good to me all this while. Allow me to repay the club with whatever little I can in the time I’m here.
Thanking you for everything you’ve done,