The sight of Dimitar Berbatov sauntering across the Old Trafford turf will live long in the memory of every Manchester United fan.
His time in the Premier League was christened with an array of jaw-dropping goals, often rounding off his silky movements and lightning-sharp decision-making. Unsurprisingly, when recalling his finest moments the 39-year-old still can’t help but smile fondly.
He exuded an enviable confidence on the field and still does today, even over the medium of a Zoom video call. Berbatov has a United parka draped over his seat, and his shelves over both shoulders are bustling from all angles with countless trophies, footballs and memorabilia. Each piece of silverware provides a pertinent and permanent reminder of his individual highlights.
Dimitar Berbatov has revealed joining Manchester United was the highlight of his stellar career
The former striker, now an ambassador for Betfair, has looked back fondly on his playing days
Ahead of the new 2020-21 Premier League season, the former Red Devil has reflected on a sparkling career at Old Trafford, which saw him drop jaws and amaze with his effortless skill on a weekly basis.
His breathtaking goal against Blackburn, which put an end to a flowing move started by himself at the other end, the overhead kick against Liverpool that sealed his hat-trick and the infamous spin on the byline against West Ham are all stand out pieces of brilliance, but for him another memory tops the lot.
‘The highest moment for me was when I signed with United. This was the moment I reached my personal success, the top of the mountain,’ Berbatov tells Sportsmail. ‘I was the happiest guy in the world because I was building and working towards that moment.
‘After that came all the moments. I trained with my team-mates, played with them, because it was special to step onto the Old Trafford pitch every time. It was even more special to lift the trophy at the end of the season, to be a top scorer for my team. We beat Liverpool’s records for titles as well.’
Berbatov remains one of the all-time great Premier League scorers after netting 229 goals
He believes Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will struggle to battle for the title without more investment
With 94 goals from 229 Premier League games to his record, Berbatov remains one of the great top-flight scorers. His suave nature and unmatched ability to stride across the length of a field, seemingly at walking pace, have often seen him mistakenly labelled as lazy.
‘Some people don't understand it, but if you are clever in your head, even if you are slow in speed, you can still be quick,’ he told the BBC earlier this year, and it is difficult to disagree.
But it may have been his penchants for this particular style of play that saw him dropped entirely from United’s squad for the 2011 Champions League final. Barcelona, arguably at the very peak of their powers under the stewardship of Pep Guardiola, travelled to Wembley. It was Javier Hernandez who was given the nod to partner Wayne Rooney, and Berbatov was forced to watch on from the stands.
‘It was a difficult moment in my career,’ Berbatov admits, before graciously adding: ‘It happens to a lot of players all the time. I’m not the only one.’
His old club will have a delayed start to the new season after their recent exploits in the Europa League, with their first game not until next week as they take on Crystal Palace at Old Trafford.
Berbatov said Bruno Fernandes made a 'massive difference' but urged United to recruit again
Despite United’s last-gasp dash for a top four spot after football returned from its lengthy hiatus, Berbatov is unsure whether the team has the resources to dislodge Manchester City and Liverpool from the summit just yet.
He is keen for the club to bring in a new defender but holds doubts over