Dimitar Berbatov: Fighting on at Old Trafford
BERBATOV DOESN'T WANT STEP DOWN
Dimitar Berbatov has claimed that moving away from Manchester United would be a step down.
Even Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted he would not have been surprised if Berbatov had wanted to leave United after not even making the bench for their Champions League final loss to Barcelona.
Instead, the 30-year-old has swallowed his pride and embarked on the Red Devils' current five-match tour of the United States, eager to prove he is worthy of a place in Ferguson's plans.
The reason is simple. Apart from Barcelona, the Bulgarian would regard any move as a negative.
"Smaller clubs might be able to match Manchester United with the way they play, with their organisation, everything. But Manchester United are at the top," he said.
"Where can you go from there? Maybe Barcelona. At the moment, I don't see anything else. If you go somewhere it is a big step down.
"For me, I always went up, up, up in my career. I am happy."
In a wide ranging interview, Berbatov said he felt misunderstood due to his laid-back approach. Not that he intends to change.
"I always play like this," he said. "That is what got me here.
"You are not going to see me puffing around the pitch. There is a saying in Bulgaria that great quality doesn't require much effort."
Sometimes it must be hard to retain self-belief though, especially after Ferguson's decision to select Javier Hernandez from the start against Barcelona, and have Michael Owen on the bench as his back-up striker rather than him.
Berbatov accepts he has something to prove ahead of the new campaign.
However, that has nothing to do with the fate that befell him at Wembley.
He insists he has the same feelings at the start of every season.
"This thinking keeps me motivated and concentrated," he said.
"I do not allow myself to be satisfied with what I have already achieved.
"Next season I will have new goals to score as many as possible, probably more than last season, win everything there is to win.
"I look at Ryan Giggs. He has so many titles. In the time I have at Manchester United, if I win as many as possible, it would be good for me."