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Dimitar Berbatov - the jewel of Greek football

28 September 2015 / 11:09:07  GRReporter
4654 reads

Maria S. Topalova

The facts are clear - since Dimitar Berbatov has joined PAOK Thessaloniki, the team has not lost a match. The influence of the Bulgarian football star on his teammates and opponents became apparent last night as well. Mitko was on the field for less than 30 minutes in the match between Atromitos and PAOK, but with a goal scored and assistance, he brought victory to his team. With his typical modesty, he said after the match, "It is not what I do that matters but what the team does. It is above everything." This week PAOK will host two very strong opponents at Tumba stadium, namely Borussia Dortmund on Thursday in a match within the Europa League and the Athens ace Olympiakos on Saturday within the Greek championship.

    "Borussia Dortmund is a very good team. We must focus on this match first and then subsequently we will think of Olympiakos," said Dimitar Berbatov. Coach Igor Tudor who has so far refused to include the Bulgarian in the matches as a titular has obviously changed his mind. After the match at Peristeri stadium, he announced that Berbatov would be among the 11 PAOK players who would play against Borussia Dortmund.  

    The Croatian is not hiding the fact that the 'chemistry' wanted between Berbatov and the other lead striker of Thessalonians, Klaus Athanasiadis, is causing him 'a nice headache'. So far, the two have shared the time on the field, somehow creating the impression that there is no room for both on the first line in the matches of PAOK. Tudor considers as indispensable the third striker of the black-and-white team, Slovakian national player Robert Mak. He really has a problem with scoring goals but he is the team player who creates scoring opportunities. The team scheme for the match with the Germans from Dortmund is not yet clear and neither is the position that will be assigned to Dimitar Berbatov.

    The opponents did not spare the good words for the Bulgarian either. Defender of the hosting Atromitos team Sokratis Fitanidis even called him 'the jewel' of Greek football championship. "He is a great player who is raising the level of Greek football. I hope other such players will come as well," Fitanidis told radio Arena FM 89.4.
    We have talked about the warm words used by the Greek media and sports journalists to describe the Bulgarian football star and last night's match between the team of Thessaloniki and Athens 'fearless pigeons' (Atromitos means fearless and the name of the neighbourhood is Peristeri or pigeon - author's note) was no exception. "A win signed by Berbatov" is the headline of the newspaper Ethnos. Skai TV notes that Berbatov changed the course of the match with the goal he scored after the corner kick in the 72nd minute and the pass to Mak, when in the 90th minute the Slovak scored the winning goal for the visiting team.
    The sports website emphasizes the psychological impact that Berbatov has on his teammates and opponents. "PAOK now has a player who knows how to win without sweating. The Bulgarian wins by controlling the ball without having to strain. When he touches the ball, he knows what to do with it without having to play around with it with no meaning and purpose," reads its commentary on last night's match. It states that Berbatov constantly talks to his teammates, guiding and advising them as to how to master the ball, whom to pass it to, how to move on the field. "Berbatov is teaching them football. He is a player who is far above the level of Greek football," concludes
    Another sports online edition,, emphasizes the impact of Berbatov on his opponents. "His very appearance on the field is making the opponents nervous. All are gathering around him and the other PAOK strikers are 'uncovered'. This made possible the goal scored by Mak in the 90th minute of the match with Atromitos," the newspaper writes. It recalls that PAOK has not changed the course of a match and has not won in two consecutive matches for a long time, which is not at all a coincidence with the presence of Berbatov on the field and in the team.
    Many media recall the statements of the Bulgarian star after the match with AEK that he has had enough of goal scoring in his career and now, it is more important for him to create scoring opportunities for his teammates. "When you are generous as a person, you are not under stress to score goals and you help your teammates at the same time," comment fans.

    Dimitar Berbatov does not forget his charitable activities either. Last week, he met with representatives of the Greek fan club of Manchester United. They gave him various gifts, including his own Manchester United jersey, with all matches and goals scored by him for the Red Devils. The club and Berbatov agreed on a joint charitable initiative with his foundation in Bulgaria, which the football star will attend in person.

Tags: Dimitar BerbatovPAOKAtromitosBorussia DortmundIgor TudorEuropa LeagueGreek football championshipOlympiakos
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