Dimitar Berbatov : biography

30 January 1981 -

Early life

Berbatov was born to Ivan Berbatov and Margarita Berbatova, both themselves professional athletes: Ivan was a footballer with Pirin and CSKA Sofia, while Margarita was a handball player. His favoured team was the Italian club Milan, and he consequently modelled himself after Marco van Basten, the Dutch forward for that team. However, the 1996 European Championship, held in England, gave Berbatov a new role model; the 15-year-old Berbatov began to look up to the English front man Alan Shearer, who played for Newcastle United. Berbatov's mother later spoke of her son's teenage dream of playing for Newcastle United, and said that his admiration for Shearer was such that, during these years, he slept in a Newcastle shirt.

International career

Berbatov made his debut for Bulgaria on 17 November 1999, aged 18, when he came on as a substitute for Aleksandar Aleksandrov in a 1–0 friendly loss against Greece. He scored his first goal for his country on 12 February 2000 in another friendly defeat, 3–2 against Chile, and represented Bulgaria at Euro 2004. This was the only major tournament he played at for his country, owing to the team's failure to qualify for other tournaments. He scored a hat-trick in the 6–2 home win in a 2010 World Cup qualification match against Georgia in October 2009, enabling him to bring his goal tally for the national side to 46 goals, just one short of the then all-time top scorer for Bulgaria, Hristo Bonev; after scoring two goals against Malta during a 4–1 friendly away win during the following month, he took the record.

Berbatov captained the team from 2006 until May 2010, when he announced his retirement from international football, leaving his tally for Bulgaria standing at 48 goals from 77 matches. In February 2012, newly appointed Bulgaria head coach Luboslav Penev revealed that Berbatov was willing to consider coming out of international retirement and participate in an upcoming friendly against Hungary. Berbatov eventually decided against accepting a call-up for the match, as he didn't feel that he was in top shape, but at the time did not rule out a return to the national side at some point in the future. In September 2012, he reconfirmed his international retirement.

International goals

Under–18

Updated to games played 11 October 1999.
# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 11 October 1999 Astra Stadium, Ploiești 1–0 2–2 2000 European Under-18 Football Championship qualifier
2. 2–2

Under–21

Updated to games played 29 March 2000.
# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 3 September 1999 Gutavallen, Visby 1–0 4–1 2000 European Under-21 Football Championship qualifier
2 2–1
3 29 March 2000 Sofia 21|BLR}} 4–1 4–1 Friendly

Senior team

Updated to games played 18 November 2009.
# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 12 February 2000 Estadio Playa Ancha, Valparaíso CHI}} 1–2 2–3 Friendly
2 11 October 2000 Parken Stadium, Copenhagen DEN}} 1–1 1–1 2002 World Cup qualifier
3 24 March 2001 Balgarska Armiya Stadium, Sofia ISL}} 2–1 2–1 2002 World Cup qualifier
4 6 June 2001 Laugardalsvöllur, Reykjavík ISL}} 1–1 1–1 2002 World Cup qualifier
5 1 September 2001 Ta' Qali National Stadium, Valletta 1–0 2–0 2002 World Cup qualifier
6 2–0
7 21 August 2002 Vasil Levski National Stadium, Sofia GER}} 1–0 2–2 Friendly
8 12 October 2002 Vasil Levski National Stadium, Sofia CRO}} 2–0 2–0 Euro 2004 qualifier
9 30 April 2003 Vasil Levski National Stadium, Sofia 1–0 2–0 Friendly
10 2–0
11 7 June 2003 Vasil Levski National Stadium, Sofia BEL}} 1–1 2–2 Euro 2004 qualifier
12 20 August 2003 Vasil Levski National Stadium, Sofia LTU}} 2–0 3–0 Friendly
13 6 September 2003 Vasil Levski National Stadium, Sofia EST}} 2–0 2–0 Euro 2004 qualifier
14 10 September 2003 Estadi Comunal d'Aixovall, Andorra la Vella 1–0 3–0 Euro 2004 qualifier
15 2–0
16 31 March 2004 Vasil Levski National Stadium, Sofia 1–1 2–2 Friendly
17 2–2
18 28 April 2004 Vasil Levski National Stadium, Sofia 1–0 3–0 Friendly
19 2–0
20 4 September 2004 Laugardalsvöllur, Reykjavík 1–0 3–1 2006 World Cup qualifier
21 2–0
22 9 October 2004 Stadion Maksimir, Zagreb CRO}} 2–2 2–2 2006 World Cup qualifier
23 13 October 2004 Ta' Qali National Stadium, Valletta 1–1 4–1 2006 World Cup qualifier
24 3–1
28 December 2004 Estadio Mestalla, Valencia Valencia}} url = http://www.footballdatabase.eu/football.coupe.communite-valencianne.bulgarie.21735.en.html | title = Valencia community vs. Bulgaria | publisher = footballdatabase.eu | date = 28 December 2004 | accessdate =7 June 2012}} 2–1 Friendly (unrecognized by FIFA)
25 17 August 2005 Vasil Levski National Stadium, Sofia 1–1 3–1 Friendly
26 3–1
27 7 September 2005 Vasil Levski National Stadium, Sofia ISL}} 1–2 3–2 2006 World Cup qualifier
28 8 October 2005 Vasil Levski National Stadium, Sofia HUN}} 1–0 2–0 2006 World Cup qualifier
29 12 November 2005 Vasil Levski National Stadium, Sofia 3–0 6–2 Friendly
30 4–0
31 16 November 2005 Reliant Stadium, Houston MEX}} 3–0 3–0 Friendly
32 7 February 2007 GSP Stadium, Nicosia 1–0 3–0 Friendly
33 3–0
34 2 June 2007 Dinamo Stadium, Minsk 1–0 2–0 Euro 2008 qualifier
35 2–0
36 12 September 2007 Vasil Levski National Stadium, Sofia 1–0 3–0 Euro 2008 qualifier
37 2–0
38 17 October 2007 Qemal Stafa Stadium, Tirana ALB}} 1–1 1–1 Euro 2008 qualifier
39 21 November 2007 Arena Petrol, Celje SLO}} 2–0 2–0 Euro 2008 qualifier
40 20 August 2008 Bilino Polje, Zenica 1–0 2–1 Friendly
41 2–0
42 5 September 2009 Vasil Levski National Stadium, Sofia MNE}} 3–1 4–1 2010 World Cup qualifier
43 10 October 2009 Antonis Papadopoulos Stadium, Larnaca CYP}} 1–2 1–4 2010 World Cup qualifier
44 14 October 2009 Vasil Levski National Stadium, Sofia 1–0 6–2 2010 World Cup qualifier
45 3–0
46 5–1
47 18 November 2009 Hibernians Ground, Paola 2–1 4–1 Friendly
48 4–1
Living octopus

Living octopus

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