In our latest Lockdown Lowdown podcast, the one and only Dimitar Berbatov joins Betfair's Sam Rosbottom to discuss his favourite memories and most prized mementoes. Listen here and read some of the highlights...
"Coming from Bulgaria, becoming the top goal scorer and being a champion in the same year was an unbelievable feeling."
Winning the Golden Boot and the Premier League was my best season
The Golden Boot is a bit heavy, I can remember when they awarded it to me and they were making me pose with it. The trophy is a big thing for me and it makes me very proud, it was the season when we beat Liverpool's record of 18 titles and we made it 19, I was the goal scorer of the team and the Premier League.
I also have a Bulgarian flag that is another treasure for me, it is the flag that was hanging on top of the roof at Old Trafford, I took it when I left and I made everyone sign it. Coming from Bulgaria, becoming the top goal scorer and being a champion in the same year was an unbelievable feeling.
Combining being a champion and being the top goal scorer for my team and in the league, I think you could say that season was the best in my career, I had other seasons where I performed well, scored a lot of goals but they didn't have those same end results.
In 2010/11, I had something at the end that I achieved personally and as a team. I have to say, I actually scored 21 goals, let me tell you that. We played Sunderland and I scored one which hit the back of Anton Ferdinand. The ball was going into the net and it just hit his back and they took it away from me and made it an own goal, they need to give that back so that I can make it 21!
A hat-trick ball with meaning
After I scored a hat trick against Liverpool it was 10 games before I scored again, 10 games! I was thinking to myself, 'Berbs, what the f***! What is going on? How is this possible?' It was supposed to be the other way around, scoring three goals against Liverpool, one of them an unbelievable goal, your confidence should be high, but I didn't score for 10 games.
It wasn't easy because people started talking, criticising but I needed to stay positive. I remember in the training session before the game, Sir Alex came to me and was like 'Berbs, are you ok? You are starting tomorrow,' I said 'OK, thanks.' The boss had confidence in me and you need that, it's a good thing. I think that gave me a calmness that it didn't matter and I just needed to be calm and things were going to be OK.
Sometimes maybe storms are coming but in the end? Five goals against Blackburn. I have that ball with all the signings from my teammates and I keep it with me because it reminds me that even if things aren't going well at some point it is going to turn and things will be great again.
My most special shirt
Every shirt of the teams I played for are special for me, from teams in Bulgaria, England, Germany to France and Greece. Probably the one shirt that is the most special to me is the Bulgarian one that I broke the all-time goal scoring record in. It was a game against Malta and I had 46 goals in my account, the record was 47.
Imagine what was going through my head before the game as a striker, is it going to be today? What happens if I don't do it? I start thinking all these questions and it sometimes when you do that it could sabotage yourself. I was thinking all this and when I scored the first goal I was like 'Yes!' because I equalised the record, and when I scored the second one to become the all-time goal scorer of my country, it was a special moment.