Dimitar Berbatov reminisces about his time playing football in the UK at Christmas time, a unique tradition that he never wants to change...
"At United we always used to train and then have a Christmas lunch. We'd be sat around the tables and Sir Alex Ferguson and all the staff would serve the Christmas dinner."
Playing at Christmas is a unique and special experience that I wouldn't change
There are a lot of games in a short space of time which can be tough but you know that you are entertaining people who are working hard all year round and that is what people like to do, be with their families and watch the football. As a player, you prepare for the games during Christmas and New Year but honestly, I loved it. There is something so special about the football tradition in England, showing people what you can do and entertaining them. You may lose a game or miss a chance but it's still a special time to play football and enjoy what you love doing.
Champers then bed with Spurs
I can remember when I first moved to Spurs, it was a big surprise to me to play over Christmas. I had already made plans with the family for Christmas and new year, then I found out that we were playing on Boxing Day and were going to be away on New Year's Day, so I had a bit of a shock there and the family were a bit surprised when I told them.
On New Year's Eve we were in a hotel in Portsmouth, I remember thinking 'what the f**k?!'
Martin Jol gave everyone a small glass of Champagne after the team dinner, gave a toast and wished everyone a good year ahead. And that was it, our New Year's Eve celebration. I soon got used to it though and enjoyed preparing with the team and playing during the festive period, you really got the sense of being one big family and you know that you are all doing something you love. I wouldn't want to change this tradition, it's so unique.
Fergie serving turkey at United
At United we always used to train and then have a Christmas lunch. We'd be sat around the tables and Sir Alex Ferguson and all the staff would serve the Christmas dinner.
We also had some of the players from the reserve team come in and perform a show, mocking the players from the first team on how they dress, how they walk, talk, play football, everything was picked up on and nobody was safe. We had a lot of laughs, it was great to have that fun as a team at Christmas.
There were also players' Christmas parties and we went to pubs, but that was boring to me. I remember one year the boss cancelled our night out, I think we may have lost a match.
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