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Dimitar Berbatov reveals the only player he ever swapped shirts with in his career, he begged his teammate to ask him

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Manchester United legend Dimitar Berbatov reveals the only player he ever swapped shirts with.

Berbatov was a player who simply oozed class, and he endured the best years of his career at Manchester United.

The silky Bulgarian spent four years around Old Trafford, in that time he won two Premier League titles in 2008–09 and 2010–11, as well as the Golden Boot in the 2010–11 season.

The Bulgarian was a born winner – who did just that with United. That mentality was reflected in his ideology of never swapping shirts, which only ever faltered for one footballing icon.

Dimitar Berbatov of Manchester United celebrates scoring the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Fu...

Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

In a BT Sport interview back in April 2023, Berbatov spoke about the fact that he never swapped shirts with anyone. However, he made one exception, and that was for Ronaldo Nazario.

He said: “I never swapped a shirt in my life when I used to play football. Why? I did not care about who I played with. Obviously, I have respect for everybody. But I was more constrained or winning.

“But once in a while, there’s a player that you want their shirt. Ronaldo was one of these guys. He was phenomenal. We all know that. We played at the Bernabeu with Leverkusen. I was very shy back in the day, but I wanted his shirt. We drew 1-1. I scored.”

The Bulgarian continued: “And I didn’t have the heart, and my shyness was in my way to ask him for the shirt. So I played with a teammate who was Brazilian. ‘Please, please, please go to him’. This is happening after the game. ‘Go to him and say I want a shirt, please’.

“Five minutes later, I’m sitting there praying, ‘Please, please, please’. He brings my shirt. The one shirt I wanted.”

Fair play. It’s not every day you play the likes of O Fenômeno. Berbatov was okay to break his rule on that one occasion.

Dimitar Berbatov also a fan of Alan Shearer

In the same interview, Berbatov also spoke about his fondness for a certain Premier League icon – Alan Shearer, stating he was the reason he wanted to be a goalscorer.

He said: “Seeing the Newcastle shirt, of course, the memories. This is the guy who I was worshipping [Shearer], still worshipping to this day. He was the reason that I wanted to score goals.

“Obviously, Shearer was not a big technician on the ball, going past people with some tricks. He would just bully his way past defenders; elbows, headers… It didn’t matter as long as the ball ended up in the back of the net.”

Two players that shaped Berbatov into the player he was. A good thing in United’s case! The full interview can be seen below.

  • READ MORE: Join the conversation with the United in Focus Whatsapp group

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