Forgot Password

 

Register

 

Create your Connect ID

This will allow you to login to all DStv websites & applications




or
Login using
x

Email Reset

 




Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Football | FA Cup

Dimitar Berbatov © Action Images

Berba returns to Old Trafford as 'best player'



Dimitar Berbatov returns to Old Trafford this weekend having finally been hailed by Alex Ferguson as the club's "best player" although the team in question is Fulham rather than Manchester United.

The Bulgarian striker, who left Old Trafford in August after four years where he struggled to hold down a regular starting spot despite the odd moment of brilliance and 48 league goals, faces his old team on Saturday in the FA Cup fourth round.

When he left United, Berbatov criticised Ferguson for the way he had been treated towards the end of his time at the club and said he had lost respect for his former manager and that he had not even said goodbye to the Scot.

When he takes to the Old Trafford turf again this weekend, he may feel he has a point to prove and Ferguson is well aware of the threat the creative Bulgarian poses.

"He is their best player," Ferguson told a news conference on Friday.

"I don't think he was a failure here. He was a really good player. At his age it's not easy to be not playing when I have lots of choices. He wanted first-team football ... and it was the right thing to do. I think he's doing well there.

"It's a step down from Manchester United to any club in my mind. But it's not a huge drop. The problem for him here was the way we wanted to play and the selections I had. I had Carlos Tevez here also and that affected both of them."

Fulham manager Martin Jol is hoping for a big performance from Berbatov, who has scored seven league goals this season, telling British media this week he would "love to see him score a hat-trick over there".

United go into the game on the back of some warm-weather training in Qatar, having avoided the snow in Manchester.

"We couldn't have picked a better moment (to go away) and hopefully we will get the benefit of that," Ferguson said.

The Premier League leaders are still without Jonny Evans and Ashley Young but Ferguson was hopeful he would have a fully fit squad in time for United's Champions League last-16 first leg at Real Madrid on February 13.

In the mean time, Ferguson is concentrating on domestic matters and is keen to enjoy better FA Cup success than in recent years which have included a fourth-round exit last season at the hands of arch rivals Liverpool.

United have won the FA Cup a record 11 times but have not lifted it since 2004.

"We haven't done as well in the FA Cup for a few years now," Ferguson said.

"It's a cup which has fantastic appeal given our record in it. We have benefit of the home draw. We'll take that any time. It's going to be a challenge for us but we would play anyone at the moment."

Shop

Gerrard: My Autobiography
Steven Gerrard is a hero to millions, not only as the inspirational captain of Liverpool FC, but as a key member of the England team.
R152.00
Rafa: My Story
Revelatory memoir from the greatest sportsman in the world today.
R182.00
FIFA 14
Xbox 360
R549.00
Mitre Ultimatch Soccer Ball - White
A high quality football, offering high performance at both training and during football matches.
R252.00


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Live Video Streaming

Football's Greatest Managers - Sir Alex Ferguson
Gymnastics - Artistic: Men's Rings Final
SS5
Thu, 31 Jul @ 05:59
Athletics - Day 5 - H\L

Sports Talk



Calvin Emeka Onwuka
Football arms race
Those of us old enough to remember the arms race and the cold war years can’t help but feel the...

Dr Errol Sweeney
World Cup refs return home 'battered and bruised'
The World Cup is over for another four years and already the post mortem has started into some...

Sunday Oliseh
What Germany did to become champs
The 2002 Japan and South Korea World Cup saw the Germans lose in the Finals to Brazil, thanks to...

Collins Okinyo
Amrouche is his own worst enemy
Thunder has struck twice with news of Harambee Stars coach Adel Amrouche being slapped with a...

Claudia Ekai
Save our Stars
First and foremost, it is not all over for Harambee Stars in the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations...

Carol Radull
The Harambee Stars' secrets
A week ago Kenya’s Harambee Stars hosted Burundi in our first international friendly this year. I...