If we all knew how to play soccer like Dimitar Berbatov, we'd be basking in the glory of everyone around us. Their applause wouldn't stop, whether we were playing a pickup game or in local derby or a Premier League match. Everyone would want our autograph. We'd be stars. We'd be flying off to the Caribbean to lie on the beach and soak up the sun. We'd be sitting on a yacht taking it all in.
While it might be tough to play soccer as good and as smoothly as Berbatov, we can try. Let's take a look at few Berbatov goals...the man plays almost like he needs to put his collar up as Eric Cantona once did. Let's try to copy everything he does with the soccer ball and how he moves about on the soccer field.
Which is kind of the trick of Berbatov, he appears lazy and doesn't move around all that much. But that's the trick, Berbatov moves just when he needs to get open and get the ball so he can make a pass or score.
Keys to playing like Berbatov:
Must have the ability to hold off defenders and shield the ball
Can strike the ball on the volley
Confidence on the ball and can cut, turn, pull the ball back, and elude defenders
Score goals with the head
Reads the game
Exceptional passer of the ball
Keeps possession, holds on to the ball and allows his team to build up an attack
Checks back often to offer support
Always looking to score from any angle or position
We might dream of playing like Berbatov, and then be showered upong with praise, because he is perhaps the smoothest player in the game today.
Berbatov moves and cuts and turns as if he doesn't really care that much. He plays soccer like it's a stroll in the park. He is castigated sometimes because he appears lazy. The truth is, Berbatov knows the game inside and out. He checks back to the ball and holds the ball for Manchester United so they can build up an attack. He plays quick passes with the midfielders to help them get out of pressure. And if he feels like it, he'll thigh the ball up in the air and then do a bicycle kick. After all, he is The Continental don't forget.
The secret though to playing like Dimitar Berbatov is in how he lulls you into thinking he doesn't care. He lulls you into thinking that you can take the ball from him. He makes you think that he's just going to play the ball backwards and not turn out of pressure and put Nani, Giggs or Rooney through with a pass. It's the art of deception. Now you see me dribble slowly back with the ball to lay it off nice and easy and then you don't see me cut the ball through to Wayne Rooney.
If you want to play like Berbatov you also have to have your eyes peeled for your teammates at all times. Always think, where are they going to make a run? How hard should I play the ball? When should I play the ball?
This is because Berbatov is an unselfish player. He loves to score goals but he's equally happy if he gets an assist. It's another one of those misconceptions, like Berbatov is lazy and doesn't care and is selfish. It's just his style. He cares. He wants to win.
If you watch him through the course of a game you'll be amazed at how many touches he gets on the ball for a forward. He's constantly invovled in the build up of an attack. And he really takes the pressure of the players around him since he can hold on to the ball.
Berbatov is on a hot streak for Manchester United this year. And here's a big reason why:
“Now I feel like everything I imagine on the pitch will come true and that feels awesome. I have worked hard on my fitness. So hard. I’m not a weights guy, I’m sure you can see by my body. But I have been trying to even work on that.”
“I ran six miles every day during the off season. I watched one World Cup match, went for a run, then watched another and went for another run. This was my routine,” he added.
A look back at some of Berbatov's goals prior to joining Manchester United.