'What, not Barcelona?' - Berbatov admits being initially underwhelmed by Tottenham interest

Goal.com

Dimitar Berbatov has admitted he was initially disappointed about Tottenham's interest in signing him, as he felt he was good enough to play for Real Madrid or Barcelona.

The Bulgarian joined Spurs from Bayer Leverkusen in 2006 in a £10.9 million ($14m) deal and was a success at White Hart Lane, scoring 46 goals across two seasons.

He moved on to Manchester United for £30m ($37m) in 2008, but the now 39-year-old says that when he initially left Germany he wanted to go to an elite European club, which he did not regard Tottenham as at the time.

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Berbatov told talkSPORT: “I was like, ‘wait a minute, Spurs want me? What? Not Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester United?’ I was thinking all these stupid questions because I was thinking I was doing so well that a big team must come after me.

“When you’re young, you think you know everything. You think you have all the answers to all the questions, but you have nothing.

“Again, my intuition will start working the same, ‘Berbs now is the right time, difficult but we need to challenge ourselves’.

“In the end, their persistence was a big factor for me, and of course, meeting Martin Jol was the moment I knew I had to go there.'”

Dutch manager Jol was the man who brought Berbatov to the Premier League, with the striker helping Tottenham to win their most recent piece of major silverware - the 2008 League Cup, scoring in the 2-1 final win against Chelsea.

Berbatov eventually moved on to Old Trafford, but retains plenty of respect for Jol, who he says persuaded him to join Tottenham - and reminded the forward of his grandfather.

Remembering his first meeting with Jol, Berbatov said: "He’s sitting in the chair like the Godfather! He was like ‘Berba, welcome my boy!’ I was telling myself, ‘this is the right place’ purely because sometimes you just feel the connection with someone, I don’t know how to explain it.

“Secondly, because Martin looked like my late granddad, who I loved to death. I was thinking to myself ‘I think we are going to have something here.'”

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