The Bulgarian is having problems settling into the southerners’ camp.
When Zlatan Ibrahimovic AKA God signed for Manchester United, he not only brought with him his excellent record as a goalscorer but also his truck-load, or should we saw container-ship-load of experience. Instantly it was seen that the youngsters would throng to him at the lunch table to get some pearls of wisdom and implement them on the pitch to yield results.
Even manager Jose Mourinho accepted that Ibrahimovic was a huge influence on the club when he flew him out to Sweden for the Europa League final, where the striker lead the team, albeit from the sidelines. Also, the way he celebrated with the kids after the match showed what a great inspiration he was to them and what bonding a world-class talent could bring to a team.
Similarly, Indian Super League outfit Kerala Blasters seemed to have struck gold when they signed former Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov. He would naturally be expected to spread his charisma through the team and draw his teammates’ attention and guide them to glory. But sadly this hasn’t been the case and the results of the Blasters so far this season have proven it.
For a player of immense experience and talent such as Berbatov, it shouldn’t be a huge task to gel with his teammates as he has played alongside greats like Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney in their prime at United. But sources close to the club have confirmed that Berbatov is a total loner at the KBFC camp.
Khel Now has learned that the forward who is playing in midfield, doesn’t meet or mingle with his teammates or coaching staff except while training. He often skips team meetings and bonding sessions and also prefers to eat alone. This kind of reclusiveness has also seemed to have translated into his gameplay on the pitch. He is often left alone in the midfield and his missed passes have cost his team some wonderful chances.
The matter doesn’t seem to end there. Berbatov has had only three shots on goals this season and has been penalized for fouls eight times. He has also completed only 150 passes in the three games he has played till now and has largely failed to be a major influence in the middle of the park for Blasters.
To add insult to injury, certain players too seem to be at loggerheads with his reclusive behaviour and have voiced their opinions to the coach. Apparently, another star striker, who has voiced his displeasure on Berbatov not being directly involved in the team’s activities.
Marquee signings of former greats were introduced into the ISL with a two-fold objective; get the fans engaged and give the opportunity for Indian Players to learn from the best. Berbatov seems to have successfully done the first but has a long way to go if his team are to reap the benefits of his calibre and experience.