Many players have scored more goals than Dimitar Berbatov, but few have scored as many flatly stunning ones, or done so with the flair and insouciance that made nearly every one of his goals legitimately preposterous. It was preposterous that any human body could, as a simple matter of physics, execute the delicate movements and precise mental calculations necessary to, say, flip an incoming ball over another person, wheel around that person to meet the arcing ball mid-flight, spot a tiny corner of space between a goalkeeper’s hands and the upper bounds of the goal frame from 25 yards away with a glance, and hit the ball as it fell to Earth so as to give it the exact velocity and spin required to send it where it had to go; preposterous that a human body as long and seemingly ungainly as Berba’s was capable of doing all that; preposterous that a human body could do all of those things fully intentionally and with startling regularity; and preposterous that this specific human body that never seemed to sweat, that never seemed to sprint, that never seemed to really even be trying would ever bother itself with the countless hours of training and repetition and effort it would take to make those outrageous pieces of skill and focus possible at all.
It was that truly mind-blowing technical quality coupled with his devil-may-care coolness that made the Bulgarian forward a cult figure at all the clubs that employed him, most notably at Tottenham and Manchester United. For the past couple of days, Berbatov has been treating his Instagram followers to videos of some of his favorite goals over the years, complete with hilarious, vulgar, and genuinely insightful voiceover narrations and with that trademark Berba attitude. There’s no better way to enjoy Berbatov’s goals than with Berbatov himself. (Note: make sure to click the little arrow on the side of the video to watch the next one, as each post has three different videos included.)
Until the great man blesses us with breakdowns of all his highlights, let’s reminisce on this collection: