Dimitar Berbatov Exclusive: Excited about Ronaldo return who I hope inspires United to the title

Dimitar Berbatov Exclusive: Excited about Ronaldo return who I hope inspires United to the title

Everything can change in 24 hours in football

A lot can happen in football in 24 hours, from Cristiano Ronaldo 100% going to Manchester City to a U-turn and going to United, it’s been unbelievable.

I must admit, I found it hard to believe that he would actually go to City because of his past with United and I’m overjoyed that in the end he has gone back to Old Trafford.

It would have felt strange if he had gone to City, but other United players have done it in the past and will probably do so in the future. But now it’s obvious that he has chosen to go back to United where he started and it’s no surprise that I like that choice. I was going to be disappointed if he went to City of course, I was going to watch him and would still have liked to see him scoring goals, but now that he will be scoring goals for United it’s a whole different ball game.

It doesn’t surprise me that he chose United in the end. We are all human and we are nostalgic so when he saw there was an opportunity to go back to where it started that would have been hugely tempting and that nostalgia would have driven him back, you would think, to have one more go at Old Trafford and if he can bring home the Premier League title for them as well, then that would be the icing on the cake.

I’m so excited about the fact that he’s coming ‘home’ and I think everybody connected with the team feels the same as me and it’s great news for all the players at the club who are going to have a great time learning off him.

It’s also not only fantastic news that he’s coming back to United but coming back to the Premier League – everyone in English football is going to be excited.

My message for Ronaldo would be this – stay healthy as long as you can, take care of yourself as you’ve done in the past, inspire the young players in the team and bring the title back to United!

If Alex Fergusson did call him that would have played a huge part in his decision

There have been reports that Sir Alex Fergusson gave him a call on Friday and if that happened it would have been a major factor in his decision, in my opinion. Sir Alex is like a father to him, he brought him to the club, he raised him, and it’s where he started his journey to becoming one of the best so their connection is still strong even though they parted ways a long time ago.


I think that was probably a big turning point for him and it’s good to have someone like Sir Alex around when you are faced with such a big decision. If he was hesitating then Sir Alex was definitely the man to push him in United’s direction and sure enough we saw the result, Ronaldo chose to go to United

The situation reminded me of my own

What has happened in the last day reminds me of my own situation when I was singing for United. City was talking with my agent and trying to get me to sign, but I was clear – No I’m going to United – was my response.

How it unfolded was a strange situation as my agent picked up the phone to City while we were actually in the car with Sir Alex! Sir Alex was driving, I was in the back seat and my agent received a phone call and he said it’s City calling and they want me. It was awkward, but I obviously said no f***ing way, I’m going to United.

That’s a true story and it was a bit shocking and funny at the same time but in the end I choose United because of everything, the history, the players, the badge, it was an easy decision for me.

How does he fit into the United set up

I’m curious to see how he’s going to fit into the team, he knows Ole – I think they played together as well at one point – and he’s coming to a familiar place and we are all excited and we wish him good luck and to bring trophies to united

It’s great to see him back, the age factor is probably the only concern I have because the Premier League is more physical and we all know that the game is faster, so it’s going to be interesting to see how he’s going to adjust after so long away.

Where he fits into the United side is the question I asked myself when I heard the news because we have Martial, we have Rashford, we have Sancho, we have Cavani and we have James up front so there are a lot of attacking options. I think he can play any position up front to be honest if he modifies his game a little bit because of his age but we’ll see how Ole’s going to rotate and what role Ronaldo is going to play in the team.

Where does it leave Mason Greenwood

I think Greenwood is in a good position right now, he’s the future of the team for sure and he’s someone who could definitely be given more playing time because for me he’s a natural finisher. He can only get better as long as he plays and I don’t think his place is in question.

I actually think Martial is going to have a big question mark over his head and I’m probably more concerned about that.

Rashford is someone who also is born and bred in Manchester and I think he’ll be fine and Cavani also has his place and that’s why I’m curious to see how he’s going to rotate everyone. Is Ronaldo going to play every game or is he going to come in as a substitute sometimes? Is he going to be rested sometimes as well because the schedule is tight in the Premier League?

Of course when you are 36 you are more mature and you know that the team comes first and maybe sometimes you will sit on the bench or come on as a sub. Ronaldo would probably like to play every game but he knows that sometimes he will need to sacrifice himself for the team.

Bruno Fernandes combination is one to watch, but there are many more

We are all excited to see Bruno Fernandes and Ronaldo play together at United, but there’s also Ronaldo and Pogba, Ronaldo and Greenwood and Rashford, it’s very exciting.

Bruno Fernandes - Man Utd-Everton friendly.jpg

It’s shaping up to be one hell of a team for United this season. But even with Ronaldo, one of the best ever, coming back to the club let’s not jump ahead of ourselves. Let’s go game by game, let’s hope he’s going to fit straight into the team, adjust himself to old ways and lead the way for the young players with his attitude and his professionalism and the way he trains and takes care of himself and see what happens.

Everyone is going to be excited, everyone is going to start mentioning the Premier League title I’m sure, but it’s still very early in the season so let’s wait and see.

A stunning transfer window for United – but don’t get too carried away just yet

People will start talking about the title now because all these players are great singings and United have a great team on paper now, but let’s walk before we run because City, Liverpool and Chelsea are all great teams and they are going to have even more respect for United with Ronaldo there. But they are still one of the best teams in the world and will challenge for the Premier League title as well.

To be honest, United should be targeting the title every year anyway. It’s been eight long years since the last title it’s about time United challenged for it. They should always be in the hunt, but now it seems everybody is satisfied with the transfers they have made and it’s even more credible that United could be up there and challenging for the title.

However, sometimes reality is different so let’s wait a bit as it’s only been two games. We have Ronaldo in the team so slowly but surely let’s watch what happens, but they are in the title race for sure.

Ronaldo will have huge respect for Ole

Ole was a coach when Ronaldo and I were at the club together and I remember Cristiano and I staying after training to do some finishing and work on shooting with him.

They also played together and there is nothing but respect between them. Add Sir Alex to the mix, who I think is still in touch with Ole and apparently with Ronaldo and they are strong links.

There will be a lot of respect between them.

Ronaldo still wants to be number one

I only played one season with Ronaldo at United. He worked tirelessly, taking care of himself to stay fit. We could always count on him to score important goals. He had extraordinary abilities, that powerful shot with either foot, his running and heading. When we needed a special player to shine, he always stepped up.


He was surrounded by great players, but his natural gifts meant he didn’t need advice. He was 100% committed to becoming a better player and his self-belief drove him on to be the best. He and Messi exemplify what great players should be.

Will this be the where Ronaldo finishes his career?

He’s 36 so if it’s a two-year contract he will be 38 when it ends. If he chose that to be his end, I think it would be very fitting. But knowing him and what he’s said in the past and how he takes care of himself, I don’t believe that would be the end for him.

I expect to him to play a bit more because of who he is. He wants to play, he wants to challenge, he wants to win, and he wants to score goals and as long as he’s healthy I think that’s possible.