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Jol - "Forget 20 goals, Dimitar will get 35"

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Dimitar Berbatov placed an emphasis on "entertaining" during his rookie year in English football, a season in which he was voted into the PFA team of the year by his fellow professionals. Entertainment for Tottenham fans often meant bewilderment for opponents who were on the receiving end of his silky touches and deadly finishes. berbatov30_468x432.jpgEverything about him oozes class. When Spurs were reduced to 10 men against Bolton, the Bulgaria international gave a masterclass in the lone striker role. He did not score in the 4-1 win but stretched Bolton's defence to breaking point. One of his touches that day, trapping an impossible high ball when it dropped over his shoulder, earned a standing ovation from the fans and looks of astonishment in the press box. "It was probably the best performance I've seen from a striker on his own from any team," explained Spurs boss Martin Jol. "He can play in any team in Europe, he's a top-class player." Jol paid £10.9million to Bayer Leverkusen for Berbatov, a fee considered a gamble at the time but it now looks a shrewd investment. However, his season did not start terribly well, with niggling injuries preventing him from making an explosive start. "He didn't score in away games and then after playing in Europe he found his rhythm and form," said Jol. He scored against Besiktas in the hostile home of the Turkish side, then netted the winner against his former club at the BayArena, famously refusing to celebrate as a mark of respect. As Spurs progressed in three cup competitions, Berbatov grew into his role and developed an understanding with Robbie Keane in attack for Jol. His goals were rarely tap-ins, while his all-round play excited his team-mates. "It seems that defenders can't or don't dare tackle him because he can make them look stupid," said midfielder Tom Huddlestone. "He makes people look silly in games, let alone training." He may have made opponents look silly but even his goal against Middlesbrough, an acrobatic volley from 25 yards at the Riverside, had Boro fans applauding in appreciation. Then there was his goal against Charlton, flicking the ball around Talal El Karkouri before racing half the length of the pitch, leaving his marker on the floor in his attempts to catch up. Inevitably his progress led to transfer speculation at the end of the campaign. Manchester United were interested in him before he signed for Spurs, while Chelsea have been consistently linked. Berbatov, however, looks set to stay at White Hart Lane for another year at least as Spurs look to build on their fifth-placed finish last time out. "My primary goal is to enjoy my football and entertain the fans who come to see us," he said. His goal against Manchester City on the final day of the season was his 23rd of the campaign and secured UEFA Cup football again, but there are hopes he can be part of a Spurs team to qualify for the Champions League eventually. "We are still learning and maybe we have to learn from our mistakes so we don't make the same ones in the future," he said. "That is the difference between the good clubs and the really good clubs." Berbatov has been to a Champions League final before, coming off the bench for Leverkusen against Real Madrid, although the moment passed him by. "I was so young, how do you say, you don't give a...." Berbatov joked. "I was sitting on the bench thinking exactly nothing. The coach said I was on and I was like 'whatever'." Learning his English from American gangster films has helped him settle and boss Jol believes his striker can eventually become a Spurs goalscoring legend like Jurgen Klinsmann or Clive Allen. "Klinsmann was here in '98 and they were almost relegated. So what is a legend?" Jol said. "Clive Allen scored 49 in a season. There is still a lot to improve with the team and with Dimitar, he can score 30 or 35 goals in all competitions. There is a lot more to come because he's such a good finisher." Even Glenn Hoddle has spoken of how he admires Berbatov, praise from the man regarded as Spurs' most elegant player. Other managers have been quick to praise the Bulgarian too but Jol tries not to discuss the striker with his counterparts. He added: "I don't want to talk about it with them because maybe they'd agree. I tell them he's lazy!"

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That read like it was taken from www.swingingfromDimitarsballbags.org Can't believe something like that made it into the press. I do look forward to see how Dimitar settles in to his second year in the league. He might find it a lot more difficult this season as managers have video footage to study.

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that charlton goal was f*ckedshame we didn't get himhope he does well this season

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Berba's celebrations are sick in the face....Come like Ronaldinho's celebration when he scored that sick goal agiasnst Chelsea...As ifto say 'Stop it blud, Im too sick, may aswell reset the PS2, load up a fresh option file'

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His celebrations are f*ckin shower. Away to fulham in the FA Cup was the best, just stood there and moved his arms in a way as if to say, "its over, game set and match"He was in last months Hotspur, and the man is so humbled by the attention he is getting its unreal, and says he is almost shy when he scores infront of the Spurs fans.Its reasurring in this day and age to hear things like that from a top footballer, when you have pure pricks like Reo-Coker, Dyer, Anton, Defoe and Ashley Cole, to name a few, who are blatently in it for the money and care for no one but themselves.

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