Dimitar Berbatov, the journalist, asks: “Some media say you don’t want to play for PAOK any more?”
And Dimitar Berbatov, the footballer, replies: “This is why I am giving an interview to you, and not to people who are coming up with stupid things like this.”
Confused? Welcome to arguably the season’s oddest piece of sporting journalism. Berbatov, once of Manchester United, has interviewed himself on Facebook.
The former Bulgaria international, who now plays in Greece for PAOK Salonika, has always been a little, well, unpredictable.
But his chat with himself – the ultimate exclusive, perhaps – is no move to fashion a position in the media upon retirement. Instead, he is taking a swipe at the journalists he has accused of coming up with “stupid things”.
539 words of Facebook gold
Berbatov the footballer had a bad Sunday. PAOK lost their Greek Super League fixture with AEK Athens. He was a substitute and, when introduced, lasted 38 minutes before being sent off.
In his defence, being sent off for the first time in 13 years may be unsettling. But taking to Facebook to post an interview between Journalist Dimitar Berbatov (JDB) and Dimitar Berbatov (DB), is hardly normal footballer behaviour.
JDB: Hi. How are you feeling?
DB: Hi. I am fine but disappointed. We lost against AEK, and I received a red card.
JDB: Do you think it was a red card?
DB: Yes. The player from AEK was holding and preventing me from positioning myself better in the box and this, and the fact, I was angry and nervous, made me hit him.
JDB: Why were you so nervous and angry?
DB: Because of the fact that I was watching the game, and even though AEK were not the better team, they still scored a goal. Because I was not playing and I could do nothing to help. This was a derby and I came here to play exactly in these kind of games, where my quality and experience can help the team, and not for me to stay on the bench and do nothing. But the opposite happened.
JDB: And you are disappointed because of this?
DB: Yes. When I don’t play, I can’t be happy. The problem is that, in this case I took it out on the colleague from the other team. And I am not one of this players looking for a conflict, this is a well-known fact, but in this case the opposite happened, for which I am sorry.
‘This is why I’m giving the interview to you’
In about four hours, Berbatov’s interview with ‘journalist Dimitar Berbatov’ was liked more than 4,500 times on Facebook.
The former Tottenham and Fulham forward was welcomed by 10,000 fans at PAOK’s stadium upon joining from Monaco last summer and he has gone on to score four goals since.
But Sunday’s dismissal has seen some factions of the media question his commitment.
JDB: Some media say you don’t want to play for PAOK any more?
DB: This is why I am giving an interview to you, and not to people who are coming up with stupid things like this. This is not true, and with this kind of talk, some people are trying to harm the team. I still feel joy when I play football. I want to play. When this is not happening, I am angry and disappointed. There is no way to feel joy from the fact that I am not playing, and they are paying me good money amid all that is happening in Greece.