Dimitar Berbatov: I would have loved to have played for Arsenal, says former Manchester United and Tottenham striker

Arsenal play the 'purest form of football,' according to the Monaco striker

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The Independent Football

Dimitar Berbatov never played for Arsenal but it is clear when he speaks that he would have loved the chance to do so. Berbatov is back at the Emirates stadium Wednesday night with Monaco.

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He has played here many times before – for Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester United and Fulham – and it means a lot to him.

Now 34 years old, Berbatov admitted at this evening’s press conference that he is now “too old” to ever play for Arsenal. But he did say that in Arsene Wenger he sees someone who shares his specific conception of how – technically and artistically – he believes football should be played.

“For me this is the purest form of football,” Berbatov said with more enthusiasm than he usually summons for his public remarks, when discussing how Arsenal play. “They play football the way football should be played. They work a lot of passes, they try to play the combinations, whether on the counter-attack or slowly building up the game. They try to make beautiful things happen.” Berbatov would have fitted perfectly at Arsenal, representing Wenger’s vision on the field with his own artistry and imagination. The Arsenal manager clearly feels the same way, praising Berbatov at his own pre-match press conference yesterday morning.Dimitar-Berbatov.jpg


“He is a terrific striker, 34 years old and still playing at the top level and not many players can do that,” Wenger said. “He has been able to stay at the top because he has got such great technique. He can fall back on his technical work when he runs out of puff. He’s not as fit as he was ten years ago  but he makes up for that  with his intelligence and his football brain.”

The football marriage that was meant to be never happened, though, and tonight they will line up on opposite sides for maybe the last time. It is difficult not to feel as if something has been lost.