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Tudor and Berbatov bury the hatchet for the time being

11 December 2015 / 11:12:45  GRReporter
1925 reads

Maria S. Topalova
    PAOK Thessaloniki won a historic victory with 1:0 in Signal Iduna Park Stadium in Dortmund against the local Borussia. It was historic because the black-and-whites for the first time defeated a German team as a visiting team. However, they ended their participation in the Europa League championship following their poor performance in previous matches. Dimitar Berbatov took part in the match as a titular and played for 71 minutes but failed to score. Mitko was thus unable to improve Hristo Stoichkov’s record of 34 goals in European championships.


   "If this was my last match in European competitions, I would like to score, of course," said the Bulgarian football star at a press conference but to his fans’ regret, this was not the case. Berbatov played on the field more as a playmaker, who sought various opportunities to make his team's game less monotonous.
    We would not say that PAOK showed an attractive and modern football game. To the contrary, Igor Tudor’s trainees played extremely defensively, with 8 defenders in the penalty area at times. But they were able to realize perhaps their only scoring opportunity in the 33rd minute, when Slovak Robert Mak made the only good shot in the match.


    "We defended ourselves as a team. For us today's victory is very important because it will boost our confidence and tone. Our performance was excellent, it is fantastic to win in such a stadium. Congratulations for the defenders and especially for goalkeeper Panagiotis Glikos who endured to the end," said Dimitar Berbatov after the match in a visibly good mood. When asked about the team he would support in the next phase of Europa League, the Bulgarian football star did not find difficult to answer, "It is still Manchester United."
    Dimitar Berbatov occupied the attention of journalists during the press conference the day before the match in Signal Iduna Park Stadium, where he was selected by coach Igor Tudor to answer the questions of journalists with him. The press conference lasted about 40 minutes, 30 of which being dedicated to the Bulgarian footballer. Naturally, many of the questions were related to him angrily leaving the match with Gabala in Thessaloniki two weeks ago.


    "I was wrong, the coach was right. The truth is that, despite my age, I want to play very much because I love football. Then the coach and I talked and made things clear. There was nothing personal, I did not want to offend anyone," said Dimitar Berbatov. What made an impression was that he never said, "I'm sorry for what happened," nor "I apologize." He behaved in a very polite but cool and ironic manner. During the press conference, no word or look was exchanged with Igor Tudor, and when the Croatian coach had to answer such questions he did not mention Berbatov’s name at all.
    In the video below you can follow the entire press conference of Dimitar Berbatov and Igor Tudor, which is translated into English, Greek and German.


    In Dortmund we again did not see Dimitar Berbatov and PAOK fans’ favourite Stefanos Athanasiadis together on the field. Most likely, we will not see them together on the field in the next match of the Thessalonians either. On Monday, 14 December, PAOK will play as a visiting team with Levadiakos in the Greek football championship. Before Christmas, the team of Thessaloniki will host another match of the championship, with Platanias, on 20 December. And before that, it will play as a visiting team with Olympiakos Volos in the Greek Cup championship.
    It is too early to say what will happen after January and if PAOK and Dimitar Berbatov will continue their cooperation. The Greek media report on AEK Athens’ interest in the Bulgarian football player. The Spanish press in turn informs that he is on Barcelona’s wish list for the transfer period in January. Therefore, there was no way to avoid asking the football star such a question during the press conference. "I am entirely devoted to my work in PAOK. However, nobody knows what lies ahead," was Dimitar Barbatov’s ambiguous reply.

Tags: Dimitar BerbatovIgor TudorEuropa LeagueBorussia DortmundManchester UnitedPAOKGreek football championship
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