Dimitar Berbatov to Stay at Manchester United Another Year Despite Finals Snub
Then his manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, strangely opted for Michael Owen, who only featured 13 times during another injury-riddled campaign.
Missing out against Barcelona in the season's biggest match was a cruel blow for the Bulgarian and a foolish decision from his gaffer; United had no joy going forward at all, and no option to put in arguably the most creative forward in England.
Ferguson opted naively for an unfit goal plunderer instead of opting for, quite simply, the much better player in Berbatov.
But at least the former Spurs star is undeterred to remain at United.
"I will remain at United," Berbatov told Bulgarian newspaper 24 Chassa. "I will fight for my place and I will fight for title No. 20.
"If I was a man who gave up easily, I would never be here in the first place. Starting July 4, everything begins all over again - my personal fight to be in the first team, and for United to win more titles."
Rumors were abound that Berbatov stormed out of Wembley after finding out he hadn't made the team sheet, but the number nine denied any great rift.
Should Berba have been on the bench instead of Owen?
Moreover, he displayed an emo side that shouldn't come as much surprise to any follower of the often brooding stylist.
"To be honest, I was in the dressing room," he revealed. "I watched the final from there. This was embarrassing for me - that I was not included in the group.
"I didn't want people to see the pain in my eyes."
Berbatov's preclusion from the Champions League squad was an embarrassment for Sir Alex Ferguson, too—an oversight that perhaps wouldn't have changed the outcome greatly but could have changed the game for what it was worth.
And in the end it wasn't worth much as United got barnstormed by the far more enterprising side.
Ferguson spent all his time wondering how to contain Barcelona without enough preparation as to how they were going to score against them!
But it's nice that Berba is down to stay. He's long been undervalued by United fans—his subtle style is too confusing perhaps for those who have never played.
But he remains a rare player capable of unlocking staunch defenses with whims of genius that will be on display at Old Trafford for at least another season.
And it's a bloody good thing too, what, with Paul Scholes retiring; that makes Berbatov the best attacking passer left on the team!
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