Manchester United's Dimitar Berbatov: The Best Striker in the World

Yoosof Farah@@YoosofFarahSenior Writer IIIMay 5, 2011

Manchester United's Dimitar Berbatov: The Best Typecast Striker in the World
Manchester United's Dimitar Berbatov: The Best Typecast Striker in the WorldMichael Regan/Getty Images

Considering the fact he's now third choice Manchester United striker and didn't receive a huge deal of plaudits against Schalke 04 in the Champions League last night, it may seem somewhat strange lauding Dimitar Berbatov as the best striker in the world. 

The Bulgarian didn't get on the scoresheet at Old Trafford, and on the surface it looked like he had a quiet game against the Germans. 

But that, funnily enough, is exactly why Berbatov is considered one of, if not the best strikers in world football today. 

The fact he had a such a "quiet game" yet still played a crucial role in three of United's four goals shows that this a striker who can play Wayne Rooney's role and more.

Dimitar Berbatov has been widely criticised for his supposed laziness and lack of movement, unlike Javier Hernandez who is willing to run the channels and chase the ball.

However, whereas Chicharito will run into space just to chase a pass or receive the ball and start an attack, Berbatov's movement is much more tactical and thought-out.

In the first goal for example, where Darron Gibson played Antonio Valencia through on goal, Berbatov's movement across the left centre-back dragged him across and gave Valencia enough space to coolly slot the ball past Manuel Neuer in the Schalke goal.

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If it wasn't for Berbatov's movement in that case, bringing his wingers into play and pulling the centre-back back into the middle, the chance would've most likely gone, considering Valencia would've had to side-step an onrushing centre-back before dealing with the full-back who would've also caught up again.

For United's third, when Anderson reacted quickest to eventually tuck the ball home, Berba's lurking presence in front of the goalkeeper sucked one of the centre-backs in, giving Anderson decent enough space to grab his second goal of the season.

Then there was the fourth for Manchester United, where Berbatov got an assist with a most exemplary beating of the full-back.

The former Bulgarian international initially moved towards Antonio Valencia to pick up the ball, before using great agility to immediately turn and sprint into the penalty area to receive the pass, beating the helpless full-back.

And from there, Berbatov placed the ball beautifully between Neuer and the defence for Anderson to double his season's goalscoring tally and get his second of the game.

Overall, thanks to Dimitar Berbatov's brilliant tactical movement, Manchester United were able to beat Schalke 4-1 and progress the final of the UEFA Champions League at Wembley.

It's just a shame for the striker that he failed to get on the scoresheet, with chances of his own few and far between.

However, he did claim an assist, and again showed off his silky technique in the first-half, using his close control, strength and general reading of the defender's movements to skip past two opponents before attempting to play in Antonio Valencia.

It was a game in which Dimitar Berbatov played a very classy, well-disguised behind the scenes role, gracefully making tactical movements across the pitch to bring his teammates into play.

It is such movement, combined with the stellar finishing ability which so far sees him the Premier League's leading scorer with 21 goals, as well as his stunning control of the ball and unparalleled ability to skip past opponents with hardly any space between them, which sees this man as one of the best in the world.

Compared to his attacking teammates, and all typecast strikers across the world (so not including Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi), Dimitar Berbatov is the best there is.

He has the strength of Didier Drogba, the finishing ability of his United strike partners, tactical movement to match David Villa and digressing from pure strikers slightly, the dazzling technique, skill and close control to match Messi or Ronaldo.

Overall, he may not be as good as the above duo and may lack the dynamism of Javier Hernandez, but as an all-round typecast striker, Dimitar Berbatov is the best in the business.