Kerala Blasters have been extremely pleased with some of their signings for the upcoming ISL 2017 season. Renowned striker Dimitar Berbatov is one of their biggest signing, and Kerala Blasters fans need to thank some Manchester United connection, which made this deal happen.
Berbatov spent five years, from 2008-2012, at Manchester United in the Premier League. During the time, Rene Meulensteen was the assistant coach to Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford. Berbatov was close to Meulensteen then. This positive association with the manager made this Kerala Blasters move ahead of ISL 2017 possible.
Meulensteen, from his time at United, knows Berbatov's style of functioning. The Bulgarian has renewed their association after deciding to play for Kerala Blasters, where Meulensteen is the new coach as well.
Berbatov confirmed that Meulensteen factor played a huge role in helping him choose Blasters. This will be their third reunion as the striker played under Meulensteen in Fulham as well.
"The big factor was the coach. We spoke on the phone, and he explained that he would like to work with me again. Knowing how he sees football, it was not a difficult decision to make. Of course, the club was showing they want me very much, always speaking with my agent, treating us with respect, and this was enough to convince me that I need to take this challenge in this new league," Berbatov told Goal India.
"It's the third time we are going to work together, he knows me very well, he knows how I like to play football, what I need in training to feel good and to be in the best shape for my years. We won some trophies together so let's hope we can bring one to Kerala as well!"
The Blasters are one of the popular teams in the ISL, with a large supporters base. Their matches are, most of the times, packed with passionate and emotional supporters, who always want their team to emerge victorious.
"When you fill the stadium every time with more than 50000 fans, then you need to give them something special. I always try to play beautiful football, always want to win, and I will try my best to do this with my new club!" the former Manchester United striker said.
It would not be right for one to believe that Berbatov will be able to show the kind of magic and trickery, which was witnessed during the Premier League. He was in his prime during those days in the Premier League. And now, the striker is at the end of his club career too as he is 36 years of age.
But, make no mistake, Berbatov still has it in him to score goals and inspire his team to ultimate glory in ISL 2017.