Just google ‘footballers who smoke’ and you won’t find a single list where Dimitar Berbatov’s name isn’t in it really. Known for his absolute Bulgarian Mafia look and a glassy first touch, former Manchester United and Tottenham forward Dimitar Berbatov has developed a reputation of being if not what they call a ‘chain smoker’ then an occasional smoker, to say the least.
To add to it, if someone had any doubt over it, a picture went viral some years back where the striker was seen holding a cigarette in his mouth which all but confirmed his ‘smoker’ status. The reality, however, is a completely different picture whatsoever. We as layman tends to start making a judgement to what we hear or to what we see before reaching a conclusion in no time.
So up until now, when I say Berbatov, many of you will either imagine him in a classy suit or will picture him holding a cigarette. But truth though is exactly opposite. In an interview with Four Four Two, the former Bulgaria international was asked whether his habit of smoking ever had an effect on his training and performance, to which he said,
“I think that’s the biggest misconception in the world – I never smoked in my life,” Berba told Four Four Two.
“Back in the day my friends smoked and I gave them s**t about it. I pretended to smoke because I looked cool holding a cigarette, but that’s it, so I don’t know why people think I smoke just from one picture.”
But then again, he had a vague answer at the end of his statement,
“Now cigars are different – that’s not smoking! Smoking is with cigarettes.”
Berbatov spent four seasons at United, winning two Premier Leagues and one League Cup, and shared the pitch with some of the greats, namely, Cristiano Ronaldo, Carlos Tevez and Wayne Rooney. Having Ronaldo in his side, a battle of style was obviously evident even if the players never meant it. So when quipped about which player spent the most time watching himself in the mirror, Berba said,
“Well, we had a lot of mirrors! You would come to the dressing room and see me, Cristiano, Rio, Evra… Good times.”