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'You can stop the ball, but that’s boring’ – 'In Focus' special with Dimitar Berbatov

Posted on 3 February 2017  - 11:58

Turn the clock back 10 years and one of the most gifted players to wear a Spurs shirt in the modern era scored volleys in both home and away matches against Middlesbrough. That player was Dimitar Berbatov.

Berba volleys home in the 2-1 win against Middlesbrough at the Lane in December, 2006He repeats the trick in our 3-2 win at the Riverside in April, 2007Berba celebrates at the Riverside

By sheer coincidence, as we prepare to face Boro at the Lane on Saturday, ‘Berba’ was back at the Club this week, making his first visit to our world-class training facilities at Hotspur Way.

While he was here, Dimitar sat down with us to talk Spurs past and present and on reminding him of those two fantastic goals, he gave us a fascinating insight into just what was going through his mind when he dispatched both strikes.

On the first goal in a 2-1 win at the Lane on December 5, 2006, Berba recalled: “You need to anticipate. This is Pascal Chimbonda (on his right) and I know he’s good with his head, I just need to anticipate where the ball is going to drop and then to surprise the defender.


“I need one second to catch the ball before him. You can see I read the game to see where the ball was going and as soon as I saw the ball coming, I knew I was going to score.

“It’s not easy, it’s just something you need to have or learn through all the years of playing football.”

If anything, the second goal was even better, a volley from 25 yards that zipped into the corner in our 3-2 win at the Riverside Stadium on April 27, 2007.

“In this instance, I’m alone against seven (Middlesbrough players) and I’m the only one in white in there. What can you do? You can stop the ball, but that’s boring. So, you try to do something extraordinary.”

Watch Berba’s 'In Focus' specal on both goals in the video above...