Dimitar Berbatov has admitted he was underwhelmed when told Tottenham wanted to sign him.
The 39-year-old scored 46 goals in a two-year spell with Spurs after joining in a £10.9million transfer from Bayer Leverkusen in 2006.
But a young Berbatov could not understand why the biggest clubs in the world were not interested in acquiring his services before sealing a move to Tottenham.
In talkSPORT’s exclusive new series, ‘Up Front With’, Berbatov said: “I was like, ‘wait a minute, Spurs want me? What? Not Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester United?’
“I was thinking all these stupid questions because I was thinking I was doing so well that a big team must come after me.
“When you’re young, you think you know everything. You think you have all the answers to all the questions, but you have nothing.
“Again, my intuition will start working the same, ‘Berbs now is the right time, difficult but we need to challenge ourselves’.
“In the end, their persistence was a big factor for me, and of course, meeting [manager] Martin Jol was the moment I knew I had to go there.’”
Berbatov recalled his first meeting with then Tottenham boss Jol, who he said looked like his late granddad.
The former Bulgaria striker added: “He’s sitting in the chair like the Godfather!
“He was like ‘Berba, welcome my boy!’ I was telling myself, ‘this is the right place’ purely because sometimes you just feel the connection with someone, I don’t know how to explain it.
“Secondly, because Martin looked like my late granddad, who I loved to death. I was thinking to myself ‘I think we are going to have something here.’”
Berbatov helped end Tottenham’s nine-year trophy drought by scoring in a 2-1 League Cup final win over Chelsea in 2008, which was the last time the club lifted silverware.
His form in north London earned him a £30m move to Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United later that year, a transfer the legendary boss said was ‘more painful than my hip operation’ in reference to dealing with chairman Daniel Levy.
Berbatov lifted two Premier League titles and one League Cup in a successful four-year spell at Old Trafford.
But he was left out of the matchday squad for United’s 3-1 defeat to Barcelona in the 2011 Champions League final, something he described as ‘painful’.
“It was just before the game, he [Ferguson] called me and said ‘Berbs, it’s killing me, but I need to leave you out’,” he recalled.
“So it was like that and it was painful to hear that because I was a goalscorer of the team and of the Premier League.
“I was surprised because I felt so confident if I can shoot from somewhere, it’s going to go in. So that was a surprise for me, but in the end it was like that.”
You can listen to the full interview from Up Front With Dimitar Berbatov on Tuesday at 7pm…