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It's easy to forget the long list of strikers who played alongside Cristiano Ronaldo during his original six-year spell at Manchester United.
Louis Saha, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Wayne Rooney, Carlos Tevez, Diego Forlan and even Alan Smith linked up with the Portuguese international who improved and matured, year after year. But it was Dimitar Berbatov who often complimented Ronaldo as well as anyone.
I mean, who can forget this piece of skill in the club's clash against West Ham at Old Trafford?
#OTD in :two::zero::zero::eight:, Dimitar Berbatov skipped past West Ham's James Collins to produce the assist of the century for Cristiano Ronaldo. Elegant as ever. #MUFC :flag_ye:pic.twitter.com/SlGF1DZ72S- Sujal Swain (@officialsujal10) October 29, 2021
James Collins went on to be a solid centre half for West Ham, but when he went to close the space as Anderson slipped Berbatov in down the inside left channel, he didn't expect what would happen next.
Berbatov, back to Collins, produced a two-touch pirouette right on the byline leaving the Welshman dumbfound before sliding the ball perfectly for Ronaldo to score.
It was a touch of class. Yes, there have been many great assists in the Premier League. From the likes of Gerrard, Fabregas and alike but this is right up there.
Dimitar Berbatov explains his thinking behind THAT assist vs West Ham... pic.twitter.com/IZZ0OJoJAH- Sport Social (@TheSportSocial) May 17, 2019
In an interview with Four Four Two, Berbatov explained his emotions after recalling that cold October night under the lights in which a first half brace from the five time Ballon d'Or winner sealed a 2-0 victory.
"If it hadn't finished with a goal, it would just be another trick. But when you make a goal it's extra special, and if the goal is scored by Ronaldo it puts even more weight on the assist!" He reflected.
"After he scored I tried to look so cool - no emotion, just walking back to the halfway line, like nothing happened, like 'yeah, this is a usual day for me' but inside I was like 'did you all see that?'"
Words by Alan Bond.
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