| Last updated
Dimitar Berbatov and Anthony Martial don't just have the connection of both having played up front for Manchester United, the strike duo once partnered up together at Monaco during the Bulgarian's time in Monte Carlo as Martial was breaking into the first team at the Stade Louis II.
Martial and Berbatov spent two seasons together in Monaco and it was there that the former Tottenham and Bayer Leverkusen striker told the young Frenchman to take more risks in attack as he could tell the teenager was being too hesitant when running at defenders.
Speaking in an interview with ESPN, Berbatov said, "I went into the first training session [with Monaco] and saw Anthony Martial, James Rodriguez, Geoffrey Kondogbia, Yannick Carrasco, Bernardo Silva. These young players were flying around me and I was thinking: 'What the fuck? I am too old or are these guys too good.'
"Martial had something special and he's developed. He'll develop even more.
"You could see how fast and strong he was. The only thing lacking was to be more confident. 'I liked playing in defence in training; it helped me understand the defenders well.
The Frenchman has become one of United's most effective attacking players during his two years at Old Trafford. Images: PA
"Martial would come towards with me the ball. Sometimes he hesitated; he didn't want to take me on because he thought I was going to take his ball.
"The self-belief was not there. 'I would say: 'Anto, you are so quick, you can go past me. Don't be afraid to do that to every player because you are so quick.' He's a top guy."
Given how impressive Martial was during his debut season at Old Trafford, coupled with his impressive start to the current campaign, it's hard to imagine the 21-year-old ever having lacked confidence in his own abilities, but it turns out he just needed the nurturing words of a mercurial Bulgarian to bring the best out in himself.
A man who never once ran during his entire career. A hero we can all aspire to. Images: PA
Martial has made 178 appearances for United since joining from Monaco in a £36 million deal in 2015, scoring 45 goals and helping the Red Devils to an FA Cup, League Cup and Europa League in the process.
Berbatov was United's record signing at the time of his arrival at Old Trafford in 2008, costing them £30.75 million. The Bulgarian won two Premier Leagues, a FIFA Club World Cup and two League Cups during his time at Old Trafford, as well as helping United to two Champions League finals.
Featured Image Credit: PA
Chosen for YouChosen for You
Most Read StoriesMost Read