Dimitar Berbatov was so aware that he was the “best player” at Tottenham and Fulham that he only interacted with his team-mates when on the books at Manchester United, says Darren Bent.
The former England international striker played alongside an enigmatic Bulgarian at White Hart Lane and Craven Cottage.
He claims to have barely spoken to Berbatov across stints with Spurs and Fulham.
It was, however, a different story for those who worked with the mercurial frontman at Old Trafford, with a star-studded squad allowing an ambitious and talented performer to feel more at home.
Bent told talkSPORT of his experiences of Berbatov, who won two Premier League titles with the Red Devils: “Well, it wasn’t difficult, because he never spoke to me!
“We could be in the club canteen, completely empty, and I could be sitting at one table and he would go and sit at another table.
“There’s no one on the planet he would come and sit next to to have a conversation with.
“I don’t know if it was shyness or what, and it wasn’t just me.
“There could be me and another team-mate sitting there talking, there could be five extra seats on our table, and he’d sit at the table further away from us.
“I was used to it, because I played with him at Spurs first, and this was when I was at Fulham with him as well.
“I just told the other lads: ‘Yeah, that’s just Berba’.
“But when I asked a few of the Manchester United players who played with him: ‘Was he like that when he was with you? They were like: ‘No!’
“But it’s because they didn’t allow him to get away with that at Manchester United, he was forced to, they kind of made him do it.
“But with us, because he was obviously the best player, he was like: ‘Nah thanks’.”
While he was unable to get much out of Berbatov off the pitch, Bent was never overly concerned because a man who plundered 122 goals across his time in England always delivered on it.
The ex-England international said: “At Fulham it was quite tough for him and he ended up leaving, but at Spurs on the pitch he was absolutely sensational, his touch, everything about him.
“So he was that way in the dressing room and the canteen and didn’t really speak to anyone, but to be fair to him on the pitch he was a team player.
“He might not have run as much as some people, but you know he’d always make the right pass, he always had that bit of quality that could win you the game, so he could kind of get away with it.
“But when he was at Fulham it wasn’t really happening for him, and then you put that with the canteen stuff as well, it becomes a difficult environment.
“He can be frustrating, but at Fulham not one person shouted at him because he was the best player.
“It was like he was so superior to everybody people didn’t think it was their right to say anything to him, even if he made the wrong decisions and made mistakes, which did happen sometimes, no one ever said anything to him.”