Kurdov to emulate Berbatov

Kurdov wants to emulate Berbatov
By Eurosport

17/07/2007 at 11:15Updated

Bayer Leverkusen's teenage Bulgarian striker Atanas Kurdov has vowed to follow in Dimitar Berbatov's footsteps.

The 18-year-old joined the club from Levski Sofia on a four year deal and there is much hope that he will emulate compatriot Berbatov, who was a massive hit at Leverkusen and in his first season at Spurs.

"My impressions are very good," the youngster said in Sofia. "I played 36 minutes in the friendly game against Zurich and received a warm welcome from all the players.

"I am happy with this transfer and hope to continue developing. I had a phone conversation with Berbatov and he wished me good luck. He told me to work hard and follow his footsteps.

"I also spoke with coach Michael Skibbe for a while and he told me not to worry."

The young target man - who had interested Celtic and Spurs - is acutely aware of the status of Berbatov at the club and initially wanted to wear his shirt, although had to make do with an improvised version.

"Firstly, I wanted to wear number 12, the number with which Berbatov started his career at Leverkusen, but I was told that this number is reserved for the fans who are the twelfth player of the team.

"Then I asked for N9 but it was not available and that is why I have chosen N21!"