SOFIA (Reuters) - Bulgarian striker Dimitar Berbatov interviewed himself on Tuesday to express his frustration at being left on the bench in his team PAOK Salonika's 1-0 defeat at second-placed AEK Athens in the Greek league.
The former Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur striker, who joined PAOK from French club Monaco in September, was criticised for a lack of commitment after being sent off only 17 minutes after coming on as a second-half substitute.
Berbatov published an interview with journalist Dimitar Berbatov on his Facebook page.
"Some media say you don't want to play for PAOK anymore?," asked journalist Dimitar Berbatov.
"This is why I am giving interview to you, and not to people who are coming up with stupid things like this," Berbatov replied.
"This is not true and with this kind of talks some people are trying to harm the team.
"PAOK is my team now and I fight for my team, even if this means a red card sometimes."
Berbatov said playing in such a game against AEK was exactly why he joined PAOK.
"This was a derby where my quality and experience can help the team and not for me to stay on the bench and do nothing," Berbatov said.
Berbatov, known for his languid style, received his first red card in more than 13 years for elbowing a defender.
"If the passion for football decreases and I stop getting angry, stop yelling and gesticulate on the pitch, then I don’t care for football or the team I am playing for," he said.
"The passion is gone."
Berbatov, Bulgaria's all-time leading scorer, turns 35 on Saturday.
Reporting by Angel Krasimirov