And to think - as a teenager (playing for CSKA Sofia) - all Berbatov thought about was getting the chance to play for the Toon.
Martin Jol: "We had that spell (of poor results) that started against Sunderland with the red card and two big injuries for us.
"That was very disappointing for us and then after that we couldn't play Bryan Ruiz - he was out for four weeks for us. I was happy that Berbatov, after talking to him, could fill in that role (behind the striker).
"It was vital, he didn't score so that was disappointing, but on the other hand he linked us up and kept the team together - I was very happy with him.
"The good thing about my squad is that they realise Berbatov is an outstanding player.
"For me the most important thing is that after losing (Clint) Dempsey - who is making the difference for Spurs now, as well as (Mousa) Dembele plus Danny Murphy and Bryan Ruiz (through injury) I'm very happy that he came to this club because otherwise maybe we could have ended up with a little problem."
Alan Pardew: "Berbatov's performance was outstanding.
"He was special tonight.
"Everything he seemed to pluck out of the sky, everything seemed to die on his toe - he was a real problem.
"I thought we did much better in the second half with him but he is a class act when he is in the mood and when the TV cameras are here and he is a real problem."