Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov has revealed he was kidnapped 10 years ago while at CSKA Sofia.
The 28-year-old Bulgarian was grabbed after training by three henchmen of gangster Georgi Iliev, who was believed to want the young player to sign for his club, Levski Kjustendil.
"That's true," the former Tottenham forward said when asked about the incident. "It was a horrific ordeal but a long time ago now. That was a time back then, you know."
Berbatov managed to make a frantic call to his father, Ivan, who intervened.
A decade later, the five-time Bulgarian player of the year is at the top of his game but admits the weight of expectation on his shoulders takes its toll.
"Sometimes the pressure is too big," he told The Times.
"I don't dispute when somebody has paid so much money for you they are expecting great things, but sometimes you are under so much pressure you don't feel calm.
"For me to play very good, I need to feel calm, I need to feel the support of the players and the fans. Against Wolfsburg it was like a release.
"The demands of playing for United were not a surprise. I joined the best team in the world, so of course there were going to be high demands on my performances. It can be a really hard time, but you need to deal with this.
"Of course the [£30.75million] fee brings extra pressure with it. I always said it was a ridiculous amount of money, but it's the life we are living now."
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