Berbatov will return to Old Trafford on Saturday for the first time since his four-year United stay came to an end with a summer switch to Fulham.
"I don't think Dimitar was a failure here," said Ferguson.
"Some people like to see players run through brick walls all the time.
"Dimitar is not that type of player, but he is very talented player and he had a decent goalscoring record here."
The argument goes that Berbatov is better at a club like Fulham, where Martin Jol can construct a team around him, than United, where he was just one of a number of superstars.
Ferguson does not accept the verdict.
"That was not a problem for him," said Ferguson.
"The problem for him here was the way we wanted to play and the selections I had to make.
"When you have choices you hope to make the right one. Javier Hernandez had a fantastic first season with us and as time went on he became a more regular player than Dimitar."