Federico Macheda is a cult player at Manchester United. It was neither the best nor the most outstanding but two goals made him enter the collective imagination of the ‘Red Devils: 3-2 against Aston Villa in his debut in the 93rd minute and 1-2 against Sunderland in his second game at United.
It was in the 08/09 season, on matchdays 31 and 32, the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid was taken for granted and Macheda appeared as a new hero of a hobby in need of new hope before the departure of a historic player.
Before being a cult star, Macheda was a young Italian unknown to the general public, a Lazio youth squad, who ended up at the United academy. The Roman knew that he would be called up for the match against Aston Villa and now, in the Daily Mail, he acknowledges that he had a hunch the day before that ended up being fulfilled. “The day before I was talking to my friends in Rome and I told them that something was going to happen. I told them I would play and I was going to blow up Old Trafford. It was crazy. I came to the game with great confidence and knowing that something magical would happen. It was better than I expected. The following weeks I did not stop seeing the goal. Sometimes I get tagged in videos of the goal on Instagram. It no longer has the same effect but it is always a pleasure to see it, “says the Italian.
His stage started brilliantly but, he did not materialize as a forward at Old Trafford after renewing his contract. “I was able to do more. I was working with an amazing team and I feel like I failed myself. The way I played, who took care of me, my life … He didn’t play and looked for excuses instead of working more, “he says remorsefully.
Later, he began to chain assignments, the worst being the half season at Sampdoria. “Those six months spoiled my career because they tried to kill me as a footballer. I started to doubt myself. We were fighting not to go down and people started attacking me. They thought that because he came from United he was going to save them but he was not ready. Was young. It didn’t work and I wasn’t the one chosen to make it work, “he acknowledges about his time in Italy.
Now, Macheda enjoys at Panathinaikos, where he is the star and striker that so many have hoped to see at Manchester United. “It’s the perfect club. Big and with a lot of history. They needed me because they weren’t in perfect condition and I was looking for something like that. It has been good for everyone,” he explains.
His career, now that he has been on a considerable path, is being different from what he expected when he scored those two goals but, he does not want to change anything. “If I went back, I wouldn’t do anything different. I wouldn’t change that moment. Maybe it came to me too early but it is something that every United fan remembers, “says the striker.
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