Federico Macheda has been released by Manchester United according to a list of released players published by the Premier League.
It’s not a surprise to anyone as it was expected but it’s been a sad affair for Macheda at United having not featured for the side since a 1-0 defeat at home to CFR Cluj in December 2012.
Since 2011, the 22-year-old has endured loan spells at Sampdoria, Queens Park Rangers, VfB Stuttgart, Doncaster Rovers and Birmingham City and after only 19 appearances in six seasons, United have finally called time on the Italian’s career.
Macheda will be forever remembered by United supporters for his last gasp winner in a 3-2 win over Aston Villa in 2009 to help the Reds move towards their 18th championship title and to move level with Liverpool’s record.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s side were facing their third successive league game without a win and with the Merseyside club beating Fulham the previous day to move two points clear at the top, Macheda turned his marker inside the box before curling in the winner in the third minute of injury time.
Pandemonium. What a goal to score on your debut.
The 17-year-old was the match winner for United once again the following week at the Stadium of Light when Michael Carrick’s shot deflected off Macheda 46 seconds after coming on as a sub and past a despairing Craig Gordon.
In recognition of his performances in the Under-18s, the reserve and first team during the 2008/09 season, Macheda was named the Jimmy Murphy Academy Player of the Year award and in 2010, Ferguson stated that the striker was the club’s most natural goalscorer.
However, Macheda only managed to score twice more for United as he failed to fulfil the potential that promised so much for over 70,000 plus Reds as they left Old Trafford five years ago.
In a cruel way, his debut goal was the downfall of his career. He set the bar of expectation so high on himself from such a young age and wasn’t able to deliver on those promises which is why his career at United dwindled out.
All of this has happened to Macheda but he is still only 22 and has his whole career ahead of him, so we wish him the best of luck wherever he goes.