Marcos Rojo has shed light on his hilarious reaction to the news that Alexis Sanchez would be joining Manchester United in January.
The Chilean arrived over the transfer window in a straight swap deal that saw Henrikh Mkhitaryan head the other way.
He has so far struggled to enmesh himself in the fabric of Jose Mourinho‘s attacking lineup since arriving, managing just one goal and two assists.
But Rojo, speaking in an interview this week, has insisted that Sanchez is a top player, and gave an interesting anecdote about the time he realised the forward would be a Man United player.
“Alexis is a great player, but we didn’t used to get on out on the pitch,” he said.
“Every time we came up against one another, whether in internationals or when United played Arsenal, I would give him a good kicking — and he did the same to me.
“On top of that I used to insult him, and he would reply in kind. So when I learned that he was going to join United I said: ‘Oh, f****** hell, no, now this guy’s going to be here’.”
“We were in Dubai at the time Alexis’ transfer went through. I was calmly sitting in a chair watching a film when Jose Mourinho came up and gave me a tap on the shoulder.
“He told me: ‘We’re going to sign Alexis. I don’t want you smashing him up in training tomorrow’. He burst out laughing.”
You might think that the English and Scots hate each other. But any rivalry between the two nations – kicked off by a fight over some book in the 17th century – is mainly conveyed in lighthearted, mocking terms.
Chileans and Argentines, however, really do not get along. They hate each other. The tension between the two nations is raw, fleshed out over the 20th century by various American policies.
But one thing the two players do have in common, without doubt, is a ruthless fighting spirit. And while teething problems and injuries have respectively blighted Sanchez and Rojo’s recent exploits at Old Trafford, supporters will hope to see the pair restoring a sense of fight to United’s performances following the international break.