Home » Federico Macheda talks managers, team mates and that goal in Rio interview

Federico Macheda talks managers, team mates and that goal in Rio interview

Italian striker recalls famous goal and United career

by Paul Speller

Federico Macheda has spoken about his time at Manchester United, touching on various topics over the course of his career in England, including Sir Alex Ferguson and Cristiano Ronaldo.

In an interview with former United Skipper Rio Ferdinand on his Vibe with Five show, the Italian spoke candidly about the ups and downs of his footballing life.

After joining The Red Devils from his home town club of Lazio in Rome aged just 16, Macheda recalled how it felt to be scouted by United.

Describing the approach as “feeling weird”, and that he “didn’t believe it”, Macheda tells how he was promised a better life in Manchester for himself and his parents, and so the whole family made the move in 2008.

Macheda made an immediate impact for United and despite being just 16 years of age, he was thrown into the U18’s from the start, scoring on his debut and finishing the season as top goalscorer.

But after spending two seasons in United’s world famous youth set up, the striker became frustrated with the way of life in Manchester, feeling that his family were no better off after the move, as they had been promised.

And when asked about his former Reds boss, who gave him his chance in a United shirt, Macheda told of how he spoke to Ferguson for the first time.

By now 18 and knocking on the first team door, Macheda was intent on moving back to Italy. It took an intervention from Ferguson himself, promising to “fix the situation”, for the Italian to settle down and commit his future to United.

Armed with reassurances from Sir Alex that things will be better if he stays in Manchester,”Kiko” continued to impress for United reserves and Italian national team at youth level.

And his performances were rewarded soon after, being named as a substitute for United’s home match against Aston Villa in April 2008.

With Fergie’s men trailing 2-1, the boss stayed true to form, trusting youth to represent United and show why the youth system was the best in the world, and so he introduced the young Macheda late in the game before Cristiano Ronaldo grabbed an equaliser.

As the game entered the 93rd minute, the young Italian wrote his name into Manchester United history, with a sharp turn and shot from just inside the box. The Stretford End watched in awe as the curling shot gave the Red Devils a dramatic win.

And as Macheda wheeled away to seek out his father, celebrating the victory together as the crowd around them erupted, it seemingly justified the decision not to head back to Italy just a few months earlier.

Federico spent the next two seasons on the fringe of the United team, despite his debut heroics, and after a spell out injured, finally did return home to Italy, joining Sampdoria on loan.

Spending the next 3 seasons on loan at 6 different clubs before joining Cardiff, Macheda left England permanently in 2016, 7 years after that wonder goal at Old Trafford.

And in the interview the now 31 year old also tells of how he always found Ronaldo kind, describing the Portuguese as “out of this world”.

Despite his many regrets and missed opportunities at reaching the very top, fortunes changed for Macheda in 2018 when he left Serie B side Novara and signed for Panathinaikos.

Macheda scored plenty of goals in his four seasons there, describing how he fell back on love with football at the Greek giants, and is now plying his trade in the Turkish league.

But despite only appearing for United 19 times, and without ever representing Italy at full level, Kiko recalls his time there, as well as the club, fondly.. and will always be remembered for that dramatic Old Trafford winner.

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