Former Manchester United goalkeeper, Sergio Romero, has offered some interesting thoughts in an interview granted with La Nacion.
Among other things, Romero talks about his time at Old Trafford and provided illuminating insights on his relationship with characters such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Wayne Rooney, Louis Van Gaal and Jose Mourinho.
On the latter two, Romero describes them as “spectacular.”
It was Van Gaal who brought the Argentine to Old Trafford – and Romero has fond memories of him. As reported in the La Nacion article, he said:
“I had the opportunity to get to know both sides of Van Gaal because he is not just a coach. I was lucky enough to meet the man, and he is a great person.”
With Van Gaal moving on in 2016, after two seasons in charge, Romero and the rest of the United squad welcomed Jose Mourinho as their new gaffer.
And on his relationship with Mourinho, Romero is equally positive, saying, “I have a fluid relationship with José. When I signed for Boca he wrote to me, and every time I save penalties he writes to me.”
Despite being firmly behind David de Gea in the pecking order throughout his Old Trafford stay, Romero speaks only in glowing terms of the club and of his memories of the players.
When asked how he managed to deal with the pressure that comes with being in a dressing room with players of big profiles and egos, Romero shrugs it off.
According to him, egos were never a problem despite occasional clashes, and despite the egos, players like Wayne Rooney and Michael Carrick were welcoming and helped him every day.
But when asked about Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Romero takes on a somewhat different tone:
“He, behind closed doors, was the same one they saw outside. Those things that he said in the press, that he was God on Earth and things like that, it was the same in the locker room. It was like that 24 hours a day and in the group, all the time, he made you see that he was there.”
“But with us, with the Argentines, with Marquitos [Rojo], he had something different. Zlatan knew that Argentines were one way and Brazilians another. He knew that if he bit us a little, he would pick us up and we wouldn’t fall. If he looked for us, he found that competitive side of us.”
Romero further revealed that while he and Marcos Rojo could handle Ibrahimovic’s aggression, many others in the squad were not quite able to respond effectively, potentially confirming that Man United have had a character problem for years.
In his words:
“Because many times it happened that he would say something and they would not respond, on the contrary, many would get hurt and the training would begin to fall apart. Then he looked for Marquitos, me, the Serbian Nemanja Matić, people of character, of personality, so that we could appear and the training was going up again.”
The interview is a long one and touches on many subjects. However, United fans will appreciate the added context and insight that these comments can provide about what really goes on behind the scenes at Old Trafford.