Federico Macheda: Alex Ferguson called me up last year

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“But if I could go back, I wouldn’t swap. I wouldn’t change that moment. Maybe it came too soon, but it’s something that every United fan will remember.”

Federico Macheda is something of a cult hero under Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United.

Macheda scored the winning goal on his debut in a 3-2 win over Aston Villa, a victory that set United on their way to another league title.

Subsequently, he also scored away to Sunderland a week later.

Federico Macheda

However, Macheda failed to live up to that promised and has admitted that it didn’t quite work out for him at Old Trafford.

The 29-year-old was sent out on loan to Sampdoria, after two years with United, but never reached the heights of those first couple of appearances.

“Those six months marred my career because they tried to kill me as a footballer, Macheda told the Daily Mail when asked about that loan spell.

“I started to doubt myself a little bit. We were fighting relegation and being attacked by people.

“They thought because I was from Manchester United I was going to save them, but I wasn’t ready.

“I was still a young guy. It wasn’t working and I wasn’t the one to make it work.”

Career

The striker would spend time at Queens Park Rangers, Stuttgart, Doncaster and Birmingham before leaving for Cardiff in 2014.

He left Cardiff for two more years in Italy before finding his feet with Panathinaikos in Grece.

A record of 30 goals in 80 games for the Greek outfit is a very respectable return and Macheda knows how tough it has been for him to start scoring again.

“It hasn’t been as good as I had hoped but I’ve learned a lot.

“I’ve overcome a lot of things in my career. Of course, I wish it could have gone another way, with the way it started and the way it was going.

“But if I could go back, I wouldn’t swap. I wouldn’t change that moment. Maybe it came too soon, but it’s something that every United fan will remember.”

“I was working in an amazing team and I feel I let myself down. The whole picture, not just one thing.

“The way of playing, looking after my body, my life. The way of thinking, because when you don’t play you have to fight and I was finding excuses.

“I had the wrong reaction and I wasn’t working as hard as I should have done.

“When you’re young, you don’t understand many things. If I had the mentality I have now, things could have been much different for me.”

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