Manchester, April 20 (IANS) Former Argentina midfielder Juan Sebastian Veron had mixed success during his time at Manchester United, but wishes that he had spent the rest of his playing days under then manager Alex Ferguson.
Veron was signed by Ferguson from Italian giants Lazio in 2001 for 28 million pounds. He played 82 matches for Manchester United before being sold to Chelsea for 15 million pounds in the summer of 2004.
Veron spent the 2005-06 season with Italian side Inter Milan before returning to Argentina and his childhood club Estudiantes. But the 41-year-old — whose father played for Estudiantes against Manchester United in the 1968 Intercontinental Cup final — admitted that his days at Old Trafford were among the best of his career.
“I knew United was a great club, my dad had told me about (George) Best, (Denis) Law and (Bobby) Charlton from when he played against them in the ’68 Intercontinental Cup final. I saw the Estudiantes crest (in the Old Trafford museum) with my dad’s face as a cartoon. That was emotional. I felt like I was walking in the footsteps of my father,” Veron was quoted as saying by the Manchester Evening News.
“If I had one frustration it was that I had highs and lows every season. I was never at a high level throughout the whole season. But I should have stayed at United and not left,” he added.
The former Argentina playmaker was impressive during his initial days in the English Premier League (EPL), but gradually found it tough to maintain consistency and struggled with injury and form during his three years at Old Trafford.
Veron admitted that he fould it difficult to adjust to the English style, which is very different to what he was used to in Italy.
“I feel I started well in the league games. The pre-season preparation was very different to Italy, where we’d do all the running pre-season. In England, there was running every day.
“I liked the atmosphere in training and the lads were great, people like Ryan Giggs was kind to me. But I found the football hard to adjust to and there were so many games throughout the year,” he said.
“Games were intense for 90 minutes. In Italy, it was more tactical and about closing down the games. In England, the games were more open, the ball came back and forward. It was more physical too.”