'If my career ended in that moment, I would've been on the pitch next to Ronaldo': Macheda recalls late winner for Manchester United
What's the story?
Cristiano Ronaldo's former Manchester United teammate Federico Macheda has recalled his iconic winning goal for the Red Devils against Aston Villa on April 2009 and fondly reminisced his celebration with the Portuguese ace.
In case you didn't know...
Manchester United famously squandered a one-goal lead against Aston Villa ten years ago, risking the loss of the Premier League title after they were 2-1 down with ten minutes to go.
Ronaldo came back with an equalizer but Sir Alex Ferguson was still looking at three points. A 19-year-old Macheda then netted a last-gasp winner, to cap one of the most spectacular debuts in the history of the game.
The goal set the path for a bright career for the young forward but it did not last long as his journey in football was marred by injury and a series of loan spells.
The heart of the matter
The Italian, who is currently playing for Superleague Greece club Panathinaikos, has reminisced the cinematic goal, telling ESPN, "My touches were good. I was pressing, defending and confident. Ronaldo scored. 2-2."
"I went to celebrate with Ronaldo. I wanted to hug him. I didn't have the confidence to smash his chest in celebration because I didn't know him that well, so I went to hug him because I thought it might never happen again."
He added, "If my career ended in that moment, then I would have been on the pitch next to Ronaldo."
Unlike Macheda, Ronaldo's career exploded after his departure from Old Trafford. The forward went on to win numerous titles with Real Madrid in Spain before leaving last year to pursue a fresh challenge with Juventus in the Serie A. The Italian giants have a crucial and much-anticipated Champions League quarter-final clash against Ajax on April 10.