grateful for their support. But even before I signed, Manchester United was huge, definitely one of the biggest clubs. And it’s not only in South America. In the USA in pre-season, you could see how many people came to watch the team and look for autographs outside the hotel. I read something recently that said the club had something like 330 million fans in the world. That’s amazing. I’ve also seen some footage from when United went to Asia in 2009. The love that people have for this club is spread all over the world and it’s an honour to play here. If you say the words ‘Manchester United’ in any part of the world, people know who you’re talking about.
You watched United play Bayern Munich at Old Trafford on your first trip to Manchester. What do you remember about that experience, and what were your first impressions of the stadium and the fans?
It was an unbelievable feeling. I remember the atmosphere around the ground. It was such an important game and you could really feel it – the fans were great. I couldn’t believe I was sitting inside Old Trafford, the Theatre of Dreams. This was something I had only ever seen on television, only dreamt of being inside. I had heard so many people talk about Old Trafford, but to be there was something very special. It made me so excited to know that in three or four months I might be playing there.
You were visibly upset after the Champions League final against Barcelona. Is that the biggest disappointment you’ve had in your career so far?
No, not at all. Far from it. It was difficult, sure, but if you ask every person in the world if they want to play in a Champions League final for one of the biggest clubs, then I think they would say yes. It was a fantastic experience in my first season at the club. There are more positives than negatives from a personal point of view. The one big negative, of course, is that we lost the match. At least I know that we have a strong team and we have every chance of reaching