"I could have gone elsewhere, but if a club like Manchester United wants you, then, for me, it’s a quick decision because I think it’s the most beautiful club in the world. Everyone wants to play for Manchester United."
- Alex Büttner
Did you come from a tough area?
Yes, it’s true [Kleintjeskamp, outside Arnhem]. It is a tough place but it’s nice as well and my father always watched over me. If I did something wrong, he would come to see me. But I spent a lot of the time on the street. Almost every day, I would be on the street playing football and doing some things with friends. He always made sure he watched me and I think that was good.
What was the football like on the streets?
I played against my brothers and my friends. They are really big and, if you see them now, they are like two metres tall. I think that made me strong. I didn’t want to lose to them on the street. We always played on the field and out on the street and we had a stone we used to put it like this [motions down by his feet]. Somebody has to put it on with the ball and, if it falls off, you go out so everybody fights for the ball and you don’t want to lose.
You must be close to your brother – you share a Twitter account…
I have got Twitter with my brother, yes. The Büttner brothers. It’s because he wants to be on Twitter, and me too, so we do it together and he likes it.
The fans appreciate your character - did you know you were their Man of the Match in the game at Sunderland?
Of course. I’d never played at Sunderland before and it’s nice to play in such a big stadium. It’s good that the fans like me, but I want to fight all the time. I want to win every game and I think that this is a good attitude.
And it was some debut against Wigan...
It was beautiful. I could have scored against Sunderland too, but I was unlucky. My first job is to be defensively good, though, and I think I am doing that very well now. I learned a lot last season.
The modern-day full-back also has to get forward a lot as well, though…
Sometimes I talk with Pat because the field at Old Trafford is like an aircraft hangar. It’s so big! We have to be powerful, us full-backs, as we have to help the strikers, but track back too. He helped me so much this season. He’s talked a lot with me and it’s good that he’s done that.