Manchester United's young goalkeeper Joel Castro Pereira discusses life with the Reds in an exclusive interview with ManUtd.com...
How did the move to United come about?
I remember I had a game with the Switzerland national team against Italy. It was one of my best games and, just after the end, I went back to the hotel with my team-mates where I received a phone call from my agent. He just told me somebody from Manchester United was interested in me. So I said: ‘Yeah, okay’ but did not talk any more about it or think that one day I could play for them. Time went on and then the agent called me again to say United were really interested in me. They came to watch me and I did well so they invited me to come over for one week. I could not say ‘no’ to the trial.
Did you get to meet any famous faces during your stay?
Sir Alex Ferguson was in the canteen and it was unbelievable. When I saw all the first-team players, I was overawed and couldn’t believe it. I’d moved from Switzerland to Manchester and to see all the star players was really good. My dad was here with me and was really happy that he got to meet some of them so it was really enjoyable. I followed United because my family and I all loved Cristiano Ronaldo. He had his best years at the club so I used to watch him and, of course, watch the club as well.
Did you appreciate playing in some different competitions last term?
It was really good. We’re young and all want to play as many games as we can in the different competitions to get experience. It was really good playing in the FA Youth Cup and I enjoyed the UEFA Youth League as well. It was great travelling with the first team and then I got some games with the Under-21s. I really enjoy it and hopefully I will get some more matches.
How did you find the step up to Under-21 football?
It’s a good challenge, I would say, because we all want to play in the first team. So it’s really good to move up to the Under-21s and I have to show them I can do it.
Is there something of a goalkeepers' union at the club?
David De Gea is really good. I talk to the other goalkeepers and sometimes we go to a restaurant as well as training together. They are really nice guys and all want to help you. They have been young as well so I think they help all the players out and try to do the same with us.