Flying winger Andrei Kanchelskis signed for Manchester United on this day – 26 March – in 1991.
He was an extremely popular figure at Old Trafford and played a key role in the club’s success in the early 90s. The official monthly magazine, Inside United, caught up with him recently to run the rule over his Reds career...
It was not a shock but, of course, it was a very big thing for me because United are such a huge club and Old Trafford is such a famous stadium. I knew United were a good club with great supporters but it was only the second time I had been in England. It was a different mentality and I was away from my friends and what I was used to. It was a big step for me but I must say thanks to everyone at the club and the great supporters as it was a good time and I had four very good years there.
I think it was against Crystal Palace and we lost 3-0. We left a lot of players out because we were playing in the European Cup Winners' Cup final in Rotterdam against Barcelona, which we won 2-1. So some serious players were rested and did not play with some Reserves featuring instead. It was difficult for me in my first game, playing different football and trying to understand it. I was a little bit sulky that we lost.
There are too many games to have favourites but, if I think about them all, I have to pick the 5-0 win against Manchester City. It was a great atmosphere at Old Trafford for a derby game and we played well. However, I watched the match again some months ago and City did not play badly for the first 20 minutes and were still in the game until the second goal went in. After that, City lost control and their players started to make too many mistakes, causing problems in their defence. We took full advantage. A derby and a hat-trick – my first hat-trick in my life – so it’s a great game that I remember.
I think my best was when we played against QPR in the 1992/93 season. Peter Schmeichel made the goal for me and, two touches after he threw the ball, we scored. It was one of my favourites as there were not too many touches from one end to the other. I took one touch, a second touch and then I’m through and score. It was an unbelievable goal.