Goal of the Day: A is for... Anderson
For the next few weeks, our ‘Goal of the Day’ series will be run on an A-Z theme – and our selection for the letter ‘A’ is Anderson.
The Brazilian midfielder made 181 appearances for the Reds between 2007 and 2014, scoring nine goals, including a memorable double against Schalke in the 2011 Champions League semi-final second leg.
You can watch the first of those strikes below…
SIGNING FOR UNITED
Anderson completed his move to United from Porto in the summer of 2007, becoming just the second Brazilian to play for the club after Kleberson. Aged just 19, but already a full international, Anderson flourished in his first season at Old Trafford, making 38 appearances in all competitions as the Reds clinched a Premier League and Champions League double.
Entering the field of play in the final minute of extra-time, the Brazilian was tasked with taking our sixth penalty in the shoot-out against Chelsea in the 2008 Champions League final. Had he missed, the Blues would have been in pole position to take home the trophy, but the 20-year-old showed nerves of steel, blasting the ball down the middle with virtually his only kick of the contest, to help the Reds on our way to European Cup number three.
Our midfield Brazilian went on to claim a further three Premier League titles with United, as well as appearing in the 2009 Champions League final defeat to Barcelona. Although injuries interrupted the latter years of his spell in Manchester, he did manage to improve his goalscoring touch, netting eight times between 2010-12 (after taking 78 appearances to get off the mark).
After a brief spell on loan at Fiorentina in 2013/14, Anderson returned to his home country in 2015, joining Internacional. A stint back in Europe with Turkish club Adana Demirspor followed, but Anderson hung up his boots in September of last year, aged just 31.
WHAT THEY SAID
“We've been delighted with him and he has proven himself to be a true central midfield player. He can tackle, he's lightning quick, he's brave and he can pass the ball. What he's got to prove is his goalscoring ability, because that's something that Scholesy has always given us.” (Sir Alex Ferguson, in 2007)
“He was in Porto for like a year, so I didn’t know so much about Anderson. I knew he was a great player as, as soon as he arrived at Porto, he was making a difference in the league.” (Nani, to UTD Podcast)