Onana's Cup final message for United fans

Friday 24 May 2024 13:00

On 10 June 2023, Andre Onana was in goal for Internazionale, as the Italian giants were defeated by Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League final.

This defeat came one week after Manchester United were narrowly beaten by the same opponents, our local rivals, in the FA Cup final at Wembley.

Almost 12 months on, Andre is set to pull on a United jersey under the Wembley arch, as we look to right the wrongs of 2023 and lift the historic trophy for the first time since 2016.

Speaking to club media ahead of the huge fixture, our no.24 expressed his desire to get revenge on City and shared a heartfelt message to our supporters, as we look to end the 2023/24 campaign on a high...

Onana: The sun will shine on us again Video

Onana: The sun will shine on us again

MUST WATCH | Andre Onana delivers an impassioned message for our fans ahead of Saturday's FA Cup final...

Andre, this is your fourth domestic cup final in five years, having previously won trophies with Ajax and Inter. What is it that you like so much about knockout football?
"What do I like? Because it's a direct game. You know, if you win, you are the winner and then everything is about getting the result and to play a final is always something special because at the end of the day, we only remember who won, you know, in the history most of the time. They only remember the winner. So we have to make sure we are the winner on Saturday."

And you've also reached the Europa League final and the Champions League final. That's an enormous amount of experience for you. How important is that for you personally going into this game at Wembley?
"You know, it's always helpful to have this experience, especially playing this kind of game. But like I always say, as a player, you train every day. You wake up every day and you train hard every day to play this kind of game. So we go there with the winning mentality. We know it's a very good team. We are used to facing them. We will go there to win, to play our game. It's not going to be easy, but we will be there to represent Manchester United."

In recent weeks we've started to see some of the players coming back, like Licha [Martinez], Rapha [Varane] and others. When it's at full strength, how good do you think this squad can become?
"We show when we have almost all our players back, we battle against the best teams. Against Arsenal, Liverpool and City we showed it. So I think when everyone is back, it's completely different. Of course, I don't want to use that as an excuse because wearing this shirt means [a lot]. All the people who are wearing the shirt, that means they can they have the ability to represent this club. But we have important players who have been injured for almost the whole season, and it's difficult for the team, not only the team, for the club, for the squad, for the physios, for the supporters, because they are used to seeing all the players fit. And at the moment we have to deal with that difficulty because everything in life is temporary. It will pass. Most of them, they are already coming back. It's already positive for us. So we are thinking about the final and it's nice to to see them on the pitch to train with them. Rapha is there. They are all smiling. For us, it's just a big sign."

Is there a responsibility for the likes of you, Casemiro and Rapha to help the younger lads who maybe haven't played in such big games?
"One hundred per cent. That's why we are here. The club brought us here to take this kind of responsibility. We are the biggest guys here. So we have to take the lead and it's what we're going to do on Saturday. Of course, it's not going to be easy, like I said already, you play against maybe the best team in the world at the moment. And yeah, we are Manchester United. So it doesn't matter against who you play, you must win. So we'll go there trying to win with positive thinking, strong belief and then play our game, because we have such good players and such young players as well with amazing talent. And we know if we have a good mix, it will be beneficial for Manchester United."

Last season with Inter ended for you with a final against City that didn't go so well. But personally, how determined are you to make it right this time?
"Well, that is what is nice in football, because you always have an opportunity to make your revenge. We all know how important it is for us, so our minds at the moment are on Wembley, so we'll go there full of energy and a lot of determination only to win."

The FA Cup has been very eventful for us this year, particularly against Liverpool in the quarter-final and Coventry in the semi-final. Looking at the Coventry game, you made some crucial saves. There was an amazing tip onto the bar in extra-time, and you saved a penalty. It was a crazy game but for you it must have been a good experience?
"One hundred per cent. You learn from every game at the end of the day. But like I say, the most important thing is the victory. You know, it was a nice one against Liverpool. Like I said before, we have good players. We have those who score important goals for us. We have Garnacho. You can see we have good young players, so we just have to guide them well. We, as leaders, have to show them the way. What is best for the team, for the club. And against Coventry was a crazy game, but in the end, it's about winning. That's why we went to Wembley. No matter how the game went. In the end we are in the final. But like I say, the final is about winning. Take the trophy and bring it to Manchester and not City. United."

Onana: There's always a chance for revenge Video

Onana: There's always a chance for revenge

As you'll see here, Andre Onana cannot wait for our FA Cup final against Manchester City...

Ideally, the semi-final would have been much calmer, it wouldn't have been quite so terrifying. But having won it the way that we did, is that a valuable experience to have gone through? Because, for instance, if it goes to penalties on Saturday, we've been there before and done it?
"One hundred per cent. We have good penalty shooters. You know, I'm very positive about all the players, all my team-mates. So if we are there, I know I trust them. They trust me. So it will be nice. Obviously, if we can kill the game before we arrive to that stage, it will be better for us. But in case we are arriving there, I will be ready. I was born ready."

So beyond the final then, should people be expecting big things of United next season?
"One hundred per cent. You know, I think I would take this personally and I think this is maybe my worst season. And when I see the quality we have here, the future is just nice, you know, you can already feel it. It will be better than what we did this season, and I'm one hundred per cent sure it will be much, much, much better. Way better than this season. We just have to be patient, calm, get all the players back, stay together and make the right choice."

And just a word quickly on Diogo [Dalot], who has been named Players' Player of the Year this week. Why do you think he won it and what's he been like to play with for you?
"He's a positive player. He's very positive. He's one of the players who play with a lot of energy, a lot of personality. It's just nice to play with this guy. It doesn't matter how things are going, he is positive. We go, we go, we go. It doesn't matter. We just fight. We fight together. We work together. We lose together and we win together. For me as a goalkeeper, having Diogo on my side is just the gift of God."

Dalot named Players' Player of the Year


The ever-improving, ever-consistent full-back has earned his team-mates' recognition after a solid 2023/24.

And finally, you've already come out this week and said that we all want to win the cup for the fans, but they also have a part to play, don't they? How much of a difference do you think United supporters can make at Wembley?
"Listen, about United supporters, I have so many things to say, but so many good things because this season had been very difficult, very difficult for all of us. For me, my start was difficult, but they were always behind us, always behind me and it was incredible. I remember one game against Palace. It was not our best game. I think it was maybe our worst game of the season, but they were there. Not only that game, these guys, they are behind us in the good and the bad moments. And sometimes we feel like, even if it's difficult, we know we have our soldiers behind us. So on Saturday, I would love to promise them we're going to win. I would love to say we're going to win, but what I can promise Saturday, we're going to die on that pitch because we know they're going to stay behind us. This motivation is extra motivation for us. So when we will go, they're going to give everything, everything.

"For me, I have played for good clubs, many clubs. What we faced this season was difficult. But the only positivity I will say about this season is our fans because they were always with us. Bad moments, bad, bad games, difficult situations, they were always there and I hope, I hope it will come, but I know also when we're going to win, we're going to have that joy together. But not only for the FA Cup, you know, because everything in life is temporary and better days, better days will come. Now we are living in Manchester. It's raining a lot but it will not rain forever. Sun will shine and when you shine, I hope we're going to be there together. And thinking about those moments we pass, those difficult times we pass together. It's just going to be like 'we did it' - and we did it together."