Antony already among friends at United

Thursday 01 September 2022 11:00

Manchester United new boy Antony will quickly feel at home as he links up again with familiar faces at Carrington.

The Brazilian is team-mates with fellow Selecao stars Fred and Casemiro and, of course, is pals with Argentina international Lisandro Martinez, following their successful time together under Erik ten Hag at Ajax.

The strong South American contingent should help Antony feel comfortable in his new surroundings, once his move is finalised.

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Antony | The signing interview

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"Firstly, I'm really happy to meet the Brazilians here," he told club media during his exclusive signing interview. "I gave Fred a hug this morning and was in constant contact with Casemiro over the phone.

"I'm really happy to be reunited with them again from the national team, now we're here together. I hope to learn a lot from them.

"Fred's talked to me about the club, I hope to make history with them here at Manchester United and grow and develop alongside my two fellow Brazilians."

Casemiro, like Antony, honed his talents at Sao Paulo in their homeland, and are proud of their upbringing.

"Absolutely, we come from the same Sao Paulo youth team," he added. "We never played together because of the age difference but to be sharing a dressing room and pitch and playing alongside him now is really something special.

"I'm really happy that we've both come from the same place, the Sao Paulo youth set-up and, today, we're playing together at this great club. As we've said in messages to each other, we hope to write our names in the club's history."

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There may be fierce rivalry between Brazil and Argentina at international level, but Antony is clearly great friends with Martinez after enjoying their spell at Ajax together. The centre-back, who has made a good start to life in the Premier League, has been in touch while negotiations over the winger's transfer continued.

"Yes, he was constantly sending me messages as well," said the wide-man. "We spent two years together at Ajax. We developed a really strong friendship. I've got a lot of respect for him and his family, who I got to know as well.

"I'm glad we're back together again to make history. He messaged me today and yesterday. We're in constant contact, he's a great friend that I've made in football. Now we're back together and we've spoken about achieving great things together here.

"Martinez has his Argentinian style, we know it well. I love it and it motivates me to see him play. The way he competes, the way he plays he gives his heart and soul on the pitch. I have the same personality, he knows me well and knows what I'm like. I put my body on the line – blood, sweat and tears. If I need to leave the pitch really hurting no problem, it's my life, it's my job. Watching Martinez, I know him well, up close. He's a great player we can all see, people recognise this, Martinez is a craque."

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