Pellistri's Champions League change

Tuesday 03 October 2023 12:30

Facundo Pellistri has been reflecting on the "unbelievable" change in his relationship with the UEFA Champions League - from TV viewer to participant - ahead of Manchester United's first home group game.

The 21-year-old made his debut in the competition last week, when the Reds were narrowly defeated 4-3 by Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena, and he could be involved again this evening when Galatasaray visit Old Trafford. 

But Pellistri insists his memories of merely watching such fixtures from the family home in Uruguay are still very fresh.

"I remember it a lot, coming quickly from school to see the games," he told us.

Training Highlights: Preparing for Galatasaray Video

Training Highlights: Preparing for Galatasaray

Training Highlights | The first section of United's pre-match session was open to the media. Catch up on it here...

"Sometimes the games were at five o'clock or more or less in the hours between finishing school and getting home. 

"I remember sitting with my dad and watching the important matches, the quarter-finals and semi-finals, and Manchester United were there almost every time. I remember watching Wayne Rooney and Old Trafford on TV a lot. 

"I never thought of playing [in the Champions League] then. But now I have the opportunity and last week I played in it.

"In a couple of years, to go from sitting with your dad and watching the games to now playing in them with my dad watching in the crowd, that is unbelievable."

Pellistri says standing on the pitch in Germany last week, as the familiar Champions League theme was played over the PA system, really brought home the exciting transition he has made.

"I remember hearing the song of the Champions League a lot when I was watching it on the TV as a child," he reflected.

"That song is the same song now, it didn't change. So it was incredible to hear it while I was on the pitch last week.

"Now I'm looking forward to hearing that song at Old Trafford with the whole crowd on Tuesday night."

How to follow United v Galatasaray


The Reds welcome the Turkish club to Old Trafford for the first time in over a decade.


To celebrate our first home match in the Champions League this season, we've released a free digital collectible for United v Galatasaray.

To get yours and be in with a chance of winning a player-signed shirt, click the image below or head straight to and follow these three simple steps:

Let's start with a visit to, where you click Sign In, Use Social and finally your choice of Google, Facebook or Twitter account.

Signing in with your chosen social account will create an online wallet where you can store all the matchday tokens you claim throughout 2023/24. How many will you have by the end of the season? Why not challenge your friends and see who can build the biggest collection.

Click this button on the homepage to find the latest token, and again on the next page to unlock and add it to your digital wallet. Then you're done!

The window to claim your free digital collectible for the Galatasaray game closes at kick-off tonight (20:00 BST, Tuesday).


Manchester United’s officially licensed Digital Collectibles, powered by Tezos and brought to you by Tezos ecosystem companies, are a form of cryptoasset. Manchester United Digital Collectibles have been issued as a collectible item and not an investment. However, it is important that you keep in mind that: 

1. Manchester United Digital Collectibles are not currently regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK and are not covered by the Financial Ombudsman Service or the Financial Services Compensation Scheme;  

2. the value of Manchester United Digital Collectibles is variable and can go down as well as up; 

3. tax may be payable on any profits made on the sale of Manchester United Digital Collectibles; and

4. for those Digital Collectibles which require purchase, the decision to purchase Manchester United Digital Collectibles requires careful thought and consideration. You should seek independent financial advice if you are in doubt. You should not purchase any cryptoassets if you do not fully understand the nature of your purchase and the risks involved.

More on United v Galatasaray: