Marcos Rojo.

United defender Rojo has two clear aims for 2019

Manchester United defender Marcos Rojo has revealed two clear aims for 2019, following a frustrating start to the season both on a personal and collective level.

The Argentina international enjoyed a positive summer after playing at the World Cup in Russia and scoring a crucial winning goal against Nigeria – which he describes as his highlight of 2018.

However, an injury then prevented him from appearing for the Reds until the recent Premier League fixture against Arsenal on 5 December and, by that time, he had missed 20 club matches. 

In an exclusive interview that will appear in Sunday’s edition of United Review, the official matchday programme at Old Trafford, Rojo remains positive and looks forward to the New Year with optimism.

Asked to outline his ambitions for 2019, Marcos says:
“On a personal level, I want to get back to my best level of fitness, to compete at the highest level once again so I can play in as many matches as possible. For the team, to turn around this current situation we are in, which isn’t too great. 

“I hope next year we can be a little bit more consistent and that things go better for us. I hope that as a squad we can perform at our highest level and get as far as we can in every trophy we play for.”
Marcos Rojo in Sunday's United Review says

"If you see me off the field, I’m the most laid back guy – laughing, joking all day and having fun but, as soon as I cross that white line, I don’t know what happens! I’m a different person."

Going into greater detail on his recent injury frustrations, Rojo admits it has been a difficult period in his career but states his strong mentality has seen him come through the other side. 

“The worst thing about it is that it is the second year running I have not been able to have a full pre-season with my team-mates. I’ve not been fit enough to start playing at the beginning of the season and immediately that puts you on the back foot, at a disadvantage to the rest of the squad. 

“You don’t get the chance to start the season and get a full pre-season in order to be totally fit, which is important. That’s unfortunate for me but I didn’t have any choice in the matter. These kind of things can happen in football. That’s the game of football. It can happen to anyone and this time it happened to be me.

“It’s all about being strong mentally. I am strong mentally and it is now about turning it around and starting again. I’m always going to fight hard to earn my place in the side.”

Speaking of strength, Rojo has become popular among supports for his robust style of defending and the teak-tough Argentinian admits he enjoys a physical challenge when the situation calls for one.

“It’s what I am like,” Marcos tells United Review. “That’s the way I play my football. That is me on the field. If you see me off the field, I’m the most laid back guy – laughing, joking all day and having fun but, as soon as I cross that white line and go on to the field, I don’t know what happens! I’m a different person. Something happens inside me and I change. If the ball is there to be won, I go for it and give it everything I’ve got. Individual battles, individual duels, I am always up for them.”

Read the full interview with Marcos Rojo in Sunday's edition of United Review.