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Sir Alex Ferguson convinced Man Utd star to join club with one sentence that 'stayed with' him

Sir Alex Ferguson convinced Man Utd star to join club with one sentence that 'stayed with' him

Ferguson made a statement that stuck with the player after their first meeting at Carrington.

Former Manchester United midfielder Andreas Pereira has revealed how his first ever meeting with legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson left him desperate to join the Premier League club.

Pereira, 28, first signed for United in 2011 after being scouted while playing in a tournament for Dutch club PSV Eindhoven.

At the time, the Brazilian was wanted by several top clubs in Europe.

In an effort to convince him to join their academy, United invited Pereira to the club's Carrington training ground, where he met with Ferguson.

The Brazil international has now spoken about his time at Old Trafford and how Ferguson's first words to him were key to convincing him to join the Red Devils.

"They sent a scout and said, 'We're interested' and at the time I had a lot of interest from other clubs. But I had always supported United so I was like 'I want to go to United. It was fast," Pereira said on Rio Ferdinand's FIVE podcast.

"When I went to the training ground, they didn't even say you are going to meet Fergie or anyone. I remember walking in Carrington, and I was like 'I want to come'. It was an amazing complex.

"Then I was told, 'someone wants to meet you' and it was Fergie. I just remember him standing in front and I could not believe it. My dad did not know what to do. First, he said something and I did not understand it because his English is different.

"And then after that, he said, 'There is always room for a Brazilian on my team'.

"That stuck with me, and I did not even want to go home I just wanted to stay there straight away."

Pereira would go on to spend 11 years at United after their first meeting with Ferguson.

He graduated from the club's academy in 2014, making his senior debut in a League Cup defeat to Milton Keynes Dons.

But he would find first team opportunities hard to come by, making just 75 appearances for the senior side before eventually leaving to join Fulham on a permanent deal in 2022 after loan spells at Granada, Valencia, Lazio and Flamengo.

Pereira spent 11 years at Manchester United (Image: Getty)
Pereira spent 11 years at Manchester United (Image: Getty)

"It's been a long journey. Talent-wise and skills always came easy for me. To be hard working I always remember Warren Joyce in the reserves getting on my case. I had to run and tackle and smash people and I was like, 'What is this'," he added.

"So at 16 years old, I was like just playing with the ball, doing skills and whatever. Then at United, you have to smash people. I called my Dad and said 'I think I've made a mistake'. I spoke with Warren Joyce and he said, 'You have to practise every day'.

"I'll never forget my first session with the first team, Anderson came to me and said, 'They're going to kick you, but don't say nothing, stand up and try to kick them back'. First tackle, [Paul] Scholesy smashed me. I didn't say anything, just stood up.

"After Covid, I wanted to play. I was going crazy, I wanted to play in the Premier League and show I was good enough. I was close to joining Everton, suddenly my father called me and said, 'You've never played in Brazil'. The president of Flamengo called and said, 'If you want to come you can come.'"

Pereira is now thriving at Fulham and has made 40 appearances this season, scoring three times and providing nine assists in all competitions.

Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson, Andreas Pereira, Premier League, Transfers, Football