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Juventus centre-back Merih Demiral has reflected on his remarkable performance away against Manchester United at Old Trafford in the group stage of the 21/22 Champions League campaign whilst on loan at Atalanta.
The Turkish defender spoke fondly of his dreams to play at the Theatre of Dreams, dreams which came true when the Italian side travelled to Manchester in October 2021 for a 3-2 defeat.
The 3-2 win for Manchester United, courtesy of goals from Marcus Rashford, Harry Maguire and a late winner from Cristiano Ronaldo, saw Demiral announce himself in Manchester through a 28th minute header.
As a Champions League encounter, the match was already an experience that the players involved would remember, with Demiral’s outstanding performance only further cementing this game in his own memory.
Recounting the game, Demiral detailed that “Manchester United match was like a dream for me.” Even in his dreams, the prospect of scoring in front of Old Trafford’s West Stand is something that would have felt more like a stretch than an aim.
Demiral was more than complimentary about the spectacle of playing in the Theatre of Dreams when speaking on the clash between the English and Italian giants respectively.
“They call that stadium the Theatre of Dreams. So it was a dream for me too.” Demiral followed this up by saying, “I played in that stadium I dreamed of since I was a kid.”
The 28-year-old was not only living the dream of himself, but of people all over the world with football close to their heart.
Demiral concludes by saying, “It was an unforgettable moment for me to play a very good match there.” United fans will hope that the 22-23 season will provide more unforgettable moments at Old Trafford, but for the players in red rather than their opposition.
Following this “unforgettable moment” against Manchester United, it is no surprise that Demiral has been the focus of transfer speculation, with Atalanta yet to activate the option to buy clause following his loan through the 21-22 season.
Newcastle have emerged as a potential suitor after early rumours surrounding interest from Manchester United appear to have amounted to little in the way of solid activity. Another option is of course Demiral remaining at Juventus as they attempt to better their 4th place finish in Serie A.
With a reputation as a seasoned Serie A defender that is coming to the forefront of his peak years, it would be no surprise if Demiral becomes an even more notable name in the seasons to come.
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