Football clubs are always looking at novel ways to connect with their fans and Manchester United attempted to do just that by roping in midfielder Ander Herrera for an interview in which all the questions were posed by supporters.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) March 29, 2018
Arguably the most famous moment in the club’s storied history is their treble triumph in 1999 and Herrera revealed the iconic UEFA Champions League final between United and Bayern Munich, which the Red Devils won 2-1 thanks to two late goals, is his first memory of the Premier League giants.
“That was my first memory of United and what a memory. I remember the end of the game was incredible. The way they came back and they were against Bayern Munich, and maybe I watched United before, but my first memory is that one.”
While Herrera’s not an out-and-out goalscorer, he has been known to register the odd golazo and when asked which goal of his was his favourite, the Spaniard readily revealed, “Every goal for United is important and I’m very happy for that. But maybe the one that I scored in FA Cup against Yeovil Town away. Three seasons ago, I think (2015).”
Jersey numbers are very important in for today’s media-conscious midfielder and the fact that Herrera has 21 on his back had been a topic of debate among fans but the Spaniard divulged that there wasn’t any specific reason why he chose that particular number.
“No (reason). I used to wear No.8 when I was in Zaragoza in my first club. I was two seasons in La Liga, in the first division, and then I moved to Athletic Bilbao and I remember I had the 21, 23 and maybe 17 was free. I took 21, I spent three fantastic seasons at Athletic Bilbao, things went very good for me, so I just kept it.”
Herrera is among the few footballers who has his full name emblazoned across the back of his jersey and a fan asked why he followed that, to which Herrera responded, “Same reason, but also because in Zaragoza, my hometown, my club that I grew up, I used to be known as Ander, just Ander. So I had on my shirt, Ander, and when I moved to Bilbao, everyone used to name me more like Ander Herrera because in Bilbao it’s a Basque name, and there used to be more Anders, if you know what I mean, more people who are called Ander. So, to make the people differentiate between me and, for example, a team-mate that I used to have, Ander Iturraspe, I put Ander Herrera.”
Herrera, who had been injured, recently declared himself available for selection ahead of Swansea City’s visit. He’s expected to battle with Scott McTominay, Paul Pogba and Marouane Fellaini for a starting spot in Jose Mourinho’s XI as Serbian enforcer Nemanja Matic is a confirmed starter.
The likeable Spaniard even had a word of advice for the millions of budding footballers on hand:
“I think the understanding of the game (is the most important thing to have). I mean, you can have fantastic skills, you can have a fantastic shot, you can be very quick, the quickest. You have to realise when you have to shoot, when you have to pass, when you have to run or when you have to just stop the ball and let the team breathe, so the understanding of the game, for example like with Juan Mata. Juan is not the quickest, he doesn’t shoot the strongest, but he understands the game. He knows what to do in every moment, when he has to pass, when he has to shoot, or when he has to just keep the ball.”
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