Former United wonderkid Federico Macheda eyeing return to the big time

It is coming up to ten years since Federico Macheda made a crucial contribution to Manchester United’s 18th Premier League title.

That put the club level with Liverpool and Macheda’s late, late winner on 5 April 2009 earned him a permanent slice of United folklore.

Macheda failed to make good on that early promise, but has already equalled the best goalscoring season of his career with 13 goals across all competitions for Greek side Panathinaikos.

Football’s hiatus has stopped Macheda in his tracks at somewhat but the Italian says he’s got his sights on a return to the top.

Tom Purslow/Manchester United via Getty Images

Macheda picks his dream move

As per Goal, Macheda said: “I don’t regret anything. Manchester United was a very beautiful experience for me.

“It’s hard for anyone to establish themselves at a club like that but I left a blueprint on United’s history.

“I had a lot of bad luck with injuries in the years after that famous goal and it wasn’t easy to cope physically and mentally.

“An Italian team I’d love to play for? Lazio,” Macheda replied. “I’d choose Lazio over Inter, Milan and Juve because I am Laziale.”

John Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

Macheda approaching his peak

Now 28, Macheda is approaching his peak years and looks to have found some maturity, form and fitness.

He wouldn’t have been in Sir Alex Ferguson’s plans ten years ago if he didn’t have talent and it seems he is finally showing it now.

As Macheda says, it wasn’t easy to establish himself at the world’s biggest club, with the likes of Wayne Rooney for competition.

But the Italian has found some goalscoring form and confidence, so perhaps he has a big move in the pipeline now as he shows flickers of what made him so highly rated.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.