Federico Macheda says former Man Utd midfielder Ravel Morrison “shocked” the Red Devils squad with his “crazy talent”.
Macheda, who now plays for Turkish second division side MKE Ankaragücü, scored five goals in 36 appearances for Man Utd in five seasons around the first team.
And former team-mate Rio Ferdinand invited him on his Vibe with FIVE YouTube channel yesterday to discuss his time at Old Trafford and how his career has gone since leaving Man Utd.
Macheda was part of a very talented crop of players coming through United’s youth academy around the time he scored a memorable last-minute winner against Aston Villa in 2009.
Paul Pogba and Danny Welbeck were among his academy team-mates but when asked which player should’ve had a better career than he did, Macheda told Ferdinand: “I would say Ravel Morrison. He was a great, crazy talent.
“This guy was crazy man. He would come up in the first team and start to dribble [past] everybody, and everybody was shocked.
“When you watched him play you expected him to be the next [big] thing, you know, because he had everything.
“The Man United team then was crazy players, so to come up to the first team and do the things he was doing was just crazy.”
Ferdinand added: “I told you guys. You don’t understand how good this kid was!
“He blew your mind. It is mad, everyone talks about [him] but it’s almost like you needed to be there to really see and understand what he was doing – and not only in the reserves.
“Sometimes if you’re coming back from injury or something like that you’d go and train with the reserves, he would do even more stupid stuff with the reserves. He’d play centre-back sometimes in training!”
Macheda continued: “I could see the talent of a few of them, especially Paul and Danny. I love Danny Welbeck, I loved to watch him, the style he had for me was amazing.
“I was playing alongside him from the Under-18s and I could see he had something special. Also, others were very good, Robbie Brady, Danny Drinkwater.”
Macheda admits he “begged” Sir Alex Ferguson to send him on loan to Serie A in 2011 with the Italian joining Sampdoria in what he describes as the “biggest mistake” of his career.
When asked why he wanted to go back to Italy, Macheda replied: “I don’t know to be honest. I had [offers from] Sunderland and Everton to go on loan for six months.
“But, as an Italian guy I also had a dream to play in Serie A. I took things easy, you know, I said, ‘okay, I will go there six months, I’ll do whatever I do and then I will come back to Manchester’.
“I thought ‘I want to try this new league, that I have been growing up [watching]’. I went there with a lot of enthusiasm. Sir Alex did not want me to go there, at any cost.
“I remember before one game, I went into his room at the Lowry Hotel, to beg him to send me there. That was probably the biggest mistake I ever made in my career.
“Fergie used to love me, he would just pull me inside without even thinking who was in front of me. After this, I feel like I disappointed him by not listening to him – when I came back, I could feel it.”