Former Sporting CP defender Marcos Rojo has admitted that his move to Manchester United came as a surprise.
The Argentine international refused to train with the Portuguese club when it emerged that his £16million move to United was in danger of collapsing over problems with third-party ownership.
It needed the intervention of former United star Juan Sebastian Veron to persuade the defender to go back to work – and Rojo now says he is “living the dream” with the Old Trafford giants.
Rojo admitted: “It was a huge surprise when I was told United wanted to buy me.
“I was in Portugal when my representative told me. He asked me to stay calm but I could not. I started living this dream.
“I could not think of anything else. I would call him every day, but when it seemed the transfer would not happen then I refused to work with Sporting.
“That was when Veron played his part in the process. He was like a strict father to me, scolding me.
“Veron called me one day when I had refused to train with Sporting and said ‘Do not be stubborn. If Manchester United wants a player then they will not let you escape.’
“And so I went back… and the transfer went ahead.”
The Argentina international added: “I could not believe the welcome I received in Manchester.
“For the first home game, I was on the way to the stadium with my team-mates, when I saw that the fans were buying scarves with my face and name on them.
“I couldn’t believe it. I took some photographs on my phone to send to my girlfriend.”