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11 Examples Of Manchester United's Terrible Troubles With South American Players

Mikey Traynor
By Mikey Traynor
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As Manchester United fans struggle to come to terms with the fact that £56.9m signing from Real Madrid Angel Di Maria has quit Old Trafford after one seriously underwhelming season, there is a good reason why they all should have seen it coming...

Manchester United and South American players, traditionally, do not work.

The first South American ever to play for Manchester United arrived as one of the biggest names in European football, and he's the first example of the terrible troubles United would go on to have with players who come from the continent of South America.

Juan Sebastian Veron - Argentina

A blockbuster signing from Lazio, Juan Veron was supposed to be the answer for Man United in midfield. Instead? He was average. He did a few nice things, most often in the Champions League, but for what was expected of him he was a massive disappointment. He then left for Chelsea, who soon wondered why the hell they bothered.

Diego Forlan - Uruguay

Forlan was in England to sign for Middlesbrough when Sir Alex Ferguson hi-jacked the deal, and it looked as though Boro would have been a better fit until he scored twice in a 2-1 win at Anfield that instantly turned him into a United legend. Aside from the odd thunderbastard of a goal here and there, he never amounted to much until he left for Spain and turned into one of Europe's most lethal strikers.


Kleberson - Brazil

A World Cup winner who started for Brazil in the 2002 World Cup final, Manchester United must have checked the receipt to make sure they signed the right Kleberson after a brace-wearing disaster who was allergic to tackling showed up to play in midfield. 20 appearances in two seasons, and none of them any good. He soon found his way back to Brazil via Turkey.

Gabriel Heinze - Argentina


It seemed as though the Old Trafford faithful finally had a South American they could trust when mad-as-a-box of-frogs Gabby Heinze turned up and started with a goal on his debut and a catalouge of crunching tackles in his first season with the reds, but the emergence of Patrice Evra seemed to piss Heinze off, and when his response was to try and force through a move to Liverpool, that was the end of Heinze's hero status with the club's fans.

Anderson - Brazil

What else is there to be said about Anderson? Once a Golden Boy winner as the most exiting young player in the World, Anderson's injury and fitness issues ensured he never became the player he looked like he could be in little 15 min increments every other season. Will always be remembered as a chancer.


Carlos Tevez - Argentina


Tevez and Rooney were a cracking strikeforce after Carlitos joined on loan following his spell at West Ham, but the signing of Berbatov meant less minutes on the pitch, and that didn't suit Tevez who made the clever decision to publicly call out Sir Alex Ferguson with a goal celebration against Manchester City, who he then signed for as a great big middle finger to the fans who shouted "FERGIE, SIGN HIM UP!" at Old Trafford.

Rodrigo Possebon - Brazil


This one didn't work out, but unlike the others it wasn't fully his own fault. Rodrigo Possebon was talked about as the next academy product to make the first team for United after they poached him from Brazil at an early age, but one disgrace of a challenge from mental patient Emmanuel Pogatetz broke his leg and ended his career in European football in the process.

Rafael Da Silva - Brazil

The vast outpouring of love from Manchester United players following the departure of Rafael to Lyon shows just how well he was loved by his peers, and the fans too appreciated his craziness and knack for a spectacular goal. However, as he was widely tipped to be Manchester United's starting right-back for a decade after breaking through in 2008/09, Rafael's departure after being elbowed out of the picture by Louis Van Gaal makes him another player who didn't quite work out.


Fabio Da Silva - Brazil

When the Da Silva twins signed for Manchester United, Fabio was expected to be the better one. Injuries scuppered his development initially, but despite starting a Champions League final for Manchester United in 2011, Fabio never held down a place and was the victim of a terrible loan spell at QPR before joining a sinking ship at Cardiff where he remains today.

Radamel Falcao - Colombia


A big surprise at the end of the 2014 summer transfer window, Manchester United paid a lot of money to loan a once great striker who when he played in the red jersey instead looked like the aliens from Space Jam had stolen his talent. It was difficult to watch him at times as he tried desperately to resemble the player he once was before his injury.

Angel Di Maria - Argentina

A statement signing from Real Madrid, Angel Di Maria looked to be the business when he scooped a delightful goal over Kasper Schemiechel's head for one of the goals of the season back in August 2014. Niggling injuries, a drastic loss of form, scumbags breaking into his house while his wife and child were there, and a lot of Manchester rain contributed to the end of a seriously underwhelming United career.

The exception to the rule?

Antonio Valencia - Ecuador/Skynet

Nobody knew why Sir Alex signed Antonio Valencia from Wigan for £16m initially, but soon he was being voted the club's player of the year. His form has dipped quite a bit since then, but a promising return to some sort of form last year means that Valencia can't be considered a flop, and also, he's probably a cyborg, so he may not be from South America at all.

Ones to watch:

Sergio Romero

He likely won't feature much as United's starting keeper, but his fondness of short sleeves and apparent inability to catch a football may see him feature on this list in the future.

Marcos Rojo

A solid if unspectacular debut season at Old Trafford, Rojo would surprise nobody if he turned around and said he hates the rain and wants out soon. On the flip side he might go on to claim the starting CB spot this season, so we'll wait and see.

Andreas Pereira

After a hugely impressive pre-season, Pereira has forced himself into LVG's plans for the upcoming season. If he does go on to become a star, it will be because he also qualifies for Belgium.


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