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Hugs, Pulling The Piss & Heartbreak: Anderson Had Some Fun With Fergie

By Arthur James O'Dea
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He was what John Giles would call, a character.

Arriving at Manchester United as a fairly 'hefty' looking 19-year old in 2007, by the end of that season Anderson would have scored in a Champions League final penalty shoot-out, and won his first of four Premier League titles.

Clocking up over 180 appearances for United over his eight years with the club, an interview the Brazilian granted to ESPN recounts his first meeting with Alex Ferguson:

I met him in Porto. Ferguson went to shake my hand. I gave him a big hug instead! That's how I greeted people.

Despite struggling to ever nail down a natural position at United, Anderson was a highly popular figure, and, like another player who came from Portugal to United, Cristiano Ronaldo, he holds Ferguson in the highest regard:

I love him. He's the god of football. I played through injuries for him, stayed on the pitch when my legs were cut. I didn't care. ... He helped me settle, he gave me new contracts. I can't thank that man enough for what he did for me.

He trusted me in big games when I was 18.

Perhaps Anderson's greatest recollection of the relationship he had with the Scot takes one back to the 2011/12 season.


Although the title would eventually go to City, United's start to the season began with a mammoth 8-2 victory over Arsenal - Anderson's impact went beyond normal bounds that day.

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A feature of both Wayne Rooney's scored free-kicks that day, it's unclear whether Anderson's clever - but certainly strange - decision to stand behind Arsenal's wall, looking straight at Wojciech Szczesny had any impact, but it certainly summed up his mood that day.

As the Anderson says himself of that day:

We beat them 8-2 at home. I don't think I saw one of our players make a mistake that day.

After we'd scored six, I started to take the piss with the ball. The manager had to take me off!

In the end, Anderson's enjoyment at United coincided with his playing days under Ferguson. When the Scot departed, Anderson's "heart was broken":

All our hearts were broken. ... I hugged Ferguson and said thank you. Then I said: "Please boss, stay a little more."

"Ando, I have to leave," he said.

Only the second Brazilian after Kleberson to player for United, the man who is now playing for Internacional in Brazil certainly left a larger impact.

See Also: Jesse Lingard Is Fulfilling Alex Ferguson's Unusual Prediction For Him

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