Argentina football legend Juan Sebastian Veron has revealed that he regrets leaving Manchester United during his playing career. Veron who signed for the Red Devils for a then-record £28.1million in 2001 endured a difficult two-season stint at Old Trafford as he struggled to keep up with the pace of the Premier League and left after helping to win the league title in 2003.
“Sometimes I played with [Paul] Scholes and [Roy] Keane,” Veron told United Review.
“Sometimes in a 4-4-2 with Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole. The system varied, but I should have stayed at United and not left.”
Veron said the move from Italy to England represented a big cultural shock for him and his family, but was grateful for the efforts of the people of Manchester and at the club to help him adjust; especially Ferguson for attempting to speak Spanish.
“It was a big change of culture for us,” he said.
“We’d been happy living in Italy, but the people in Manchester helped us adjust. The best thing was the people, in the club, in the street. We lived in Hale.
“It was tranquil, there was a small forest nearby, and we liked it. Roy Keane – the captain and a top player in a group where standards were high – lived near me.
“There were people in the dressing room who spoke Italian and Spanish. Mikael Silvestre spoke Italian, Laurent Blanc too.
“Quinton Fortune spoke Spanish, while Diego Forlan would arrive and he spoke Spanish.
“And El Mister [Ferguson] tried to speak Spanish! People at Carrington always had a word for me in Spanish.”
Veron is currently the president of hometown club Estudiantes and said expressed his overwhelming pride in represent the team.
“I’m proud. It’s my city, my people,” he said.
“Estudiantes is different to United – we have divisions for many sports, not just football. And I’m Estudiantes, I can’t just move to another club.
“It can never compare to playing, but I’m enjoying it. And I enjoyed it in Manchester.”