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Dutchman loved life at Old Trafford...

Jaap Stam will return to action in a Manchester United shirt soon in a charity game at Old Trafford on May 1.

The former Dutch international has admitted that his exit from the club in 2001 to join Lazio for £16.5 million was not an easy time for him, as he loved the club so much.

Sir Alex Ferguson sold him against the backdrop of controversial revelations in the player's autobiography, but has admitted that it was a mistake to sell the Dutchman.

"I'd really enjoyed myself at the club and thought I'd been doing well up to that point so it was hard at the time I left," Stam told The Daily Mirror.

"It all happened very quickly because of the Champions League deadline – Lazio needed to register me as their player.

"It wasn't an easy moment, but that's what happens in football - players come and go and unfortunately it was me who had to go then.

"I had a great time at United – I met some great people and I had a good relationship with everybody at the club – the boss, players, staff and fans."

Stam is relishing his return to the club though, even though the occasion is less serious than some of his high-profile clashes of the past whilst a player with the Red Devils.

"I'm really looking forward to coming back. It's been a while since I was at Old Trafford, especially as a player, and it’ll be great to see some old friends," he added.

"I loved my time at United and I’m sure I’ll get that same buzz when I pull on the red shirt.

"I still remember how it felt when you stepped out of the tunnel and you saw the crowd and it was always a great feeling. It’ll be a thrill to be back there.

"I've played in some great teams but the [1998-99 United] Treble side is the best I’ve been involved with. There was a great balance to the team and we always believed in ourselves."

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