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'Ferguson was always there for me' - Ex-Man Utd striker Macheda joins Panathinaikos

18:23 GMT+3 04/09/2018
Federico Macheda Sir Alex Ferguson Manchester United
The Italian forward has moved to Greek in an effort to revitalise his career and has paid tribute to his former manager

Former Manchester United striker Federico Macheda's latest attempts to reignite his career have seen him join Panathinaikos on a three-year deal.

The Italian forward was a free agent after being released following an 18-month spell at Novara.

In 50 appearances for the club he netted just 11 goals but will hope to recapture the form which illuminated the start of his career in Greece.

Macheda burst on the scene in the 2008-09 season, scoring the winning goal for United in a crucial 3-2 win over Aston Villa which eventually led to them scooping the Premier League title.

But following a succession of unsuccessful loan spells away from Old Trafford and a failure to establish himself at Cardiff City and back in his Italian homeland, Macheda hopes his luck will change with the 20-time Greek champions

"It's a great pleasure to be here. I've been looking forward to signing," the 27-year-old said at his unveiling . "Panathinaikos was my first choice.

"When Panathinaikos proposes, you don't deny it. The manager convinced me. When you have the coach's confidence, it's a big deal.

"To Panathinaikos I have the greatest motivation I have ever had. I'm thinking about what I'll accomplish day by day.

"I have the traits as a man to be a leader in this group and to help my Nearoteroys team-mates." 

Despite Macheda having endured a chequered career, much of his senior career to date was spent under the tutelage of Sir Alex Ferguson, who gave the forward his now famous debut nine years ago.

He spent time on loan at Sampdoria, Queens Park Rangers, VfB Stuttgart, Doncaster Rovers and Birmingham City before eventually leaving United permanently.

But Macheda has paid tribute to Ferguson and hopes his spell under the Scot can help him return to his best form.

"I have worked with the most successful coach, Sir Alex Ferguson," he added. "He was always there for me. I'm proud to have worked with the top."