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Manchester United: What Happened to Federico Macheda?

Allan JiangTransfers CorrespondentDecember 18, 2016

Manchester United: What Happened to Federico Macheda?

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    Three-and-a-half years ago, 17-year-old Manchester United forward Federico Macheda became an overnight sensation following his dramatic late winner against Aston Villa

    Now 21, the kid from Rome no longer has the Midas touch, and is on the outside looking in—wondering if he'll ever experience the feeling of having the world at his feet again. 

    This article will take a look at Macheda's career. 

Reliving the Moment That Has Defined Federico Macheda's Career

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    Re-take the free kick? Are you having a laugh?

    With the ball in his hands and rage emanating throughout his body, Wayne Rooney slung the ball back at pace. 

    Already on a yellow card, referee Phil Dowd sent Rooney off for a second bookable offence

    Hold on—Rooney didn't play against Aston Villa. Yep, you're right. 

    This is the 2-0 defeat to Fulham, in which Rooney's suspension enabled Federico Macheda to sit on the bench against Villa. 

    It's the 61st minute, and Macheda is taking in the atmosphere at Old Trafford as he waits to replace Nani. Rob Smyth at Guardian.co.uk, who was live blogging, typed: "THE BIGGEST GAMBLE EVER." 

    Manchester United and Aston Villa are tied 2-2, and it's approaching fulltime. 

    With the game in squeaky-bum time, Macheda receives a pass from Gary Neville. However, the teenager's heavy touch enables Luke Young to poke the ball away. It fortuitously rolls to Ryan Giggs. 

    Macheda moves to his left, receives the Welshman's pass, turns Young and curls the ball past Brad Friedel. 

    Cue Martin Tyler's memorable squeal. 

    Manchester United fans who followed Ole Gunnar Solskjær's reserve team would have been familiar with Macheda. 

    Lazio president Claudio Lotito certainly knew who Macheda was. He told Italy's Sky television (via FourFourTwo.com): 

    We knew that he was a great player, we did everything to keep him. We can not allow ourselves to behave in a way which I feel is immoral. It's unthinkable that a lad of 15 can be bought as if it was a cattle market. 

Federico Macheda's Contributions as a Red Devil After the Aston Villa Game

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    Two days after his super sub role, Federico Macheda surprisingly sat out the team's entire UEFA Champions League game against Porto, which ended 2-2. 

    With the following game against Sunderland tied at 1-1, Sir Alex Ferguson rolled the dice and brought the Italian on again. In 46 seconds, with his first touch, Macheda made it 2-1. 

    In a game against Chelsea, he was lucky to register a goal with his hands.

    Another goal against Aston Villa precipitated a comeback during a 2-2 draw—if only he could play against them every week. 

    A Man of the Match performance against the MLS All-Stars was the last time Kiko grabbed headlines, excluding his homophobic tweets from earlier this year.

    At one point, Macheda seemed to be Manchester United's answer to Mario Gómez, but the Italian slowly faded out of the picture at Old Trafford. 

    When Chicharito started scoring goals, it prompted Macheda to seek more playing time.  

Federico Macheda's Loan Spell at Sampdoria

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    Federico Macheda By The Numbers

    • 1 goal in 16 games
    • 0 league goals from 11 shots

    You should always know the context behind the statistics.  

    Macheda arrived at an awkward time, as owner Riccardo Garrone had kicked Antonio Cassano out of the club. 

    Cassano, Sampdoria's talisman and best player, averaged two key passes per game. For the rest of the season, no Sampdoria player surpassed that average. 

    The club's most creative player was Reto Ziegler, who was playing at left-back. 

Federico Macheda's Loan Spell at Queens Park Rangers

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    Federico Macheda didn't score in the minimal game-time he received. There were flashbacks of Giuseppe Rossi's loan spell at Newcastle United. 

    It was such a pointless experience for Macheda, and to add insult to injury, he suffered an ankle injury which ended his season.

Federico Macheda's Future

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    With Federico Macheda lost in the shuffle, it's safe to say he doesn't have a future at Manchester United. 

    However, he can still be a successful forward for a top-flight club. He shields the ball well, his technique is superb, his positional awareness is exceptional and he's ruthless in front of goal. 

    Diego Forlán and Giuseppe Rossi were two forwards that Sir Alex Ferguson gave up on. Both forwards bounced back and became elite players.  

    Macheda needs a situation where he has creative and selfless teammates with management willing to stick by him. 

    He hasn't felt secure since Ole Gunnar Solskjær was his manager for the United reserves, and that was three-and-a-half years ago. 

    Comment below with your opinion on Kiko. 

     

    Guiseppe Rossi: Should Inter Make a Move for Him?

    Statistics courtesy of WhoScored.com



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