7 Memorable Moments for Manchester United Man Ander Herrera
Ander Herrera was born in Bilbao and started his football career at Real Zaragoza. He made a name for himself at boyhood team Athletic Bilbao after signing for them when he was 22 years old, before making the move to Manchester United this week.
Last summer, he was set to sign for the Red Devils, but his bizarre transfer saga summed up Ed Woodward's luck in the market. Bilbao claimed they had turned down a bid from United, whilst the Manchester club initially claimed they weren't even negotiating for the player, and the people that were claiming to do it on their behalf were imposters.
There's no denying that this transfer is one of the highlights of his career so far. What other memorable moments has he experienced?
Debut: February 2009
Having come up through the ranks at Real Zaragoza, a 19-year-old Herrera made his debut in February 2009. Zaragoza were in the second division.
He was subbed on early in the second half of what ended as a 1-1 draw with Real Sociedad.
He played in a further 19 games in the remaining few months of the season and helped his team earn promotion to La Liga.
First Goal: May 2009
Herrera's first professional goal came against Tenerife toward the end of the 2008-09 season. Within the first two minutes, he put his side 1-0 up, but he was subbed off early in the second half.
Zaragoza went on to draw the game 1-1.
Signed for Boyhood Club: February 2011
In February 2011, Herrera agreed to join his boyhood club, Athletic Bilbao. He signed a five-year contract for a reported €7.5 million, with the move scheduled for the summer.
Herrera made his official debut in August 2011, playing the full 90 minutes in a 0–0 draw against Trabzonspor in the UEFA Europa League.
UEFA European Under-21 Championship: June 2011
Herrera won the European Under-21 Championship in 2011 after Spain beat Switzerland 2-0 in the final.
He contributed massively to his team's success and was named in the Team of the Tournament, alongside the likes of Juan Mata, David de Gea, Xherdan Shaqiri and Daniel Sturridge.
Herrera scored in the 1-1 draw against England in the group stage, with Danny Welbeck scoring for the opposition.
He also scored the first goal in the final and was subbed off in the last minute to receive a standing ovation. Only two players scored more goals than him in the tournament that year.
Europa League Final: May 2012
Herrera played a blinder when helping his side knock Manchester United out of the Europa League in 2012.
After signing for United, he reflected on that evening in Manchester, per the club's official website:
"I have played at Old Trafford for Athletic Club in the UEFA Europa League and it was one of the highlights of my career so far."
Bilbao faced Atletico Madrid in the final but were on the wrong end of a 3-0 defeat after goals from Radamel Falcao and Diego.
Copa Del Rey: May 2012
Herrera was a key player in Bilbao's quest for silverware in 2011-12.
Having helped them progress to the Copa del Rey semi-final, where his side beat Mirandes 8-3 on aggregate, he then started in the final against Barcelona.
Sadly for him, his side lost 3-0 to Barcelona with goals from Pedro and Lionel Messi just weeks after the defeat in the Europa League final.
Signed for Manchester United: June 2014
Herrera finally completed his move to Manchester United this week, having been linked with the club for a year.
Speaking with the club's official website, Herrera revealed how much this transfer meant to him.
Signing for Manchester United is a dream come true. I have joined United to do all I can to help the team reach the club's objectives. Having arrived on Tuesday, I’m excited to now be living in Manchester and I can’t wait for my first game in United’s famous red shirt.
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