Manchester United: Juan Sebastián Verón’s Advice To Marcos Rojo and Ángel di María
IN the summer of 2001, Manchester United signed Juan Sebastián Verón from Lazio. The fomer Argentina captain has been talking to the Times. Manchester United have signed two of his fellow countrymen, Marcos Rojo and Ángel di María. What advice does he have for them?
FOOD: “You eat so early. Sometimes, with the team, we would eat at 6.30pm or 7pm. In Argentina, nobody even thinks about eating until 9pm. At the earliest.”
LIFE: “I was used to life in Italy….I knew it would be different, but the appeal of Manchester United is the same as the appeal of Barcelona and Real Madrid, the attraction that the top three or four clubs in the world have.
HELP: “The club did everything they could to help me get used to life here…I was really surprised when I arrived that there was an entire office of people employed by the club to help with any problem I had or that my family had. We could call them at any hour of the day or night and they would sort things out for us.”
CULTURE: “Everything is much more relaxed in England. In Argentina, everything is rush, rush, rush. In England, you come home from work and you take 10 or 15 minutes to have your te con leche — milky tea — and breathe. There are little things that are different, but nothing major.”
FOOTBALL: “It is hard to go from a football that is very tactical, where there is a specific type of physicality needed, to one where the game does not stop. Juega siempre. They play all the time.”
HOME: “It is not necessarily a good thing to cocoon yourselves away, because then the language becomes a barrier. The most important thing is to get used to the place where you live, to become a part of the club and the city, not to be surrounded by reminders of home all the time.”
Verón spent two seasons at Old Trafford before being shipped down to Chelsea for £14m, where he lasted just one year before returning to Italy.