What happened to Federico Macheda 15 years on from his iconic Manchester United debut vs Aston Villa aged 17… EIGHT failed loan spells followed – but where is he now?

  • Federico Macheda was once hailed as an upcoming wonderkid at Man United
  • He wrote his name into folklore with a dream debut but failed to make the cut
  • Manchester United should play at Wembley for two years, tear down Old Trafford and build a Tottenham-esque stadium – Listen to It’s All Kicking Off! podcast

There was once a time at this stage of the season when Old Trafford roared with ecstasy as Federico Macheda scored on his debut to virtually seal Man United the Premier League title in 2009.

Now, 15 years later, Macheda received a more muted show of support from the stands when he scored in the 85th minute for relegation-threatened Turkish side Atakas Hatayspor at the weekend.

But what ever happened to the Italian who was once hailed as being a future Old Trafford star and how did his career pan out after failed to make the grade under Sir Alex Ferguson?

Mail Sport delves deeper into Macheda’s career story up until present day where at 32-years-old is now in the twilight years of his professional football career.

A teenager once immortalised for two magical touches that gave United victory over Aston Villa and in-turn beat Liverpool to the Premier League title, was the unknown academy star on United’s bench on that day in April 2009.

Federico Macheda is well remembered by Manchester Untied fans after his legendary debut goal

Macheda's strike against Aston Villa in 2009 virtually sealed the Premier League title for United

Macheda’s strike against Aston Villa in 2009 virtually sealed the Premier League title for United

His winner against Aston Villa helped United edge past rivals Liverpool in the title race

His winner against Aston Villa helped United edge past rivals Liverpool in the title race

Macheda etched his named into United folklore, and is still taking calls from Sir Alex Ferguson

Macheda etched his named into United folklore, and is still taking calls from Sir Alex Ferguson

He went on to score the winner against Sunderland a week later, but would only go on to find the back of the net five more times for United before parting ways with the club.

That moment still lives long in Macheda’s memory and while many at Old Trafford didn’t even know his name when he was placed on the bench against Villa, the then-teenager himself had surprising confidence that he would do something special.

Macheda previously revealed to Mail Sport that he knew his debut would be a special moment in United’s history, explaining: ‘The day before, I was talking with my friends in Rome and I told them that something was going to happen,’ he recalled.

‘I told them I was going to play and make Old Trafford explode. It was crazy. I went into the game very confident and something even more magical happened. It was better than I expected.’ 

After being crowned one of the Premier League’s youngest-ever title winners, Macheda was rewarded with a new contract but didn’t stick around England’s north-west for much longer after struggling to match his dream debut performance.

As admitted by himself, Macheda didn’t give himself the best chance of achieving long-term success in Manchester. His lifestyle and attitude when he didn’t get selected became a problem and he subsequently departed United on numerous loan moves before eventually being sold to Cardiff in 2014.

A return to Italy and Sampdoria presented Macheda with a first chance to resurrect his career after falling out of favour under Ferguson. One goal in just 16 appearances followed and the move wasn’t made permanent.

Having previously enjoyed a better spell in England, Macheda was next sent on-loan to QPR, then Stuttgart, Doncaster Rovers and eventually Birmingham City for his final temporary move.

Several loan spells away from United followed before Macheda made a permanent move to Cardiff City

Several loan spells away from United followed before Macheda made a permanent move to Cardiff City

After spells at Nottingham Forest and Novara, Macheda later found stability at Panathinaikos

After spells at Nottingham Forest and Novara, Macheda later found stability at Panathinaikos

Eventually a permanent exit was engineered as former United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took a chance on Macheda during his debut management job in English football at Cardiff City.

However, Solskjaer was sacked after just six months as Cardiff were relegated to the Championship and Macheda was shipped on despite scoring a respectable eight goals in 33 outings.

After an initial spell at Nottingham Forest, Macheda found himself without a club at the end of 2016 before Italian side Novara extended a lifeline to the striker.

The Italian forward made 116 appearances and scored 40 goals for Panathinaikos before moving on

The Italian forward made 116 appearances and scored 40 goals for Panathinaikos before moving on

Macheda is now playing for Turkish side Atakas Hatayspor and has scored five goals this season

Macheda is now playing for Turkish side Atakas Hatayspor and has scored five goals this season

Two years back in his homeland followed where after 11 goals he was sold to Greek club Panathinaikos and enjoyed a respectable spell of stability alongside his wife and son Lorenzo.

116 appearances and 40 goals for the Athens-based side followed, but further career moves lay not far away after he was bought by Turkish Super Lig side Ankaragucu, loaned to APOEL Nicosia and eventually finding himself at current team Hatayspor.

As for his time in Manchester, Macheda is still loved by United supporters old enough to remember his title-winning goal against Villa.

Ferguson has continued to keep tabs on the former United star, but as Macheda once described his career in his own words, ‘It hasn’t been as good as I had hoped.’




Source From: Premier League News, Fixtures and Results | Mail Online

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