ESPN Brasil this week has a story about midfielder Agnaldo, who had trial periods at Manchester United and still dreams of returning to the club one day.
The Brazilian was 15 years old when the Red Devils found out about his talents, and with the authorisation of his club Desportivo Brasil, he had several training periods with the Premier League side.
“When I first arrived, Cristiano Ronaldo had just left for Real Madrid,” Agnaldo told ESPN Brasil. “I talked to Ferguson and I trained with the first team’s reserves and made a session with the professionals, and then I went back to Brazil because until I was 18 I couldn’t stay.
“I used to train with Pogba in the reserve team, I just couldn’t play (laughs). He’s a joker and a very good person, he wants to be Brazilian, he’s a character. We once played against Ferdinand, Rooney, Valencia and others…. it was awesome.
“They wanted me to spend a period of experience at United and play for the reserves. So I went to Italy for two months to get my nationality, but since I couldn’t get it, I didn’t get back to England.”
But Agnaldo’s relationship with Manchester United didn’t end there. He was then signed by Molde, the Norwegian club managed by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at the time.
“One day he called me to find out if I was liking Norway, what I was feeling about being away from Brazil, and asked if I was going to stay at Molde because I was loaned. He called me to dinner at his house with all his family, wife, children… It wasn’t even to discuss values or anything, he just wanted me to feel at home.”
Last month, Solskjaer was interviewed by Brazilian TV channel RedeTV, and spoke a little about Agnaldo and Brazilian football.
“Of course you love Brazil. I fell in love with football in 1982, Zico was my favourite player,” Solskjaer told Renato Senise from Redetv. “Ag was a fantastic boy. We had him here with Manchester United, it was the first time I met Agnaldo. Then I signed him for Molde. I love the attitude of Brazilian players, they want to have the ball, they want to enjoy football.
“Now with Andreas Pereira, Fred, it’s fantastic to have these players around. So yes, of course, I follow Brazilian football, we are always looking to strengthen the team. And with Brazilian football, you have quality. So there might be some more Brazilians coming to Manchester United hopefully. You never know.”
Após a matéria dos excelentes @f_delaurentiis e Vlad Bianchini, perguntei ao Solskjaer sobre o Agnaldo e futebol brasileiro:”Eu me apaixonei por futebol em 82. Zico era o meu jogador favorito. Amo o Brasil. Aguinaldo era fantástico, tomara que venham mais brasileiros pro United.” pic.twitter.com/K9S71aBObH
— Renato Senise (@renato_senise) April 16, 2019
Who could be the next Brazilian at Manchester United.
Well, at least in his interview with ESPN, Agnaldo hopes it’s him.
Just like Solskjaer, he left Molde earlier this year, and hopes he can follow his former manager one day: “I want to play well this season and then make a jump in my career to a more competitive league. And who knows, one day I will return to England? I did not close that dream because I identified myself too much with Manchester United. Paulinho went to Barcelona at 30, there are still a lot of things to do in my career.”
The 25 year old is currently playing for Rovaniemen Palloseura in Finland, so it’s a long shot… but there’s nothing wrong with having a dream.