Brazilian defender Arthur Rocha has revealed how a lack of work permit kept him from joining Manchester United.
Arthur spent six trial periods with Manchester United between the years 2005 and 2007, and featured alongside numerous star players, like Cristiano Ronaldo and Nemanja Vidic. And his performances were so impressive, that the match referee confused him with Vidic at one point.
The Brazilian talked about that incident in an interview with ESPN, stating: “Vidic was a very nice guy and had just arrived (at Man United) from Spartak Moscow. He came to play for the B team to get in shape and go to the first team. I made a defensive partnership with him, when he was still unknown.
“The match referee asked the Manchester United scout if I was Vidic, because he found me very good (laughs).”
He further opened up about the little communication he had with the then United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson.
“I had more contact in training when he was watching and sometimes made some comments,”Arthur said. “I went to his room to talk once. He wanted to know about my life, my family and if I was liking the place or not. As I couldn’t speak English well, I only answered ‘Yes, mister’ (laughs). I didn’t ask him anything.”
He finally revealed what kept him from officially securing a move to the Theatre of Dreams.
“What they told me in the end was that I couldn’t sign for Manchester United, because I didn’t have a citizenship. It was lack of luck and in football we need it.”
He added: “We took the training very seriously with the hope of staying. It was a period of great learning. It’s a dream to be there and the realisation of a dream. It’s a shame it didn’t materialise to play professionally. But I’m thankful for everything.”
Arthur, 26, currently plays as a defender at Mitra Kukar FC in the Indonesia Soccer Championship A.