| 4.5°C Belfast

I've grown up a lot, admits Manchester United's Federico Macheda


Federico Macheda

Federico Macheda

Federico Macheda

Federico Macheda is relieved to be back with Manchester United after a nightmare spell in Italy, and believes he can make the grade for Sir Alex Ferguson's side.

Frustrated at his lack of opportunities at Old Trafford last season, Macheda asked Ferguson if he could leave for a short spell and turned down the option of remaining in the Premier League in favour of a stint with Sampdoria.

The move turned out to be a disappointment. Macheda failed to score in his 13 appearances, Samp were relegated and no-one emerged with any credit.

However, the 19-year-old was back amongst the goals on Wednesday after bagging a double in a tour-opening 4-1 win over New England Revolution.

"I am very happy because I had a difficult six months," said Macheda. I couldn't wait to get back here from Italy, even though it is my own country.

"There is a different mentality in Italy. They don't see young players like they do in England. They don't tend to choose them, especially when things are not going well."

However, Macheda is pleased to have endured the experience.

"I am not scarred by it," he said. "You learn a lot from bad experiences.

"I grew up as a man. I have another mentality now.

"When you leave Manchester United, go somewhere else and come back, you realise just how different it all is.

"It is better to work really hard and I hope to stay here."

Belfast Telegraph