Manchester United defender Matteo Darmian has admitted to Inside United that his experience of playing in the 2014 FIFA World Cup restored his confidence which ended with a summer move to the Theatre of Dreams. The former Torino defender played well for his country in Brazil, but the Italian side did not make the knockout stages of the tournament, the same as England, who were in the same group as Darmian’s side. Both Costa Rica and Uruguay made the knockout stages of the tournament.
Darmian with a youth team player with AC Milan, making six appearances for the first team during his time at the San Siro. He then spent a season on loan with Padova, where he made 22 appearances, scoring one goal before moving to Palermo permanently, making 16 appearances in the 2010/11 season. In the summer of 2011, Darmian moved to Torino where he spent five seasons, making 152 appearances, scoring six goals, five of which were scored in the 2014/15 season, his last at the club. Last summer, the Italian signed for United for a fee reported to be just £12.7 million and starting brightly for the Old Trafford club.
Darmian won the Player of the Month award for August, and looked like a player who had been at the club for some time. He was even compared to Gary Neville, who was the clubs last decent right-back, and it looked like the player had eventually been replaced. The last few matches for United, Darmian was not the talent he looked like at the start of his career at his new club, but form is temporary. He has been played out of position since the injury to Luke Shaw was sustained in September. During the international break, Darmian scored his first goal for Italy in the 3-1 victory over Azerbaijan, which saw them qualify for next summer’s European Championships, to be played in France.
It was his performances for Torino last season that kick started Darmian’s international career, earning the shock call-up for the World Cup in Brazil. That is what boosted the player into the international spotlight and ultimately rewarding him with a life changing move to Manchester United, which the player seems thankful for. Speaking to Inside United, reported by the official Manchester United website, Darmian said:
“Everything happened very quickly. It gave me confidence, of course. Playing in a World Cup means you are competing against the strongest teams in the world and also the strongest players. So, on a self-esteem level, it gives you more certainty and security.”
Only a year after his first World Cup, Darmian completed his move to Manchester United, which was another major part of his career. The player has risen to the challenge of playing in England, which is a tougher league than some of the other leagues in Europe. The player stated that he has watch the Premier League on TV, calling it the best league in the world. He also stated that he did not need to think twice about the move to Old Trafford once it was offered. The player concluded by saying:
“I used to watch the Premier League on television and it was well-known that it was perhaps one of the best leagues in the world. So, when I got the call from United, I didn’t have to think twice about it at all.
“For me, it was a big step in my career and a really big opportunity, personally, which I didn’t want to let slip away. Of course, Manchester United are one of the biggest clubs, not just in England but the whole world. Because of the history as well, all these factors made it an easy decision for me.”
Manchester United head into a tricky period this weekend with an away visit to Goodison Park to face Everton, where they have not scored in thee visit’s, or managed to take home a point. After the capitulation against Arsenal nearly a fortnight ago, United will need to bury their demons and start to earn points on the road again. During midweek, they face a trip to Moscow in the UEFA Champions League, before returning to Old Trafford to face local rival’s Manchester City a week on Sunday. It does not stop there for Darmian and his team-mates, who then face Middlesbrough in the Capital One Cup at Old Trafford three days later, before a visit to Alan Pardew’s Crystal Palace to end the month.
United have done well this season, injuries are starting to end and players are reaching full match fitness. The absence of Luke Shaw will be the black cloud hanging over the club until some point early next year when he is likely to return for his club. I am sure Darmian will want to put a string of poor performances behind him, and after playing and scoring for his country, helping them qualify for next summer’s European Championships, his spirit will be high and hopefully the Italian can help his inspire his side to go on an unbeaten run to end the month, which will put the 3-0 defeat to Arsenal behind them.