Owen Hargreaves signed for Manchester United in the summer of 2007, on the back of Sir Alex Ferguson reclaiming the Premier League title for the first time in four years. Playing in central midfield, as well as being used as a right-back on occasion, Hargreaves played an important role in United winning the league and Champions League that season.

Speaking to the United Podcast, Hargreaves has revealed what Fergie said to him when he arrived at Old Trafford.

I remember he just said, these fans are very knowledgeable. It was a bit along the lines of ‘you give them your best and they’ll appreciate that’. Before I came, we spoke so much and he was one of the driving forces, one of the reasons why I wanted to come. Who doesn’t want to play under Sir Alex? He has this authority, a natural authority that everybody respected, which was so important in a dressing room of 25 talented people from all over the world who are well paid. But he controlled the show.

One of the things he said to me and I’ll never forget it was; ‘Owen we signed you to help us win the Champions League. You can be a part of that’. That was one of the big reasons I wanted to come. [I wanted] to be a part of this team, play at this stadium – and with these fans. That group of players we had was just out of this world. You just wanted to be a piece of the puzzle.

After a great first campaign, Hargreaves’ United career more or less over by his second season, when he made three appearances in September and then didn’t feature again due to his persistent problems with tendinitis. He underwent knee surgery and didn’t play again until May of the following season, coming on in the 89th minute against Sunderland. He didn’t feature again until November that year, when injury forced him off after 10 minutes, in what proved to be his final appearance for the club.

Having made just 39 appearances over four seasons, United obviously chose not to renew his contract in the summer of 2011. He uploaded a video of himself training to YouTube, in a bid to encourage interest from other clubs, and rivals Manchester City took the bait.

After claiming he had been treated like a guinea pig at United, he went on to make four appearances for City, playing just 13 minutes in the league, and then retired from football aged 31.

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