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Veron regrets Old Trafford exit
Published : 09 Jun 2010 09:00:00
Argentina midfielder Juan Sebastian Veron regrets leaving Manchester United and admits: "With hindsight perhaps I wouldn't have moved". The 35-year-old spent two years with Sir Alex Ferguson's side from before transferring to fellow Premier League club Chelsea. Veron has since made the move back to Argentina to play for his boyhood club Estudiantes, but believes he could have been happier staying at Old Trafford. "The decision to move wasn't easy. If it was today I think I would approach it very differently," Veron told The Guardian. "I mean, obviously to a certain extent one makes decisions because one is fairly sure - but I think with hindsight perhaps I wouldn't have moved because I was really comfortable at Manchester, and even the lads came to see me two or three times to talk me into staying. "I guess Mr Ferguson also has a pretty big say in who stays and who goes, but I think if the whole thing happened today I might handle it differently." Veron is preparing to represent Argentina in his third World Cup after playing in 1998 and 2002, and is no stranger to the backlash that can stem from the side not meeting the country's expectations. The midfielder is hoping that the public pressure does not fall too heavily on Barcelona youngster Lionel Messi in South Africa, particularly as the star striker has been the subject of inevitable comparisons with Argentina legend and current national team coach Diego Maradona. "Messi here is within a team that has not yet found its game," added Veron. "He's used to playing in a team [at Barcelona] that both plays really well and knows exactly what they're playing at. And the Argentinian public is difficult - they expect the kid to have Maradona's personality; they want him to dribble past 10 guys, score, and win the match alone. "And Maradona is the only one who could do that ... it's impossible. I think Messi is a great player - maybe the best, but with a completely different style." Veron, who played with Maradona during the early days of his career at Boca Juniors, was keen to emphasize the disparity between the Argentina boss and 22-year-old Barca ace Messi. "Playing with Maradona was amazing. His personality radiated energy: he was the guy who spoke, who ruled," he said. "Leo is the opposite: he's more submissive, he's shy. And I think he can feel all this stuff - he's a kid that is susceptible, prone to feeling low or at least uncomfortable. He's still a kid."