Gabriel Heinze has spoken of his regret at the manner of his departure from Manchester United. Now at Roma the Argentine defender has played at some of Europe’s top clubs and has had an impressive career.
For many though, particularly in Manchester, he is remembered for his departure from Old Trafford and his seeming betrayal of the club that brought him to Europe’s top table.
Heinze lost his place in the United side with the arrival of Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra in January 2006 but he vowed to stay on and fight for his place in the side. He could not regain his place and it soon became apparent he would have to leave to ensure first team football.
United had a number of offers, including one from fierce rivals Liverpool, but they made an early decision they would not sell to Liverpool. Heinze took an issue with this decision and fought hard for his right to leave United for the club he wanted.
He was settled in England and in the North West, the offer to play for one of the greatest clubs in the world emerged and he was understandably keen to take it. The situation got ugly, with Heinze taking United to court, losing and eventually signing for Real Madrid, hardly a bad place for a professional footballer to end up.
Heinze does now though regret the way he left the club and had the opportunity to play against his old team in last season’s Champions league. Heinze told betfair.com he doesn’t “have many regrets from my career” but he does count “that episode with Ferguson to be one of them”.
He is keen that United fans remember him for the successes he had on the pitch, he was after all one of the best left backs in the world at that time. He does though understand the supporters frustrations but hopes “the fans will remember the three years I had in the team. I had a great time”.
Heinze may face United again in Europe this season, with his Roma team one of the favourites to reach the final on the UEFA Europa League betting markets – where they will face Scholes, Giggs et al if United make it through.