Manchester United signed a relatively unknown Federico Macheda from the Lazio youth team in 2007. Upon his signing, the Italian teenager joined the reserve team at the club.

Federico Macheda caught the attention of legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson after netting eight goals in eight games for the reserve team and that earned him a call to the senior team. He was named in the Manchester United squad for the home game against Aston Villa on April 5, 2009.

Macheda was the surprise inclusion in the Red Devils squad for an important game in the Premier League title race. Manchester United came into the game on the back of two straight losses and with rivals Liverpool in second place. Liverpool had already gained grounds on leaders Manchester United and they also had the momentum.

Things didn’t go aa expected for Ferguson and Manchester United against Villa until the timely intervention of a 17-year-old Federico Macheda. By the time of his entrance, United had conceded twice and they were losing 2-1.

Manchester United talisman Cristiano Ronaldo scored the equaliser for the hosts while Macheda was on the pitch thus paving the way for the teenager to shine. The young Italian striker received the ball from Welshman Ryan Giggs before curling a shot past Brad Friedel in the Aston Villa goal. The American shot stopper had no chance for the goal which came late in the game and also won the game for the Red Devils.

The goal from Macheda sent the Manchester United fans into wild jubilation as a new star was born. Macheda went on to score the winning goal in the next league game at Sunderland. His goal contributions ensured that Manchester United saw off arch rivals Liverpool to win the league title at the end of the 2008/09 campaign.

Big things were expected from Macheda but he was not able to live up to them. He made a total of 36 appearances for the Red Devils.