Djemba-Djemba: Sir Alex changed my life

Djemba-Djemba also revealed the way he was welcomed into the United dressing room, and how Rio Ferdinand in particular was instrumental in helping the Cameroonian international feel at home in Manchester.

“Rio Ferdinand says to me ‘Eric after training you know we need to go and interact. You can come and eat African food. I will bring the team in the big car.’ It was a big car. I’ve never seen that in my life, you know. I went with him, and I don’t remember the area that we were in. I don’t remember where it is but [there was a lot of] Caribbean food.

“It was nice. It was nice of him, and you can see in the big team why the big players are [respected]. [Rio Ferdinand was] a big person, and a good person.

“Roy Keane was [never] laughing because he is a tough guy. He is a top man; he is a top guy, but he was [never] laughing. He would just look [at you]. [With] him, he wants to see on the pitch what you can do, that’s it. I was a little bit scared because he was the captain, and I was 21-years-old. He was the captain and normally I came to play number six but I [knew] I need to wait my time to play. This is normal, but I was a little bit scared because he was hard. On the pitch, he was attacking every ball.

“Roy Keane is Roy Keane, [I can only] explain it like that. He was a nice man. He can give you advice. If you play not good, he can say to you ‘you need to know what you are doing’ and you know he was shouting at everybody. This is normal. But when the training is finished, when the game is finished, he can speak with you. He can give you advice. He was a top guy. He was impressive in the beginning when I saw him for the first time.”

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