Joel Castro Pereira – Manchester United’s latest signing

by Sam Peoples

Joel Castro Pereira. Photo: La Liberté

Manchester United recently snapped up 16-year-old goalkeeper Joel Castro Pereira from Neuchâtel Xamax, Switzerland. Nicknamed “El Gato”, the cat, the youngster will join the youth squad under the guidance of Paul McGuinness – but who is he?

He has given his first interview since becoming a Manchester United player to French media outlet La Liberté. The youngster speaks about his nickname, the move to Manchester and how he already feels part of the Manchester United family.

On his nickname “El Gato”…

“I was called that because I was jumping around. Now, no one uses this nickname but It might come back.”

On how he joined Manchester United…

“It is through my agent, a Luxembourg national who lives in Zurich, as it happened, he says. Several recruiters from Manchester had seen me play this fall, especially in an U16 match against Italy.”

“It’s amazing what has happened to me. I think I’m a little young to think about all this. For now though, I really want to finish my training at Payerne [in Switzerland].”

On what he has already learnt about Manchester United…

“We feel that this is a family there, he says. At noon, everyone eats together, whether a youth player or one of the first team. Alex Ferguson enters, greets everyone and comes to eat with us. Nobody seems above the other, that’s what hit me. I have not spoken with him because I was intimidated and my English, it’s not that. But my father and the agent discussed, mainly the structure of training. “

Manchester United’s wonderful record of nurturing the best out of our youth has been the cornerstone of our successes over the past 20 years. Here is to hoping that Pereira can become one of the world’s best in the distant future.

For the full interview in French, visit here.

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