Man Utd striker Edinson Cavani has opened up on an incident involving Mason Greenwood against Roma that showcased the veteran’s leadership qualities.
The Uruguayan centre-forward has quickly become a fan favourite at Old Trafford. The 34-year-old became the latest in a string of veteran signings in recent years, but unlike Radamel Falcao, the ex-PSG man has lived up to his reputation.
His all-action performances and dynamic forward play were recently rewarded with a brand new contract, though in typically honest fashion, the forward detailed how close he came to leaving. His footballing displays have lived up to the hype, but it is his leadership qualities that have now come into focus.
The 18-year-old was outnumbered two to one in the skirmish, but Cavani’s quick intervention prevented the situation from getting out of hand.
Now, explaining his thinking behind the actions that saw him yellow carded, Cavani told Man Utd’s official website: “I’ve always said that I’m someone who works very hard in football.
“I’m out on the pitch and part of a team to work hard for that team and to do my best for every one of the lads who go to make up our team.
“There are times when you’re out there when I believe you need to protect and stand up for one of your team-mates.
“Sometimes because it might be down to a lack of experience on their part, and they might make a mistake. Many times, it is because you believe that a situation that they are involved in during a stand-off just isn’t fair.
“In that incident against Roma, what I felt was that he was arguing face-to-face with the Roma defender which is something that can happen in football.”
Cavani explains selfless Greenwood “protection”
“The next minute, a third guy came on the scene and began pushing him when he clearly wasn’t part of the original argument,” added Cavani.
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“I told him he should keep out of the incident and that’s why I went to help Mason and offer him some protection.
“I also tried to separate the players so the incident would calm down. We were in a key period of the game and he could have been given a red card.
“I got a yellow card for my trouble, but the main thing was really to protect and defend him and to try to prevent everything escalating further.”