Former Manchester United midfielder and World Cup-winner Kleberson has been hired as New York City’s new assistant coach.
The Brazilian spent two years at Old Trafford and struggled to make an impact after winning the World Cup in 2002. It is often joked that we got Kleberson instead of Ronaldinho, but I wish I didn’t find it funny.
Last year he admitted he just wasn’t good enough to compete for a spot in Sir Alex Ferguson’s side after joining the club in 2003 as a replacement for Juan Sebastian Veron.
In an exclusive interview with the official Manchester United website, Kleberson said the competition level was “too high” for him at that point in his career.
“In the club at that time, we had players with great background – Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt, Ryan Giggs, Roy Keane – and they brought in young guys like me and Eric Djemba-Djemba to fight with those guys… it was not a fair fight, to be honest!
“Those guys knew how to play in the Premier League, they had grown up there. Me and Djemba-Djemba just had dreams of beating those guys, and they were very nice guys, very patient – saying that we were the future, trying to help us – but they were just too far ahead of us.”
The 43-year-old joins the City Football Group MLS club in a move that could eventually see him land a job as a manager in the game, as confirmed by New York City.
Kléberson's getting right to work with the squad 💪 @ScienceinSport
— New York City Football Club (@NYCFC) July 20, 2022
This is a path Kleberson seemingly wants to go down since he had been an assistant coach with Philadelphia Union II in MLS Next Pro.
Kleberson will now be assistant to Norwegian coach Nick Cushing, who became NYC’s interim coach last month when Ronny Delia left the MLS champions for the Standard Liege job.
They will be up against Wayne Rooney’s DC United and Phil Neville’s Inter Miami. It’s really David Beckham’s Inter Miami if anyone asks!