football

Memphis Depay delivers defiant verdict on Man Utd spell in documentary


Memphis Depay allowed a camera crew to follow his every move in a bid to improve his reputation as one of ­football’s bad boys.

But when the documentary was aired on Dutch TV last week, it only reinforced the perception in Holland that the 27-year-old striker is still a bling-obsessed brat.

The former Manchester United man refused to listen to Wayne Rooney’s advice on how to conduct himself at Old Trafford – by turning up to a reserve game in a Rolls Royce while wearing a cowboy hat.

Depay, who has just joined Barcelona after allowing his contract with Lyon to expire, was filmed taking private jets, partying in Dubai – and performing a self-penned rap song about flopping at United while sitting behind the wheel of his latest Roller.

But it was the lack of respect he showed to his mother and his personal assistant throughout the programme that caused ­uproar in Holland.



Depay struggled to settle at Old Trafford
Depay struggled to settle at Old Trafford

Depay is unrepentant about his behaviour in the documentary, called With Both Feet.

He said: “My whole life is upside down. They talk about the headlines in papers, me wearing a hat and all the f****** s***.

“They say, in Manchester I flopped. But let’s go, man. I drive a Rolls Royce, this is my life.

“I was not given anything, I have earned it all with both feet. I am not good, I am not bad. Just don’t forget to check my past, check my scars.

“I am a lion, I am a king. I have fashion in my blood and only big dreams. I don’t care what people think about me. It is my life and if I am the black sheep, so it is. I do what I want anyway.”

The programme delves into Depay’s troubled childhood, which goes some way to ­explaining his belief that he is fighting the world.

His mum Cora recalled how her son built barriers to protect himself after his ­father walked out on the family when he was a young boy.

Cora revealed: “Other mums would not even invite him to their kids’ birthday parties.

“What has made him like he is today? I think the fact that we were both deserted by his dad and we were left with the two of us.

“That caused a lot of pain. As a young kid, he felt vulnerable. Memphis has put this wall up. He made sure he was going to get strong in every way.

“Verbally, he was not the best, but he did not want to look weak as he feared he would get pushed aside or get hurt. He felt he had to grow up quickly.”

Depay failed to settle in Manchester after Louis van Gaal took him to United in a £25million deal from PSV Eindhoven.

He scored just seven goals in 53 ­appearances and when he was banished to the reserves, Rooney’s attempt to offer him advice on how to turn his career around was not well received.

Depay lasted 18 months before being loaned to Lyon and then completing a £17m permanent move. His career was rejuvenated in France and when Ronald Koeman took him to Barcelona, it was a dream come true.

Koeman helped Depay form a deadly ­understanding with Gini Wijnaldum when he was in charge of the Dutch national team – and they have produced five goals and five assists between them as Holland stormed through the Euro group stages to set up a last-16 clash with the Czech ­Republic in Budapest today.

Depay insists he is immune to the fresh criticism that came his way after the documentary’s screening.

He said: “I am used to it. I live in a country where everyone has an opinion. It has never been easy. It all started when I was a ­little boy.

“People used to say, ‘Why do you always look angry?’ My mum used to tell people I was not angry – it is just the way I look.”





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