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United's family atmosphere helps Anderson shine

Anderson has thanked Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez for providing the support he needed to become a Manchester United star. The Brazilian midfielder has been a revelation since joining United from Porto two years ago.

sports Updated: May 26, 2009 11:51 IST

Anderson has thanked Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez for providing the support he needed to become a Manchester United star.

The Brazilian midfielder, 21, has been a revelation since joining United from Porto two years ago and is preparing for a second successive Champions League final appearance.

Over the last 18 months he has become an increasingly important part of Sir Alex Ferguson's side as United have won back to back Premier League titles and last season's Champions League.

Having scored a penalty in the shoot-out victory over Chelsea in last year's final in Moscow, Anderson is looking to round off another remarkable season against Barcelona in Rome.

Anderson acknowledges that moving to the north west of England has been a huge culture shock after growing up in Brazil and spending time in Portugal.

The Da Silva twins, Rafael and Fabio, and Rodrigo Possebon have now followed in his footsteps and look set for successful careers at Old Trafford.

But Anderson feels he owes a debt to Ronaldo and Tevez for making his transition to the Premier League so easy. And he admits he is enjoying himself even more now Robinho has moved to Manchester City.

He said: "Cristiano was fantastic for me and for Carlos Tevez when we joined in the first season when we both joined at the same time and he continues to be a great support.

"Obviously with Robinho being in town as well he's always available to help out if needed.

"It's a real contrast I came from a poor background. To have the opportunity to play in two finals is fantastic.

"Lining up alongside players like Ronaldo, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Wazza (Wayne Rooney) is an amazing thing for a young player.

"I don't think the change of lifestyle can change you as a person. You want to win things in life.

"But going from different lifestyles doesn't change you as a person. I'm still the same person I was back then."

Anderson is also full of praise for his manager Sir Alex Ferguson and feels the veteran Scot is a father figure for the United players.

The midfielder claims that Ferguson has the personal touch, particularly with the squad's younger members.

He added: "He's a big daddy, especially to the young players. He supports us, gives us maturity needed to succeed and above all he gives us the trust.

"He does what he does best and tries to keep everyone happy. This is a big family and I feel comfortable with everybody.

"We're all good friends apart from being good players and Manchester United is the greatest team in the world."

Nemanja Vidic has been a key man in United's mean defence once again this season.

But the Serbian centre-back, who is set to line up alongside Rio Ferdinand in Italy, feels United's campaign has been characterised by the ability to get a breakthrough when it really matters.

United have pulled off several late victories on their way to winning a third straight Premier League and Vidic thinks that could be key against Barcelona.

He said: "We play more like a team, this year we play more for the result because we have the experience.

"When we need the goals we score the goals. A few games we were one or two goals down and won the games.

"We have shown when we need to score the goals our attackers can.

"When you play the final it is not going to be easy. You play to enjoy it but you know there is responsibility for that game and there is going to be big pressure and you have to deal with that.

"We want to win it again this year because it is not going to happen every year that we get to the final and we have to use our chances to win a trophy."