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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Feb 1, 2007

Larsson 'loving every minute' at United

Henrik Larsson claims his move to Manchester United has given him a new lease of life.

Although it took the 35-year-old a few days to decide whether to accept Sir Alex Ferguson's short-term loan offer, the Swede has no regrets about abandoning the quiet life in his home town of Helsingborg for the `goldfish bowl' which surrounds Old Trafford.

'At my age, I didn't think I would get the chance to play with players of this calibre again,' he said.

'I moved back home to Sweden last summer and more or less decided I did not want to go anywhere else, so when United came in for me it was a bit surprising and very flattering.

'I have been watching these guys on TV for quite a while and I just could not say no.

'Now I am here, I am enjoying it immensely. There is a great team spirit, which is so important, and I am loving every minute I get on the pitch.'

Larsson remains steadfast in his intent to return home as planned on March 12 - but given the instant impact he has made at Old Trafford, it is difficult to see how Sir Alex Ferguson could allow him to leave without a concerted attempt to persuade him to stay for the remainder of the campaign.

There has been no sign of his advancing years as yet, nor any evidence that six months back home in Sweden following his departure from Barcelona has blunted either his appetite or undoubted skill.

After producing a sublime pass in the build-up to Wayne Rooney's opening goal in the FA Cup win over Portsmouth last weekend, Larsson had the favour returned against Watford last night as the young striker set him up for his first Barclays Premiership goal.

'It was a great ball,' said Larsson.

'I thought Wayne was going to hit it - but at the last second, he slid the ball through. I got a good first touch and I just managed to push it past the goalkeeper.'

The prospect of playing alongside Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo was certainly one of the main motivating factors in Larsson's decision to accept the challenge of life in England.

'I have always said it is easy to play with great players - and they are great players,' he said.

'It's frightening to think they can only get better, because both are already up at such a high level.

'It is up to them how good they want to be - there is no limit.'

Larsson's contribution to last night's 4-0 success enabled United to further extend their goal difference advantage over Chelsea to 14 - worth an extra point in addition to their six-point lead.

With 13 games remaining, the Old Trafford outfit look well placed to clinch their first championship in four seasons.

However, they must first overcome a series of testing away games - starting at Tottenham on Sunday.

Ferguson knows only too well the unseen difficulties that may occur, which is why he took the opportunity against Watford to hand the likes of Kieran Richardson and John O'Shea rare starts.

'The idea is to make sure all the squad have some football behind them,' he said.

'We did it over the Christmas period, and the lads are starting to get some miles on the clock - which is important.

'When it comes to the busy period in March and April these players will play their part for us, no question about that.'