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Manchester United midfielder Anderson in car crash

Manchester United midfielder Anderson has been involved in a car crash in Portugal and was pulled from the wreckage moments before it burst into flames, according to reports.

Anderson is said to have spent hours in hospital after the crash, which occured at around 7am on a rural road in Braga, but sustained only minor injuries.

The 22-year-old spent the night at the Sardinha Biba nightclub before leaving in a £125,000 Audi R8 and a witness said he was pulled ''lifeless'' from the wreckage before it went up in flames.

Almeno Antunes, who according to Jornal de Noticias helped rescue the three people in the car, said: "I saw a cloud of smoke ahead of me. The car was unable to straighten up after a slight bend and went into the field and caught fire. I thought he was dead. My brother dragged him out."

Two companions - a man known as Victor and a young Brazilian woman, whose details have not been released - were also said to have been involved in the accident and were taken to St Mark's hospital to be treated for concussion, whiplash and shock. "They had only minor injuries," a hospital spokesman, Roman Fresco, said.

Anderson ruptured his cruciate ligament in February and has been out of action since. The Portuguese press quoted the Gestifute agency, which represents Anderson, as saying the Brazilian would now return to Manchester to continue his rehabilitation after suffering an "almighty scare".

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