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Five Aside

Fergie praises United 'warrior' Heinze

The love-in between Sir Alex Ferguson and Gabriel Heinze has continued with the Manchester United boss hailing the Argentine as a 'warrior'.

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Heinze left United in acrimonious circumstances, having been shipped out to Real Madrid after failing in a bid to secure a move to Liverpool. Heinze has since moved on to Marseille and will face his former club in the Champions League on Wednesday.

The defender said in an interview with ESPNsoccernet that he regretted the way his relationship with United soured - admitting Ferguson was a huge influence on his career. It was suggested the relationship was still strained, but Ferguson has insisted it is the player's agent rather than Heinze that was the cause of the unrest.

"I have no problem with Gaby," Ferguson said. "He was badly advised in my opinion. He [Heinze's agent] engineered a situation to try and trick David Gill, which we then proved it was of no foundation. So we stopped his agent's attempts to get him to Liverpool. He appealed and they lost it unanimously and Gaby moved on to Real Madrid.

"He was a fantastic player for us, a warrior and in three years with us he did very well."


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