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Marcos Rojo leaves Man Utd dissatisfied with burnt toast on his lasting legacy


Everything was in place for Marcos Rojo to become a true Manchester United star – even his name! Instead, he leaves Old Trafford to join Boca Juniors at his home in Argentina without ever having exploited that potential.

Rojo was everything United fans love to see about defenders. He was passionate, aggressive and took no prisoners with his no-frills style of play, qualities that people like Nemanja Vidic, Patrice Evra, Gary Neville and others had also possessed during their time at the club.

Marcos Rojo
On paper, Rojo ticked all the boxes to be a huge success | Michael Regan / Getty Images

Rojo had caught United’s attention with strong performances for Argentina in the 2014 World Cup, even making it to the FIFA All-Star squad based on a performance index.

He played to the left of a full-back at this tournament, but he could also play in the center of defense and that’s where he often played in English football.

Rojo became a cult figure pretty early on following an endearing upload of burnt toast to social media, but on the pitch he struggled to warm up the same way.

He missed the preseason due to his involvement in the World Cup and the lengthy transfer process, which wasn’t exactly the clearest of deals after actually going on strike to force him. It was also not the perfect time to join a club that are trying and failing to find their identity a year after Sir Alex Ferguson retired.

Injury limited that first season to 22 Premier League appearances, although United generally won and rarely lost when Rojo played. He was even less in the league in 2015/16 and his days seemed numbered when Jose Mourinho arrived and didn’t take him away.

But when other defenders succumbed to injuries, Rojo had his chance. Phil Jones too.

For too brief a period, they looked like the real deal as a pair of center-backs. In a run from early November 2016 to mid-January 2017 they have played 10 of 11 Premier League games together since the start, a period in which United have not lost.

The race ended when Rojo was left for a game at Stoke, before Jones lost his spot and later succumbed to injury again. Rojo remained with the squad almost every week until April, but he too suffered an injury after sustaining damage to the ACL in the Europa League quarter-finals against Anderlecht.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Eric Bailly, Marcos Rojo
Rojo ended the 2016/17 season with crutches | Julian Finney / Getty Images

His United career never recovered.

Back in shape seven months later, he has only played 27 more games for the club in three and a half years until his departure this week. Fitness and additional injuries were a major factor and he was ultimately deemed to be over-needed and left a man behind.

Rojo spent what should have been the best years of his United career, joining at the perfect age of 24 and leaving at 30. However, he only managed 122 appearances during that time, which is a record as disappointing as his toast abilities.

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