Manchester United: Kenji Gorré reveals the devastating moment Sir Alex Ferguson released him

In a candid and eye-opening interview, Kenji Gorré relived the moment Sir Alex Ferguson told him he wouldn’t make it at Manchester United.

Born in the Netherlands to Ajax star, Dean Roberto Gorré, the natural-born player quickly gravitated towards ‘the beautiful game’, showing an instant understanding of the complexities of the sport. Consequently, at just six years old, the big boys started taking note, with both ‘The Red Devils’ and Manchester City making moves to secure his services.

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Fast forward a decade, and he was signing on the dotted line at Old Trafford, with his dream coming closer to becoming a reality.

However, the cutthroat nature of football soon started to rear its ugly head, as competing for opportunities against the best players on the planet proved difficult.

Kenji Gorré discusses playing with Paul Pogba at Manchester United

Speaking in a new series called Released, he said: “I just loved Manchester United. I was really happy there, and I was going to do everything in my power to stay. And I remember the likes of Jesse Lingard used to come down and play with us, Michael Keane used to come down and play with us. So for us younger guys, our chances were so limited. And I remember thinking, ‘Am I gonna get my scholar?’.

“I remember when I went into the office with Brian McClair, my dad, my mum, and when we’re there, they said, ‘We want to offer you a scholarship’, and it was just such a good feeling. Now it’s serious. Now I feel like a real professional football player. It was a two-year scholarship that they offered me at the time, and when you’re 18, they’ll assess the situation, which is where that will take you.

“So my two-year scholarship at United was kind of a mix. In the beginning, you come in as a first-year, and they were signing players. So it was difficult to get minutes. But it was also amazing because I was training every day with the world’s best players. Paul Pogba was there, Jesse Lingard was there, all these guys I was training with every single day. And it made me into a better player. When we were there on scholarship, we used to be there and experience the first team, have lunch with them, and interact with them – it was a real eye-opener as well for us, because now we were really getting close to hitting the goals that we set ourselves as kids, to get the dream that we desired from such a young age.

“The training definitely used to be intense. I think the pressure then starts to double; it starts to get amplified. I could see there’s only a couple of months left here, and emotions would really kick in where I was nearly in tears; I wanted it so much.”

Sir Alex Ferguson releases Kenji Gorré from Manchester United

In a moment that all prospects dread, with the best of intentions, Sir Alex Ferguson had to do what he thought was best.

Gorré explained: “My coach Paul McGuinness said to me, ‘The boss wants to speak to you’, and I was like ‘Wow, what’s going on here, I’m going into the office’. So I knocked on the door, and Sir Alex says, ‘Come on, son, come in. Kenji, first of all, I appreciate you, and I appreciate you as a man. You’ve had an amazing ten years here. I can give you a contract right now, but I know that’s not going to do you any good’.

“And that’s when he started to share with me how there were a lot of guys in front of me. He started naming names like Andreas Pereira, Adnan Januzaj, Nani and all these guys who were ahead of me at that time. And then he said, ‘I know that you’re not gonna get the game time that you deserve, and I know the quality that you’ve got. This is the right time for you to move on, and I want to thank you for your ten years of being here’.

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He continued: “I remember shaking his hand and saying thank you so much. Then I shut the door behind me. And I remember going downstairs, getting into my car, and I just burst out crying. I just let it all out. I remember feeling like I’d let everyone down. I’ve let my parents down, who have sacrificed their life for me; that’s how it felt. It was so heavy. And I can remember not knowing who I was anymore. What was I gonna tell my friends? They knew me as Kenji Gorre, the guy that played for Manchester United. I’d been that guy from 6 years old. Now I’m 18, and I don’t know who I am.”

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What has happened to Kenji Gorré

In a testament to his iron will, the left winger continued his career, playing for a number of top-level clubs. And while missing out on a lucrative deal at The Theatre of Dreams was tough, it only took a bit of reggae to put everything in perspective.

Gorré said: “I remember the next morning, my dad was making breakfast downstairs, the music was on – Bob Marley, Don’t Worry etc. He was just making his breakfast, and then he said to me, ‘Sit down. Listen to me. When one door closes, another one opens’. And that’s when my shoulders just went down, and it was exactly what I needed at that time. He said, ‘Where do you wanna go?’, and that’s when my whole perspective changed, and I thought, where do I want to go? What is it that I want? What do I desire? Where is it that I want to play?

From this point, the youngster proved his potential, producing quality spells at Everton and Swansea.

Now, aged 27, he stands tall as an icon for Portuguese side Boavista. Furthermore, he represents the Curaçao flag with pride on the international scene.

He’s living proof that with hard work and determination, you can always bounce back from adversity.

Featured Image Credit: Getty