Former Manchester United forward Federico Macheda has told La Gazzetta dello Sport he will always be grateful to Sir Alex Ferguson after finding form again with Serie B club Novara.
Macheda, 25, joined Novara in December -- a move that had Ferguson's backing -- after being released by Cardiff City last summer and then training with Watford.
He returned to the headlines after scoring twice in a 3-2 win over third-placed Frosinone at the weekend.
And speaking nine years after making his United debut in the FA Cup semifinal against Everton, he said: "I was living a dream in one of the best stadiums in the world, in one of the best clubs in the world.
"I still have all the shirts in a bag, and I can remember what my former teammates told me. They kept telling me never to give up because you can go from the very top to the very bottom in an instant."
Macheda said his former United boss had advised him on his switch to Serie B, adding: "Yes, I spoke with him before coming to Novara.
"He means a huge amount to me, both on a human and a footballing level. I will never be able to thank him enough."
Macheda has scored five goals in 15 Serie B appearances, and said he hoped his three-month-old son Lorenzo would get to see him playing in Serie A one day.
"I certainly don't think it's too late," he added. "I just need a bit of consistency -- and besides, I've already played at that level."