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Just a few weeks ago, Federico ‘Kiko’ Macheda might have eyed April in the diary expecting to play most of his football at Moss Lane, home of non-league Altrincham FC and also United Reserves.

Instead, the young Italian has enjoyed a dream goalscoring debut at Old Trafford, netted the winner at the Stadium of Light and made his first senior start for United at Wembley.

Still only 17, Macheda has made a meteoric rise through the Reds' ranks since arriving from Lazio in September 2007, as our timeline shows:

15 September 2007 – Makes his United Academy debut away at Barnsley and grabs the only goal of the game as the Reds run out 1-0 winners.

13 December 2007 – Scores the winner with nine minutes remaining on his FA Youth Cup debut as United edge out West Bromwich Albion 2-1.

26 February 2008 – Comes off the bench for the Reserves in a 2-0 defeat against an experienced Liverpool side at Warrington’s Halliwell Jones Stadium. Macheda pits his wits against Martin Skrtel during his 22 minute run-out.

27 March 2008 – Nets his first goal for the Reserves in his first start as the Reds ease to a 3-1 win over Newcastle United at Northwich.

8 October 2008 – Bags his first Reserves goal of the 2008/09 season as United beat Bolton Wanderers 3-0, pouncing on a loose ball to put the Reds ahead.

18 February 2009 – Scores twice but is then sent off as the Reserves battle back from 4-1 down to beat Wigan Athletic 5-4 in a breathtaking game at Robin Park Arena.

30 March 2009 – Bags a Reserves hat-trick against Newcastle at St James’ Park, including a superb 89th-minute equaliser. His performance earns him a place in the senior squad.

5 April 2009 - Comes on for Nani in the 61st minute with United trailing 2-1 at home to Aston Villa in a vital league game. Ronaldo equalises in the 80th minute but the Reds are still set to drop two costly points until Macheda turns to fire a glorious winner past Brad Friedel in the dying moments. Kiko rushes to celebrate with his father in the crowd - and is harshly booked by referee Mike Riley for doing so!

11 April 2009 - Makes his second first-team appearance, again as a substitute (for Berbatov, 75). A minute after coming on, he scores his second winning goal for the Reds to defeat Sunderland 2-1 at the Stadium of Light.

19 April 2009 - Macheda is named in United's senior starting line-up for the very first time, in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley. Federico plays well but there's no fairytale this time as Everton beat the Reds in a penalty shoot-out.
 
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