Philippe Mexes says he is glad he joined Roma rather than Manchester United in 2004.
United were linked with a move for Mexes at the start of the 2004/5 campaign when the Frenchman was looking to leave Auxerre and embark on the next stage of his career.
But Mexes felt Roma showed more desire to sign him, and he also believes he has developed more as a player than he would have done at Old Trafford.
"I have chosen Roma because I didn't feel the English side had the same interest that Giallorossi had," he told Corriere dello Sport.
"I also didn't consider myself able to do such a big step, passing directly from a side like Auxerre to Manchester
"At that time Roma were already a big club but they were under construction. In Italy I became stronger and I don't know if this would have happened in England.
"Sir Alex Ferguson gave me a Manchester United jersey with my name. I will always have it, but I'm happy for the choice I made."
Roma face Manchester United in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League and Mexes added: "I want to show Sir Alex to have not been wrong in my choice."
Simone Perrotta, meanwhile, hopes Roma can emulate the success of Italy at last summer's World Cup.
The midfielder, who was born in Ashton-under-Lyne, feels Manchester United are the best team in Europe at the moment but is confident of causing an upset.
"We have the same unity within the group as the national team and the same mentality," he said.
"Now we hope to get the same results as Italy did at the World Cup.
"When we beat Lyon I said I wanted to face Man United in the quarter finals," he said.
"It is a unique tie for me for many reasons.
"It will give my parents and me the opportunity to return to a city where we shared so many fond memories.
"We know that we face the team that play the best football in Europe."