Manchester United to face feared Wolfsburg strikers as Grafite ready to show art of goal-scoring

By Christopher Davies for MailOnline

Manchester United will tomorrow come up against the most prolific strike-partnership in Bundesliga history when they face Wolfsburg at Old Trafford. 

Brazil's Grafite and Edin Dzeko of Bosnia-Herzegovina scored a record 54 goals between them as Wolfsburg were crowned German champions for the first time last season.  

But Grafite, who notched a hat-trick in Wolfsburg's 3-1 opening day Champions League win over CSKA Moscow, revealed he used to be a goalkeeper until he was hit in the most painful area.  

Grafite (left)

Prolific: Brazilian forward Grafite (left) is of half of Wolfsburg's strike-force

He said: 'Until I was 12 I was a goalkeeper. One day someone kicked the ball at me and it struck me in the lower parts. I said I was never going to play in goal again and have been true to my word.'  

The Brazilian marksman - real name Edinaldo - admitted he disliked his nickname at first but it has brought him luck and recognition as a professional.  

Grafite said: 'I started playing professionally late, aged 22 because I already had a job selling rubbish bags on the streets. 

'I left the countryside of Sao Paulo for a trial with Matonense. There were a number of players having trials and the coach didn't know my name so he nicknamed me Grafite. 

Edin Dzeko nets

Partner in crime: Bosnian international Edin Dzeko (left) nets with a header

'At first I didn't like it and I told the coach my name was Edinaldo. He told me he'd played with a player called Grafite who looked like me. 

'I completed the trial, passed it and when I was registered my shirt came with a number 18 and the name Grafite. The nickname stayed and it's been good for me ever since.' 

United have not lost a Champions League home tie since the 1-0 defeat by AC Milan in February 2005 but Grafite said Wolfsburg are quietly confident about the visit to Old Trafford. 

He said: 'We are looking forward to going there, to have a good match and bring back one or three points. That's our objective.  

'This is a team that has grown together, has had difficulties together but is going through a marvellous period together. There is a brotherhood together on the pitch and in the dressing room'.