"I never disrespected Sir Alex Ferguson, if anything it is the opposite, because I said things to his face," he told France Football.
"When I knew of Paul Scholes' return I understood that I would find it difficult to play and that I had to leave United.
"Ferguson told me that in Italy there is a lot of racism and that the fans were not like the Premier League's. I told him that there was no problem for me so I ended up on the team's fringes.
"My team-mates gave me the nickname of Nelson Mandela because I was opposed to Ferguson. But I would say no to Obama too.
"Conte, instead, told me that age is not important and that the best players would play. I want to become the best in the world and win the Ballon d'Or."