Benito Carbone explains that best moment in English career came for Aston Villa v Leeds United

The Italian scored a hat-trick for Aston Villa against then Premier League topping Leeds United in January 2000.

Benito Carbone's career in British football was certainly nomadic. The Italian first headed to Sheffield Wednesday before playing at Aston Villa, Bradford City, Derby County and Middlesbrough before heading back to Italy.

But he has also worked in England as a coach. He worked as a special consultant at Leeds United for the under-21s upon the invitation of Massimo Cellino. He was not at Thorp Arch for long though. He left Leeds after just two months with the club.

Carbone, who has carved out a decent coaching career in the Italian lower leagues, has been speaking to the Birmingham Mail this week regarding his career in England, particularly at Aston Villa.

Where he had the best moment in his English career - against Leeds.

Carbone claims that a hat-trick against Leeds in the FA Cup in January 2000 was the best moment in his Aston Villa career.

He stated: “I do not have a single goal that sticks in my mind because all goals are important. But certainly I can’t forget the hat-trick against Leeds in the FA Cup.

“In the run-up to the FA Cup fifth round game with Leeds it wasn’t a happy moment for my private life.

"So the day before the game I spoke with John Gregory and said: “Gaffer I want to return home to Italy”.

"He answered: 'Benny, go back home to Birmingham because tomorrow you’ll score two goals'.

"He was wrong because I scored three! I think after that moment, everything changed in my experience at Villa Park. It improved of course.”

Carbone's hat-trick against Leeds that day came in a 3-2 victory and was inspired by the magic of Paul Merson in behind him. It came at a time when Leeds were in fact top of the Premier League table so times have certainly changed in the past 15 years.

Register for ASTON VILLA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch