Hopes were high for Nani upon his arrival at Manchester United back in 2007.
After all, it had only been four years since another young Portuguese talent signed from Sporting by the name of Cristiano Ronaldo lit up Old Trafford with his dazzling dribbling and wing wizadry. However, Nani was his own man, his own talent and he has recently discussed how those comparisons with his fellow countryman impacted him.
The 36-year-old is currently plying his trade down under with Australian outfit Melbourne Victory, but has been reflecting on his eight-year spell in the red half of Manchester as well as giving his thoughts on Ronaldo’s recent transfer to Saudi Arabian side Al-Nassr.
Speaking to relevo, Nani was asked what he made of the constant comparisons linking him to Ronaldo, to which he felt wasn’t a natural one to make.
“I heard that comparison a lot, but it didn’t make sense,” the former Red Devils ace admitted. “It was good to be compared to an out of the ordinary, but I had my own style.
“Luckily I was able to have great seasons in England. In Valencia not so much because I had injuries, but whenever I was well, I left assists and goals.”
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He’s not wrong, Nani managed to register 41 goals and 71 assists across 240 appearances in the famous red shirt.
The winger shared a dressing room with Ronaldo for two years at Old Trafford and spent the entirety of his international career alongside him for Portugal, so is likely to know him better than most.
With that in mind, Nani has commented on Ronaldo’s Saudi switch and heaped praise on his former team-mate for all he has done to inspire others.
“Everyone does what they want in their life. [Lionel] Messi and Ronaldo, whatever they decide, whether for financial reasons or not, they have every right.,” Nani claimed.
“We must always support them because if today we can say that we witnessed unique football moments, it was thanks to them. They inspired a lot of people, they continue to do so and if football evolved it was largely thanks to them.”
Nani is widely regarded as a popular figure among the Old Trafford faithful, which should come as no surprise considering how much he helped the club win in what was an illustrious period.
The Portuguese ace has four Premier Leagues – more than Ronaldo, two League Cups and a Champions League to show for his time at United.