To be mentioned in the same breath as Cristiano Ronaldo, Nani has made a name for himself in his own right with a host of major titles and international appearances in a career 17 years old and still on-going. Presently with Italian side Venezia, we take a look at some of the greatest quotes about Nani.
Playing mainly in the wing position, the highest honours in his career include the English Premiership, the Champions League, and the European Championship.
Abandoned by his parents when young, Nani had his first big break with Sporting CP before joining Manchester United in 2007. Initially living with his Portuguese team-mate Ronaldo, he excelled at the club with four Premier League titles, and one Champions League triumph in eight seasons, together with 40 goals.
Though playing for a mixture of clubs towards the latter end of his career, Nani’s goal ratio increased as he developed more of a role in the forward position. Due to his natural attacking instincts, he was also deployed as a striker in a central position for his national team Portugal.
A 112-match international career was highlighted by a successful run in the 2016 European Championship, where Nani contributed with three goals and took the captain’s armband in the final.
Nani is also well known for his ‘somersault’ celebration after scoring a goal. His recent participation with Venezia however resulted in a relegation for the team from the top flight of Italian football.
“…..easily the most productive player…..Nani’s my player of the year…..He’s easily been our most productive player…..as good as anybody else in the league this season.”
Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United defender)
“…..Nani brings tremendous experience to our roster…..He’s a dynamic winger with quality abilities to move and cross the ball, impact games and lead the offensive play.”
Luiz Muzzi (Orlando City’s EVP of Soccer Operations)
“He is unbelievable…..Really, he is the same player as Cristiano. The only major difference is that Cristiano is more experienced…..Nani has scored some good goals already…..”
Patrice Evra (Manchester United team-mate)
“He’s the kind of player who gets me off my seat. He’s exciting to watch and he always wants to beat his man, which is a great trait in an attacker. He always wants the ball, he’s determined and he scores regularly too.”
“He dribbled the ball around some of the older lads. One of the coaches spotted his talent straight away and asked him to come back. Within a year he was signed up. And since then his life has been all about football…..But he has proved everyone wrong by his hard work and determination.”
Antonia Almeida (aunty)
“Nani is young but I know he can become a big star. He has so many qualities to his game…..He have the same big impact as Cristiano…..an incredible talent and ability…..”
Manuel Fernandes (Portugal under-21 player)
“He’s one of the most gifted young players in Europe, and what’s more, he’s stronger than I thought he was.”
Felix Magath (former Bayern Munich manager)
“He is an emerging talent and has developed tremendously since joining the club.”
Alex Ferguson (Manchester United manager)
“…..Nani is someone who is a talented player.”
David Moyes (Manchester United manager)
“He’s still a real talent, as we’ve seen. He’s got the attributes any Premier League team, I would have thought, would be interested in, especially given the form he’s in at the moment…..He had good times at Man United. He was a Champions League winner there.”
Mark Bowen (Stoke City assistant manager)
“I think Nani was an incredible player…..He was an amazing player, technical, he could score, shoot with two feet. I would say him, Nani is one guy that could have played longer for United.”
Fabio da Silva (former Manchester United team-mate)
“He has great ability and experience beyond his 26 years. I’ve been impressed with his approach to training.”
David Moyes (Manchester United manager)
“Nani is now a little young but he has really big potential…..They will talk a lot about him and he will become a star…..Nani could be Figo’s heir.”
Luiz Felipe Scolari (Portugal coach)