Nani has been speaking of his determination to move out of the ‘next Ronaldo’ label shadow and build on the success of last season.
The Portuguese winger told Inside United magazine:
“Last year was my best year, definitely my most consistent season.”
“Now I hope this is my year. I will do my best. If I am fit for every game, I am 100% sure I will do my best and will do well for my team. This is a big chance to show I can do much more, that I’m a good player with a very strong mentality. I always work hard to be successful and help my team to win titles.”
Speaking of how long he’d been at the club Nani said:
“It’s true. I’m one of the old players now. This is my fifth season here and yes, five years is enough to learn everything about this club. I’ve been in the most important moments of this club in the last few years, and it’s great, the life I’ve had here.”
Nani seems destined to be forever in Ronaldo’s shadow sometimes, a view that he’s aware of himself:
“For five years, every time the question is the same,” he said. “It’s all about Ronaldo. You have to be him. Are you doing the same? Do you think you can do it now?
“Always when I do something good it’s the same. When I do OK, it’s nothing. When I do something very good, they come with this question about him. But it’s OK. It doesn’t change anything in me. This is my fifth year here and people know what I can do. Sometimes I play a nice game, sometimes I play not such a fantastic game, but I think everyone knows me and what I can do. Maybe my form has to be more consistent and my performances in the past should be like that.
“Now I’m in this position I’m more confident, more consistent. I can do for 90 minutes what in the past I just did for 45, and that’s the most important thing.
“I don’t need to show anything to anyone because I know who I am, which player I am, and now I just need to put everything on the pitch.
“When I do that, I do it for me, for my family and for my team. Of course I know when I do that, it’s always for the fans as well.
“They take everything good from the game. They love goals and skills as well. But I don’t do it for the media because when you try to do it for the media, nothing goes well. I think the most important thing is to be natural and play the way you are.”
Nani seems to have got over the small slump he suffered at the end of last season, and while he’s still not firing on all cylinders he’s still been a threat and if he can repeat the form he showed for the first two thirds of last season then maybe that Ronaldo shadow can finally be removed.
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