One player who could never be accused of suffering from a lack of confidence is United’s livewire winger Nani. The Portguese star has suffered from comparisons with his countryman Cristiano Ronaldo ever since he arrived at Old Trafford, usually in a negative context.
A look st both player’s first 100 games at United shows that while they have an equal amount of league goals -19- Nani has 22 more assists than CR7 -as his mum calls him.
The Telegraph notes that Nani is taking it all in his stride:
R20;In my first season (at United), maybe a few players didn’t know me.
R20;Then they see me play and see skills and goals — and then in the next seasons they started to be more careful.
R20;Now it’s always the same. As soon as I get the ball, two players … and then I have to be clever and run away from them. I like it.
R20;I like to be a player who makes others scared.”
Nani, who scored 10 times for United last season with an impressive tally of 18 assists, was named the Players’ Player of the Season.
He added: “It was very important for me inside the dressing room, with my team-mates.
“It showed me that now everyone knows my position, how important they think I am in the team.
“Now I’m in the right position to do everything I wanted in the past.
“Last year we did well but we just won the league. We will try to win more. For me, last season was fantastic and this is a big chance to show I can do much more.”
United manager Alex Ferguson said: “Nani’s marvellous. He was brilliant – absolutely brilliant. He’s a terrific player and he’s starting to mature.
“We’re going to get the best years out of him, no doubt.”
The vast majority of Reds have always believed in Nani and those that haven’t soon changed their tune. He may be frustrating at times and his theatrics can border on the comical, but there’s no denying he’s one of the top players in the world and a born match winner.