Manchester United - Nani Will Never Be A Ronaldo
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Nani Will Never Be A Ronaldo

Nani and Ronaldo are still in touch from time to time, the younger Portuguese winger admitted after the game at Stoke. United won that 2-0 to go top for the first time this season but it was a personal lowlight for Nani who was substituted after 55 minutes to make way for eventual matchwinner Ryan Giggs.

Fergie said 'Nani did well' but it hardly fooled anyone: the winger flattered to deceive again, not for the first time even though this season he's been relatively good, compared to last season. Now would be the time for him to step out of Ronaldo's shadow, as our Ballon d'Or winner had departed but so far Nani seems unable to perform anywhere near his rich potential.

'Cristiano and I talk a lot,' Nani revealed to Sky Sports News.

'We speak about my own game and he gives me confidence to go out and perform.'

Fergie gives him the chances, as he usually does with talented young players but time must be running out for Nani. He could do well to pick up some tips from his compatriot if they indeed talk - but Nani will never be able to really emulate Ronaldo.

Stoke fans chanted 'You'll never be Ronaldo' to Nani and to be frank, they're right. Ronaldo was never among the more intelligent players - and by intelligence I mean footballing intelligence. He had great pace, a brilliant array of tricks but never really became a creative player in the Ronaldinho mould because he did not have the brains for it.

Nani's got similar problems: his technical skills are excellent but his decision-making is horrible. He's a good dribbler, a great crosser, he's got pace, he's got a good shot - but he can't decide when to use which.

Ronaldo, however, became the best player of the world and Nani's still struggling to be regarded even as a good player. Why is that?

First, Nani lacks the single-mindedness of Ronaldo. He's more relaxed, he's got a smaller ego which does him no favours in this case. Ronaldo simply could not tolerate mediocrity, he wanted to be outstanding and eventually he found a way to be precisely that.

However, the route he found is blocked for Nani: he just doesn't have Ronaldo's astonishing athleticism. He'll never be the powerful, unstoppable goalscorer Ronaldo became because he does not have the tools for it. He's not as strong, not as fast, not as good in the air, not as direct. Yes, direct: Ronaldo became a very, very direct player. Gone were the needless tricks, the endless dribbles: he cut them out as they did not advance his chances of becoming the best player in the world.

Ronaldo said he firmly believed Nani would go on to become one of the best players in the world. For the reasons above, I think that is out of the question - Nani has an awful lot of work to do in order to be simply a quality winger. I hope Fergie's got some brilliant idea about how to achieve that, how to make Nani cut out all the redundant stuff - it might be easier to simply replace Giggs' brain with his.

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The Journalist

Writer: Zae Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday September 28 2009

Time: 9:30PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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Have to agree with you about Nani not being as physically strong as Ronaldo. He doesn't have every fan who doesn't support United on his back either which I believe helped Ronaldo, instead he has United fans on his back. It's make or break for him, if he can improve his decision making I believe we will see the transformation of a player, much like Darren Fletcher. I am not holding my breath though, any ideas when Obertan is returning.
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28/09/2009 22:48:00

Its such a shame too. Technically he does have the attributes to be one of the best in the league. But mentally, he lacks confidence and intelligence. Two things which, if he can't find them within himself, he'll never be able to develop. Him and Anderson, have the tools to succeed, but in todays premier league, we cant afford the mistakes that the scholes and gigssys would have been allowed in their youth.
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28/09/2009 23:18:00

Lets just hope Ljajic doesnt end up following the current trends set by Nani, Anderson and Tosic.
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28/09/2009 23:19:00

I would prefer it if Nani just played like Nani rather than trying to be Ronaldo. If he just plays the way that he did before he signed for Man U i could see his game improving completely
One United 92
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29/09/2009 13:50:00

I still think that there is a lot more to come from him, and in some ways he brings other skills so its not fair to make these comparisons.
Report Abuse
29/09/2009 15:52:00

I'll take time off work and drive him off to Botafogo in Brazil tmrw!
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30/09/2009 01:33:00

Nani will never be a Ronaldo? Don't do the man down just yet folks. Give him one full season under the master tutelage of taggart and I'm sure he'll soon learn how to go down like a sack of spuds every time a defender comes near him, whinge at the ref every time he doesn't get a decision and generally sulk and cheat his way through matches. Oh yea of little faith!
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30/09/2009 11:03:00

lol 5th Col Blue - even if hes crap by our standards (I think he will improve drastically this season) hes still better than most players in the City wannabee squad!
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30/09/2009 12:43:00


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