Date:Monday June 4 2007
Full Name: Luis Carlos Almeida da Cunha
DOB: 17th November 1986 (Age 20)
Position(s): LM, RM, AMF,
Fee: Reported to be around £17 million
Though Utd`s double transfer raid on Portugal came as some surprise to me, and I would believe most Utd fans, I do not think that when it was announced that Nani was in fact one of those captured that many eyebrows would have been raised. The reason for this being that the 20 year old wonderkid from Portugal has never kept his desire to join Manchester United a secret ever since stating that it would be a "dream" to play alongside his hero, and international teammate Cristiano Ronaldo. Nani, which has been hailed as the "next Cristiano Ronaldo" has soared to international reputation for his energetic style of play, pace down the wing, and his array of skills he has in his locker. Sound familiar, doesn`t it? In fact, upon hearing the news of Nani`s signing, Cristiano Ronaldo actually hailed Nani as a "phenomenon", a huge complement form what many people believe to be the best player in the world at the moment.
Luis Carlos Almeida da Cunha (a.k.a. Nani) was actually born on the Cape Verde Island, just off of the west coast of Africa, however his family decided to move to Lisbon when Nani was a small child, and Nani would spend many years to come in the capital. As a youngster, Nani was snatched up by Sporting Lisbon, a route taken by many Portuguese greats, most notably Luis Figo and Cristiano Ronaldo. At 18, Nani made his professional debut for Sporting, and would become the youngest ever player to play for the club. Last season, Nani made 29 appearances for the club, scoring 5 goals and assisting numerous others, which helped the team to the Portuguese Cup. On May 30th 2007, Manchester United confirmed the signing of Nani from Sporting Lisbon. Though it is not certain, the transfer fee is rumoured to be in the region of £17 million. Though this is very high, we must remember that we had previously signed Cristiano Ronaldo from them for just £12.24 million, and he has matured into one, if not the best player in the world worth over the £30+ million with ease, so it is unsurprising that the Portuguese club did not want to see him go, but after triggering a clause in his contract they were left defenceless to stop it. I`m sure that Nani can go on to achieve even half of what Cristiano Ronaldo has done already, people will soon stop questioning his price tag.
Personally, I believe Nani to be one of the most exciting prospects in world football, and for Manchester United to have secured hi services, is a credit to both the club and Sir Alex, for being bold enough to gamble on a player who`s admirers included all of the superpowers of European football. Much like the Anderson deal, I think that the signing of Nani shows our commitment to the future of our game, and with Nani`s pace, flair and unbelievably quick feet, he is sure to become an instant fans favourite. Having said that, I do believe that we must give him a chance, because I do recall when Cristiano Ronaldo first joined, many labelled him as a "one-trick pony", but Sir Alex, and probably more importantly Carlos Quieroz was able to nurture him into the unbelievable talent that he is now, and if the two can emulate the same feat with Nani, he is sure to achieve the same level of success as Ronaldo.
Unlike Anderson, I believe Nani may experience more first team action next season. Sir Alex has already stated that he wished to adopt Giggs into a more central role next season, and so with the arrival of Nani, a natural left-sided winger I expect him to start to cement that role next season. Having said this, I do not expect him to play all the games, and with Giggs, Park, Ronaldo, Anderson, Rooney and possibly Richardson (if he`s still there) I expect us to be well covered in the wide areas, and so we will have the ability to mix it up once in a while, in order o keep everyone fresh, and prevent the occurrences that we saw towards the end of last season form repeating themselves, where we struggled to even put out 11 players.
So, in conclusion, I think that the signing of Nani is a superb addition to the team, and along with Rooney, Ronaldo and Anderson I expect to see many tricks and flicks in the future, and though Nani is obviously a long-term replacement for Giggs, I feel he can make a huge impact next season, and hopefully we`ll see this kind of celebration many times in the future! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZctR05iK6w&mode=related&search=)
Article written by united4life
Date:Monday June 4 2007
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