Nani opens up on the struggles of playing for a big club like Man Utd

‘It is never the same after leaving Man United… but it was great to recover’: Nani reveals he needed to ‘breathe a little bit’ due to the pressure of life at Old Trafford

  • Nani has admitted he struggled to deal with weight of playing for Man United 
  • The Portuguese forward spent eight trophy-laden years at Old Trafford
  • There were huge expectations that Nani could be as good as Cristiano Ronaldo
  • He said a 2014 loan spell gave him needed time away from pressures at United

Nani has admitted he almost felt relieved when he left Manchester United because the pressure of playing for the club was so great.

The Portuguese winger spent eight years at Old Trafford between 2007 and 2015 and won 12 major trophies in that time, including four Premier League titles. 

Nani was billed as Cristiano Ronaldo mark two when he was first signed, having also been plucked from Sporting Lisbon as an exciting 20-year-old prospect back in 2007.

Nani has opened up on the struggles of playing for as a big a club as Manchester United

Nani was tipped to fill Cristiano Ronaldo’s boots but never truly lived up to the billing

The forward was a hit amongst fans but never truly lived up to expectations and struggled to fill the void left by Ronaldo when he moved to Real Madrid in 2009.


Games: 230

Goals: 40

Assists: 73 

Nani eventually followed Ronaldo out the door in 2015, signing for Fenerbache after spending the previous year on loan back at Sporting Lisbon.  

Having enjoyed tremendous success at United, Nani admitted the only way was down as he gave a remarkable insight into the challenges of playing for one of the world’s biggest clubs.

Nani, who recently joked he taught Ronaldo everything he knows said as per The Sun: ‘I’ll tell you the truth, it is never the same after leaving United for another club.

He admitted a loan spell at Sporting Lisbon in 2014 gave him the time he needed to breathe

The Portuguese winger enjoyed a successful eight years at United before leaving in 2015

‘As a club, as a structure, the quality… everyone knows that, I’m not offending anybody.

‘But it was great to come back to Sporting to breathe a little bit, to recover, get some energy back and motivation.

‘It was a new challenge and actually a great season at Sporting for me that year.

‘I played very well, scored a couple in the Champions League and enjoyed the football a lot.’

He joined Fenerbache in a permanent move in 2015 but only spent one year at the club

Nani, who now plies his trade across the pond with Orlando City, revealed his £22million move to United 13 years ago fulfilled a promise he made to a friend after their famous Champions League final victory over Bayern Munich in 1999.

He added: ‘The game was on and we ran to a cafe to watch the last few minutes.

‘I remember I said to him, “That’s my team — I will be in that team”.

‘Sometimes, things come out of my mouth and I don’t have an idea what I’m saying, but you just feel it.’

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