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Nani to Move to Central Role?

Nani Cristiano Ronaldo of Manchester United and Nani celebrate victory at the end of the UEFA Champions League Semi Final, second leg match between Manchester United and Barcelona at Old Trafford on April 29, 2008 in Manchester, England.

Early in Nani’s Manchester United career, he was criticized by certain football fans for imitating Cristiano Ronaldo at every opportunity. The nationality obviously can’t be helped, but certain similarities in their playing style plus resemblances in some mannerism’s prompted people to label Nani as a Ronaldo “wannabe”.

Nani has recently asked to not be compared to his former team mate as he has been having a fantastic season as one of United’s main providers of goals with 15 assists for the season as well plenty of goals. But perhaps there is one area of Ronaldo’s time at United that Nani would be pleased to copy.

Rumours that Ashley Young is pushing for a move to Old Trafford have been building, but one must ask where he would fit into the United team if he does arrive in the summer. With Antonio Valencia soon to return and surely certain to start whenever fit, Giggs signing a new contract, Ji Sung Park soon to return and Young best on the wing – competition on the wing would be fierce. Alexis Sanchez is also another prospective winger who has been linked.

Ronaldo moved from the wing to a central role in his time at United, and became one of the most prolific strikers in the world. He was able to make the position his own – pushing Rooney out wide and away from the goals, and fought for the title of the best in the world with his very worthy opponent, Lionel Messi.

What is to stop Nani doing something similar? Perhaps not as the leader of the line, but he could certainly cut it as an attacking midfielder just off the striker. Which striker may be the dilemma for Ferguson, as he has watched Berbatov become top scorer and Hernandez close behind, while guaranteed starter Rooney has lagged behind in possible the worst season of his career.

The more quality and creativity on the pitch the better, and Nani’s much improved final ball doesn’t have to be missed; Valencia’s delivery is superb, as is Young’s and Sanchez’s ability to shimmy around players with his low centre of gravity could cause chaos among opposition defences.

Nani has all the potential to follow in his compatriot’s footsteps – perhaps not to the extent of being worth £80 million, but certainly a very valuable player to Manchester United – as he has been throughout the season. Sir Alex Ferguson commented on the two Portuguese attackers in the past, claiming Nani has settled into English football quicker than Ronaldo:

“Ronaldo was exceptional, a once-in-a-lifetime player, but it did take him time to settle and develop in the English game.

“I think Nani has done it a bit quicker.”

Tell me what you think!

Submitted by DBSFootball



  1. Pingback: Nani to Move to Central Role? | My celeb news blog

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