Cristiano Ronaldo had a big influence on Nani’s career, says the Portugal forward. The young winger joined Manchester United in the summer of 2007 from Sporting Portugal and lived with Ronaldo for a while. Nani has admitted that the five-time Ballon d’Or winner had a big influence on his career, even making him ‘allergic to defeat’.
Nani would enjoy an eight-year spell at United and he looks back at the transfer with The Tribunal. “Not many mentioned Manchester United. But my agent, Jorge Mendes, wrote down the names of all the clubs and said, ‘For me, the best team you can choose is this one’. He pointed at Man Utd. Before I knew it, I was looking for a house in Manchester”, Nani said.
“At the start I was supposed to move into a hotel, but Jorge asked me ‘Would you mind staying with Cristiano?’ So I moved in with him and Anderson, who had just arrived at Man Utd”, Nani added. “Cristiano had a swimming pool, a ping-pong table, a tennis court — and every day we would compete at something. By the time Anderson and I left that house, we had become allergic to defeat.”
Ronaldo was not the only ‘big name’ to have had an influence of Nani during his career. “Sir Alex was like a father to me. Guys like Rio Ferdinand and Ryan Giggs gave me so much good advice. I became friends with Antonio Valencia, Fabio and Rafael, Cristiano, Anderson and many others.” Nani, who made 230 appearances for United, currently plays for Major League Soccer outfit Orlando City.