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Luís Nani, popularly addressed as just Nani, is a Portuguese soccer player, is a Portuguese professional footballer, who represents the national team of Portugal. He is also playing for Valencia of Spanish League on loan. He is seen performing the role of a winger on the field.
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For his national team, Nani has made more than 100 appearances. Nani is mainly a right-footed player, he has been utilised on the left wing on many occasions. After the skills and style of playing he displayed during the early phase of his life, he eventually brought changes to his style, and evolved. He is able to play on both wings, but he prefers the right side, where he puts his pace to use, accompanied by amazing dribbling ability. He is great at creating space for his teammates in wide areas. He is noted more for his assists than his goals. His attacking style allows him to play a number of other roles on the team.
Nani started his career with the youth program at Real Massama when he was 14. This is where he started earning his money, food and an identity. He joined the team in 2000, and continued playing there till 2003, before he moved to the youth program at Portugal’s Sporting CP that same year, and continued to play in the team till 2005, helping his team win the National Junior Championship in 2004-2005.
Nani first joined Sporting CP’s youth program in 2003, and in 2005, after helping his team earn the National Junior Championship of 2004-05, he got a promotion to the first team of Sporting CP for 2005-06. In August 2005, he debuted in Sporting in a match against Udinese, which ended in a loss of 1–0 for the team, in the third-round of the qualifiers of Champions League. He debuted in Portuguese Liga in 28 August, in a 1–2 win over Marítimo. Nani’s first goal for his team was in October, when he scored the first goal in a 2–2 draw with Boavista. In his first season, he made 5 goals in 36 games.
Nani grabbed the attention of the football world with his Champions League goal against Spartak Moscow, as he scored for his side in the 1-1 draw in the group stage game in September 2006. He helped the team earn the Taça de Portugal 2006-07, after they won the final with a score of 1–0 against Belenenses in May 2007. He was declared as the SJPF Young Player of the Month in May 2007. He completed hs second season with 6 goals in 40 games. In 2014, Nani’s return was officially declared by Sporting again, as MUFC loaned him out to his former club.
After his newly acquired title, Nani turned out to be a player worth buying, and Manchester United decided to acquire the player. The Red Devils considered his potential big enough to rope him in by paying a transfer fee of €25 million in July 2007. After joining. He proved himself the first choice as a winger at his new team, and helped the Red Devils lift three more Premier League and three Community Shield trophies, besides earning Football League Cup and Club World Cup titles.
His contributions to the team also helped him gain individual honours, like the PFA Premier League Team, while being nominated for the PFA Young Player of the Year for 2011. He earned himself the Community Shield for his debut at the competition with Manchester United. He led to several trophies which include the Premier League and Champions League, all during his debut season at the club.
Eventually, he became an important part of the English team. Nani’s years of association with the team finally was put to an end after his form declined and injuries harmed his game play, Manchester United felt that their trusted player was unable to make enough contributions to the team. This was 2014, and even though Nani had signed a contract of 5 years only in 2013, he was still loaned out to his former club Sporting CP by Manchester United. In August 2014, his return to Sporting CP was announced, as he was loaned for the whole season. He was part of an exchange deal involving Marcos Rojo return to MUFC .
Nani’s return was in a game against Arouca, o which he not only missed a penalty shot, but also got booked and then subbed, though MUFC won the match with 1-0. His first goal as a loaned player was in September at Maribor in a 1–1 draw in the group stage of Champions League 2014–15. Nani became the Man of the Match. His first goal of the league was in a 4–0 victory over Gil Vicente. In January 2015, he had to leave the ground after being booked twice in a 3–0 victory over Estoril. He led Sporting to victory in the penalty shootout against Braga in Taça de Portugal 2015.
Since the signing of Nani, Manchester United won a number of titles during his tenure, which include the following:
In July 2015, Nani joined Fenerbahçe, a Turkish club, in a deal of 3 years, with a transfer fee of £4.25 million. He debuted in a match against Shakhtar Donetsk during the qualifying round of Champions League, which went goalless. In August, he made a free kick and the winning goal, against Antalyaspor.
In July 2016, Nani joined Valencia of Spanish League, for three years. While the transfer fee remained undisclosed, it was speculated as £7.2 million. In August 2017, Nani’s soging with Lazio was announced. He joined on a loan lasting the entire season, and his first goal for the team was in October in the form of the winning goal of the 5-1 win against Benevento.
Nani has been associated with Portugal since 2006. After his amazing performances, as he debuted for the team in that year in a friendly match against Denmark. Eventually, he was seen in 4 matches in the season, and he went on to make one goal, which was his international debut, in the 4-2 loss. He eventally went on to play for his team in four important competitions, i.e. European Championships of 2008, 2012 and 2016, and well as World Cup 2014. His team reached the Champions League semi final in Euro 2012, and won Euro 2016. He has so far scored 23 goals in 100 games.
The current market value of Nani is £6.75 million, which he acquired in 2017. This is an enormous drop from his highest market value of £32.85 million, which he acquired in the year 2012.
Nani was born in Lisbon, Portugal. He has a Cape Verdean descent. He was abandoned by his parents, and was brought up by his aunt. His father left for a holiday and never returned, while his mother went to Netherlands in search of a new life. He has 14 siblings, 9 from his mother, and the rest from his father. Nani learnt to play football from his brother, who eventually took him to his first team, Massama for training. After being associated with several women, he is currently married to Daniela Martins.
Nani’s incredible performances have helped his teams earn many titles and cups, and they have helped him get recognized as one of the best players of his team. Here’s a look at the awards that Nani has earned over the years: