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Nani

nani.jpg

Luís Carlos Almeida da Cunha (Nani)

Nani was sold to Manchester United for a £17 million fee, five percent (€1.25m) of which was paid to Real de Massamá. He passed his medical on 6 June 2007, and signed a five-year contract.
Nani scored on his debut in a pre-season friendly against Shenzhen Shangqingyin, in which United ran out 6-0 winners. He also scored in the following game against Guangzhou Pharmaceutical with a chip off the right post from the left side of the penalty area. Nani decided to set the record straight after reports suggested he had been banned by Sir Alex Ferguson from doing his trademark somersault celebration for fear of injuring himself. "That is not true", he said. "Ferguson has never spoken to me about this subject and I am going to continue to celebrate goals in this way. The conversations he has had with me are normal conversations, like he has with all players."

Nani made his competitive debut for Manchester United on 5 August 2007, coming on as a substitute in the Community Shield against Chelsea. He marked his debut with a trophy after the Red Devils won 3-0 on penalties, following a 1-1 draw in normal time. This was followed up with Nani's third goal for the club three days later when he scored against Glentoran.

Nani's Premier League debut came in United's opening match at home to Reading on 12 August as a substitute for Wayne Rooney, who had suffered a foot injury. On 26 August 2007. Nani scored his first competitive goal for Manchester United, scoring a 30-yard winner in the 69th minute against Tottenham. Nani also set up crucial goals for Louis Saha and Nemanja Vidić allowing United to beat both Sunderland and Everton 1-0, respectively. He returned to his previous club in a Champions League tie in September, though it was teammate and also former Sporting man Cristiano Ronaldo who "stole the limelight" by scoring the winner in a 1-0 win.

On 16 February 2008, Nani put on a Man Of the Match performance against Arsenal., in the FA Cup 4th round which ended with Man United winning their rivals 4-0. He capped of 2 assists with a sweetly taken goal. During the match, he was involved in an alteration with Arsenal captain William Gallas who felt that Nani was "showboating" as he had earlier done some silky skills which had caused Justin Hoyte to slip as he ran after him. After the match, Arsene Wenger was equally displeased and Gilberto Silva said that he had a "big head".

On 23 March 2008, Nani set up the second and scored the final goal in a 3-0 victory over rivals Liverpool, only six and eight minutes respectively, after coming onto the pitch as a substitute.

On 3 May, Nani was sent off for the first time in his Manchester United career for a head-butt on West Ham United's defender Lucas Neill.

On 21 May, Nani was substituted on for Wayne Rooney in the 2008 UEFA Champions League Final as United defeated Chelsea 6-5 on penalties following a 1-1 draw after extra time. Nani took and scored Manchester United's fifth penalty in the shootout. He scored his first goal of the 2008-09 season in the Carling Cup in a 3-1 win against Middlesbrough in the last minute to confirm victory. On 18 October, he scored from a Wayne Rooney assist to complete the 4-0 rout of West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford.

Source: Nani (wikipedia)