Nani (footballer)

Nani (footballer)

:"For the technical director at West Ham, see Gianluca Nani."Infobox Football biography
playername = Nani

fullname = Luís Carlos Almeida da Cunha
dateofbirth = birth date and age|1986|11|17|df=y
cityofbirth = Praia
countryofbirth = Cape Verde
height = convert|5|ft|9|in|m|2|abbr=on
currentclub = Manchester United
clubnumber = 17
position = Winger
youthyears = 2000–2003
youthclubs = Real de Massamá
Sporting CP
years = 2005–2007
clubs = Sporting CP
Manchester United
caps(goals) = 58 (9)
28 (3)
nationalyears = 2006–
nationalteam = Portugal U21 Portugal
nationalcaps(goals) = 10 (1) 18 (4)
pcupdate = 16:47, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
ntupdate = 12:41, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

Luís Carlos Almeida da Cunha (born 17 November 1986 in Praia, Cape Verde), better known as Nani, is a Portuguese football winger who plays for English Premier League club Manchester United and the Portugal national team.


Nani emigrated with his family from Praia to Portugal at an early age. He was raised by his aunt in the Amadora district of Lisbon,cite web |url= |title=Slums Nurtured Nani |accessdate=2007-06-17 |author=Tom Worden and Simon Mullock |date=2007-06-17 |publisher=Sunday Mirror ] where he and childhood friend, Valencia C.F. midfielder Manuel Fernandes, would often kick a ball about together. [cite web |url= |title=Who are Anderson & Nani? |accessdate=2007-08-04 |author=Charlie Henderson |date=2007-05-31 |publisher=BBC Sport]


Early career

He grew up supporting F.C. Porto, and played junior football alongside Ricardo Vaz Té at Massamá youth club Real Sport Clube, [cite web|url= |title=Get to know... Nani |accessdate=2008-04-22 |author=Steve Mills |date=2007-06-01 | ] before joining the youth squad of Sporting Clube de Portugal.


Nani debuted for Sporting in 2005–06, making twenty-nine appearances and scoring four goals. In his second season, he had similar numbers with twenty-nine appearances and five goals. He also played in six UEFA games, scoring once.

Manchester United

Nani was sold to Manchester United for a £17 million fee, five percent (1.25m) of which was paid to Real de Massamá. [cite web |url=http://www.maisfutebol.iol.0000000000pt/noticia.php?id=834509&div_id=1457 |title=Real Massamá ainda não recebeu os cinco por cento de Nani |date=2007-07-19 |author=Ricardo Gouveia |publisher=Maisfutebol |language=Portuguese ] He passed his medical on 6 June 2007, and signed a five-year contract. [cite web |url={B4CEE8FA-9A47-47BC-B069-3F7A2F35DB70}&newsid=440998 |title=Reds complete triple signing |accessdate=2007-07-02 |author=Steve Bartram |date=2007-07-02 | ] [cite web |url={B4CEE8FA-9A47-47BC-B069-3F7A2F35DB70}&newsid=433872 |title=Nani passes Reds medical |accessdate=2007-06-06 |author=Ben Hibbs |date=2007-06-06 | ]

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." [cite news |author=David McDonnell |title=Nani feels settled at United |url= | |date=2007-08-23 |accessdate=2007-08-25 ]

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. [cite news | |title=Report: Reds Lift Community Shield |url= | |date=2007-08-05 |accessdate=2007-08-26 ] 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. [cite news | |title=Report: United 0 Reading 0 |url= | |date=2007-08-12 |accessdate=2007-08-26 ] 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. [cite web| url=,19762,11065_2847038,00.html| title=Everton v Man Utd| publisher=Sky Sports| date=2007-09-15| accessdate=2008-09-22] 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. [cite news |title=Report: Sporting 0, United 1. |url= | |date=2007-09-19 |accessdate=2007-09-29 ]

On 16 February 2008, Nani put on a Man Of the Match performance against Arsenal F.C., 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. [cite web|| url={B4CEE8FA-9A47-47BC-B069-3F7A2F35DB70}&newsid=543177| title=Report: United 3 Liverpool 0| date=2008-03-23| accessdate=2008-03-23]

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. [cite web| publisher=BBC Sport| url=| title=Man Utd 4-1 West Ham| author=Phil McNulty | date=2008-05-03| accessdate=2008-05-03]

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.

International career

Nani was the youngest member of Portugal U-21 team at the 2006 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship. He made his first appearance for Portugal on 1 September 2006 and scored on his debut in a 2-4 friendly loss against Denmark. [cite web |url= |title=Who are Anderson & Nani? |date=2007-05-31 |author=Charlie Henderson |publisher=BBC Sport ]

Nani has played for the Portugal A side, he scored one of the goals against the Belgium team in a 2-1 win. He also helped Ricardo Quaresma with the goal against Italy national football team. His form during the 2007/08 season with Manchester United earned him a call up to Luis Felipe Scolari's Euro 2008 23 man squad, alongside team mate Cristiano Ronaldo. He was only used sparingly during the campaign but did manage to assist team mate Hélder Postiga's goal during a 15 minute cameo in the quarter finals against Germany. Portugal eventually lost 3-2.


Nani celebrates with a 'mortal' or, in English, a 'Leap of death', similar to that of Obafemi Martins and Lomana LuaLua. He used to practice capoeira and ballet as a boy. This is basically one somersault with bent legs (optional), and then one with straight legs. For a while, it was widely reported that United boss Sir Alex Ferguson banned Nani's celebration, fearing for his safety [cite news|url=|title=Fergie bans Nani's celebration|accessdate = 2008-05-12|date=2007-07-27|publisher=The Mirror] although this was never supported by any direct quotes from Ferguson or Nani. Despite the supposed ban, Nani has celebrated in this manner every time he has scored for United.

Career statistics

"Statistics accurate as of match played 30 September 2008"



porting CP

*Taça de Portugal
**Winner (1): 2006–07

Manchester United

*Premier League
**Winner (1): 2007–08
*FA Community Shield
**Winner (2): 2007, 2008
*UEFA Champions League
**Winner (1): 2007–08
*UEFA Super Cup
**Runner-up (1): 2008

ee also

*Portuguese squad at 2007 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship


External links

* [{FE60904B-C2A8-4E60-9B05-700DBBC29BBC}&section=playerProfile&teamid=458&bioid=92680 profile]
* [ profile]
* [ profile]
* [ Polish website]

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