Former Manchester United winger Nani has slammed David Moyes and the treatment received at the club before he decided to leave.
Nani has enjoyed a decorated career at Manchester United. After moving from Sporting Lisbon in 2007 for a commendable €25.5 million fee, the Portuguese hit the ground running with a goal on his pre-season debut against Shenzhen. On his competitive debut, Nani came on as a substitute to see his side beat Chelsea 3-0 for the Community Shield.
His frantic start to life in England saw Sir Alex Ferguson make him a regular part of his first-team plans. After the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid, Nani was expected to fill in his shoes and guide the team to towards greatness. The Portuguese showed tremendous promise and all signs hinted at him being a success at the club.
However, things did not work out as per plan as the foot injury he sustained on the 22nd of February 2012, changed his entire career at Manchester United. The lay-off was temporary as he got back to playing within two months of the injury and continued finding the back of the net.
At the end of the season, Sir Alex bid farewell to the club and was replaced by David Moyes. The new manager tied Nani down to signing a lucrative extension which would keep him at the club until 2018. However, his injury bothers continued and Moyes began to lose faith in the player and restricted him to only seven starts that season. This began the decline of Nani’s career at Old Trafford.
In a recent interview with the Guardian, Nani explained that the contract extension he signed at the start of the 2013/14 season turned out to be the ‘worst decision of his life’. He said:
“It could have been the best moment of my life but it turned into the worst. After you sign a contract like that, you think all the people will be behind you and help you. And you see the opposite. Then the stress comes.
“I was down and, when it’s like that, of course, the injuries come too. It was a bad moment. It was something that made me very down, very disappointed.”
The appointment of Louis van Gaal served to be the final nail in Nani’s coffin as a United player. The Dutchman was unwilling to give the Portuguese a shot at regular first-team football.
“He told me that, if I wanted to stay to fight for a position, then good but I would not be his first option or maybe even the second.
“I said: ‘No. I have been here for many years, I have been very important to this club and I think it’s time to decide.’ I wanted to play every game in the starting XI.”
That saw Nani leave the club to join Turkish side Fenerbahce in a bid to re-establish his footballing career. United could only make a reported £4.25 million from his sale as they incurred a loss of over £20 million. Before permanently moving to Turkey, the winger spent a season on loan at his native Sporting Lisbon side. Now with Spanish side Valencia, Nani has risen again and would hope to replicate the form in his early days at Manchester United.