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Wednesday, 20 August 2014 08:46

Nani makes sensational return to Sporting

Manchester United winger back in Lisbon on year-long loan

nani-sporting-return.jpgSporting yesterday completed the sale of central defender Marcos Rojo to Manchester United in return for €20 million and a season-long loan of Portugal winger Nani, whereby the English giants continue to pay the ex Alcochete academy player's wages.

Sporting president Bruno de Carvalho is carving out a reputation as a hard bargainer. Having decided to unilaterally rip up the club's contract with the investment fund Doyen, which helped Sporting acquire Rojo's services two years ago, Carvalho thrashed out a deal with United that included the return of former Alvalade favourite Nani.

Sporting paid Doyen €3m, their initial investment in Rojo, and the fund immediately said it will take the matter to court having owned 75% of the Argentine player before the contract was terminated.

A long legal battle will ensue to sort out the finances, but meanwhile Rojo is free to fulfil his "dream of playing English football", while Nani will spend a year back at his first club. Nani, now 27, who has 78 Portugal caps, was given a rapturous welcome at Lisbon's Portela airport when he arrived late last night.

Júlio César joins Benfica

Meanwhile, another player who was a first-choice starter for his country at the 2014 Brazil World Cup arrived in Lisbon yesterday. Benfica completed the signing of Brazil goalkeeper Júlio César on a two-year deal.

Comments (21)
Nani no thanks
21 Tuesday, 26 August 2014 08:30
Nani is a pansy and will prove to be a liability to sporting
Maca Podres indeed
20 Monday, 25 August 2014 03:03
@ Miguel/England
19 Sunday, 24 August 2014 14:52
Miguel, thank you for exposing to us your extensive football knowledge.

Well done. Have an apple.
18 Saturday, 23 August 2014 00:24
"Maca podres"? LOL That doesn't make any sense!
good business for the liga
17 Friday, 22 August 2014 17:57
Have to agree with previous comments re; the lack of positives associated with these investment funds. Realistically, they contribute nothing to actual game. Sure they help clubs acquire some talented players for a fee they might not be able to afford, but when it comes time to sell it always seems to end badly. Nothing but headaches and headlines. Nice work by BdC though, showing courage which has been lacking in past years in the Sporting boardroom. Having United pay his wage to is also a great bit of business. Sure Nani isnt going to win the league for them, but he might push them though the CL group stage with some luck. I think he'd obviously be better served on a more complete/mature team like Porto/Benfica, but he brings more parity to the league and may help grab some more outside exposure. I think Julio Cesar is also a huge move and probably even more impactful then Nani. Benfica could be a bit light at the back this year, losing Garay/Siqueira. But having a goal keeper of his quality could help them steal a few more points here and there.
Exciting News
16 Friday, 22 August 2014 14:44
This is exciting news (despite what the trolls say). A player like Nani returning to Portugal is fantastic.

What this means for his career? We will see.

At least here he gets to play v champions league opposition and week in week out. Also he can take his time getting his game back and not be forced into big game after big game like in the EPL.

Nani is not quite like the other "could of been" Portuguese star, at one point (2010/2011) Nani WAS one of the top players on the planet. What happened to that Nani is up to debate but lets me honest, when Nani made a mistake or had an off game he was benched, when Valencia or Young had bad games they went right back out there, so dont give me that. 2 sets of standards.

I hope we get to see some magic from Nani and not the disapearing act...
15 Friday, 22 August 2014 00:08
... you're always great for a good laugh.

I know you like to pretend that the last post is the only post, but I think I'm pretty well rounded. Pretty fair across the board and actually root for Portuguese clubs when they play in Europe.

That being said, Sporting is my hated rival. I like needling them and enjoy when they stumble. I'm not the crazy fan that hates everything about them and their club.

Nobody is harder on Benfica then Benfica fans. LFV got caught with his pants down, because its clear no plan was in place to cover all these guys. Benfica is going to be in for a world of hurt this year.
That being said, we should be ok domestically. The title will be tough, unless players start showing up, but we must get a CL spot. That means top two, in order to avoid the playoff.

I've been very critical of LFV when he told fans not to travel. When he and JJ both were on the ref soapbox as well. Stupid stuff.
Eddie NJ Gomes
14 Thursday, 21 August 2014 20:58
Eddie Gomes is just bitter about the clearance sale the "biggest club in the world"(LOL) are going through right now. After enzo and gaitan leave he will be insufferable the rest of the year as always. So many benfiquistas raving about cavaleiro and bernardo silva last year and andre gomes the year before oops there goes that lol!!! Throwing stones at BDC when you live in LFVs glass house...hilarious. Youve got enough on your plate to worry about this year eddie keep your passive aggressive thoughts to yourself we dont need to read about every theory that comes to your mind.
13 Thursday, 21 August 2014 18:54
I've always stated that I dislike the "Maca Podres", and enjoy watching them struggle. But to be fair, I've always stated that a strong Sporting is needed in Portugal. They're the second biggest club in Portugal and are still known as Portuguese giants and will have to continue to be. As long as they finish behind Benfica.
Sportinguistas tend to overrate their youth and cherry pick success stories. Like most other fans. Eddie, you're no different.

BdC was and continues to be exactly what Sporting needs. The most important think he's done is galvanized the fan base. That will bring more prominence and revenue into the club, when both were needed.
I understand the high transfer clauses, but when they are ridiculous, it's silly. 60 million for a player worth 800 thousand. Not a youngster, no less.
Again, I get his message but rival clubs and fans will chuckle.

Just to prove that I try not to be biased, I'm disappointed in Benfica's dealings. I get the transfers, but it seems that we were caught flat footed on the total and players. Everyone knew Rodrigo and Gomes were gone, yet we looked unprepared for it.
The spine of our club is gone all at once, and that can only happen with poor planning.
I was once again disappointed hearing JJ already start chirping about the refs. It's ridiculous.
No less ridiculous than a president claiming a loss of title on collusion by refs/clubs/league.
12 Thursday, 21 August 2014 16:33
Bubba Zanetti SCP
Most critiques against BdC naturally come leveled from Benfiquistas and to a lesser extent Portistas. This is natural and is obviously a direct result of the animosity/rivalry between the clubs.

However, two years into his mandate, all I have seen is nothing but positives coming from BdC and his management team.

The debt was restructured, costly and unfortunate contracts from previous management were eliminated, monthly/yearly expenditures have been brought to sustainable levels, TV station (which actually covers Sporting 24 hours per day, not a regional channel) was launched, club finished in second place after leading the league for a long stretch, direct entry into the Champions League achieved, perception that Sporting players could be bought at bargain prices completely changed, fan base is happy, rival supporters are making more negative comments and keep critiquing.......these are all good things. Of course there are issues at the club as there are at every club, but overall, it's pretty clear that BdC is an effective leader and has achieved many of his goals.

I for one, will take his bravado and hard line stance and results any day of the week over what we Sportinguistas unfortunately had to endure in the past. Unless things take a turn for the negative, BdC has my full support.

Whether or not Sporting has to pay more money to Doyen in the future does remain to be seen based on future legal or settlement outcomes, but Sporting seems pretty confident about what they are doing. Indeed, lets see what happens.

NJ, I don't see anything wrong with BdC placing high buy out clauses on players regardless of whether they are known or unknown commodities, Portuguese clubs have long been considered supermarkets/farm teams for English and Spanish clubs who lure away our best players with higher wages and the promise of playing in the two biggest European leagues. Yes, our clubs have made big money in player sales, but by placing high buy out clauses we are setting a precedent, we are changing perception by telling the big English and Spanish clubs that they can't just waltz into Portugal and have their pick of the litter for short money. If clubs want to buy Sporting's best players, then they have to pay up. It is merely a way to set up a bargaining point that is beneficial to the selling club. It is a way of protecting our clubs because yes, we are one of the most highly regarded selling leagues.

NJ, I too agree, clubs are obviously in it for the money, that's why BdC wouldn't sell Rojo for any less than he thought he was worth. Money makes the world go around, but my point is that these third party ownership groups and funds just make things more complicated, especially when there is illegal tapping of players and coercion involved.

This unfortunately is a part of the business of the game.
Some (Benfas) are being harsh
11 Thursday, 21 August 2014 11:27
Nani a flop? He was our best player on our Seleccao at the WC despite having zero playing time during the season. Don't get me wrong, he hasn't been himself for his club in 2 years, but quality is quality.

As for BdC, people saying he doesn't know what he's doing are clear Benfica fans who are upset their own President has gone on a "Going out of Business" sale. I don't like BdC. I find him classless, many of his comments are disrespectful but nothing is without a motive.

He knows exactly what he's doing and has been exactly what Sporting needed. I think he is the best thing they have had for some time. Fearless negotiator, has an understanding of the finances, a vision and sticks to his plans.

It may still be a while before Sporting are title winners, but there is no question, he has done wonders for the club.
Nani's Last Chance
10 Thursday, 21 August 2014 06:47
Tony, CA (the original Tony in CA, not Tony in Turlock, CA)
I don't know how Nani returning to Sporting can be seen as the return of a conquering king home, it is the return of a flop. A player who has on his own merit demonstrated to be out of form and not playing at all the last few years. Nani was a player who I liked him at the beginning as he had a brash style but he has declined to a point where I fear there is little hope of return to any former glory. I hope I am wrong and for his career sake, he can regain his form.
Well explained Bubba Zanetti Scp, real excited too Robert!
9 Thursday, 21 August 2014 06:27
Bubba great explanation, I myself read about some of these things in the news as the events unfolded. Doyen is by no means innocent in the whole drama. Ultimately I think its great BdC has set the standard for how Sporting comes first and will not be a pawn to anybody. Despite what some obviously biased hating people may say, he won in the Bruma case, got Sporting money when at first agents and apparently previous president were prepared to leave Sporting penniless. BdC salvaged that situation and reestablished the strength of Sporting in these transfer situations. And in this case he's doing so again. Once again only because he's still.having to clean up some last bits of that previous president's mess. It was a good deal in the end for Sporting, as best as it could have been.

Contrary to what the most antisporting person ever NJ says BdC is a boss in the transfer market. Lol NJ you're funny man. What may seem unknown quantities(players) to you are rough/young gems that soon go on to become top and show their quality. The clauses are there for a reason. The club can of course sell the player for less IF IT WANTS TO, BUT IT CAN NO LONGER BE TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF OR BULLIED INTO ACCEPTING A CHEAP DEAL. SIMPLE. If you cant see the sense in that then lol. Anyway most of what you say concerning Sporting is just anti, dreadful, biased mehhh.

Robert I too am super excited about Nani coming home! Nani is world class simple! The man is one of the most technically naturally gifted players in the world! It was about time he left Man U anyway cause they underappreciated him in the last two years. Nani is better than young and valencia end of story. He's a top player full of experience and is a great addition to Sporting! I'm happy with how the team is shaping up, and I'll be really happy if we keep out best stars with Nani, and once we get another good striker to replace Slimani, we should be awesome! Forca Sporting!
8 Thursday, 21 August 2014 03:29
Bubba, I agree with you when you say that Investment Funds are only in it for the money. But the fact is that Portuguese Clubs are in it for the money as well. It's just that Silverware/winning, which appeases the fans, brings in that money. Benfica has proven that winning brings forth a sea money in the transfer market. The other point is that our clubs may not be able to get such talented players or a volume of them without the Investment Funds. These so called killers of the sport, are taking on a huge amount of risk. They have plenty of flops for every Rojo.
BdC is exactly what Sporting needed, coming off such a poor cycle. But I do worry, for Sporting fans, that his bravado will cost the club.
I'm not so sure he won anything on the Bruma front, except for blowharding about it. I also feel he'll lose here. Doyen supposedly owned 75% of the player. I'm sorry, but they dictate terms. BdC might have interpreted them his way, but that doesn't make it so.
So far I see a guy that slaps huge transfer fees on unknown quanties, which deems them meaningless. I also see a guy that was ill prepared for Rojo's departure, even after the WC he had.
Time will tell, but I would approach with caution.

On a side note, nobody stopped Nani from starting at Man United. Nani's performance, or lack of there of, put him on the bench or stands.
He needed a new beginning, and I hope this is it. He should be able to perform in our league, but I question how he'll be able to get back to where people want him to be playing against lesser competition.
That's a nice story Bubba
7 Thursday, 21 August 2014 00:40
Mike /Canada
Then Nani came in and made everyone forget how big a flop he is. And they all lived happily ever after
6 Wednesday, 20 August 2014 23:34
Andrew Finn / UK
No risk loan because Man United will pay all his wages.

Top dealing by Sporting.
5 Wednesday, 20 August 2014 16:34
Bubba Zanetti SCP
My understanding from what I have read is that BdC unilaterally tore up the contract with Doyen due to just cause.

The just cause being that Doyen behaved illegally/unethically during the Rojo affair. According to Doyen's own mission statement and as written into their signed contract with Sporting, Doyen is to remain completely neutral during transfer negotiations and can have no influence upon players they have invested in or with clubs regarding transfers.

When Man U became interested in Rojo and sent their initial offer, the CEO of Doyen (who ironically is Portuguese), sent threatening texts to BdC urging him to sell Rojo, or risk Rojo causing problems within the dressing room. Soon after these threats from Doyen, Rojo conveniently refused to train and went on strike.

Soon after, allegedly a Doyen representative posing as a Man U official arrived in Lisbon to attempt to negotiate with Sporting. The imposter was quickly found out and sent home. As if Sporting doesn't know "who is who" at Man U.

Sporting has evidence of the saved SMS text messages to BdC and has documented the arrival of the phony Man U representative and is using this as just cause to claim that Doyen was in breach of contract with Sporting because they illegally tampered with Rojo and tried to threaten Sporting in order to push a deal through in order to make a tidy profit.

BdC is a hard bargainer and doesn't step down from a fight. Look at his victory in the Bruma affair. I am sure that BdC is comfortable with his stance and based on the allegations against Doyen, I am sure that BdC and his legal team are more than happy to see Doyen in court.

It is obvious that these investment funds are only in it to make massive profits, and that is all good, but you cannot deny that they do cause many problems between players and clubs. Unfortunately, the game is about money.

What I take from this is that BdC is the real deal. He doesn't back down from anyone or anything and he fights for his club. He is setting a precedent and he basically just told investment funds that he will not do business with them. He is taking the power back from agents/funds and putting that power back with the club, where it belongs.

Welcome home Nani, and have some fun.
NANI !!!
4 Wednesday, 20 August 2014 15:58
robert/marina del rey
I am delighted, absolutely delighted to have NANI at Sporting!

I love Sporting.
I love Nani.

I hope this all works and Nani plays a full season worth of games in the league, Champions LG, etc. I hate Nani hasn't been able to showcase his skils (to thevdetriment of the National Team).

I hope Nani shines and we see him at the top of his game this year at Sporting and for a bigger club next year.
3 Wednesday, 20 August 2014 15:20
Investment funds
2 Wednesday, 20 August 2014 15:09
Adamski / UK
Are parasites, create nothing and contribute nothing. Lets hope they get, nothing.
Curious on the story behind Doyen?
1 Wednesday, 20 August 2014 12:30
First of all, it's great for Sporting to be able to bring back a player of Nani's level, even if it's just for a season on loan. He's an experienced player which should be an asset for some of the kids they have at the club.

I am curious on the back story for the investment fund deal. From the way the article wrote it seems Sporting will likely be paying 15million of the 20 to that investment fund. Unless there was some type of fraud or clause to terminate the contract, I have a hard time understanding why Sporting would have pull off that move. As long as Sporting don't spend that cash they will be ok to pay it back in the future + fines/any additional legal damages.

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