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Monday, 08 August 2011 10:47

“Nani is first choice,” says Man United boss Ferguson

Portuguese shines in Community Shield

Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson has heaped praise on Portuguese international Nani, after the winger’s Man of the Match performance in the Community Shield victory over Manchester City on Sunday.

Nani scored twice as United came from 2-0 down at half time to snatch a dramatic late 3-2 victory, with the former Sporting man getting the winner in stoppage time. Both of Nani’s goals were memorable, with the 24-year-old capping off a wonderful team move for the first, before creating the second for himself by winning the ball on the halfway line and racing through to round Joe Hart and win the match.

After the game, Ferguson insisted that Nani will begin the season as a first choice in his starting line-up. "Nani had a fantastic season last year," said the United boss. "He made 15 assists and scored eight or nine goals. He was unfortunate that Antonio Valencia came in at a time when we needed a bit of freshness and a boost to the squad. Valencia was fantastic.

"You have seen the form of Nani in pre-season and today. He will start the season. He is only in Ronaldo's shadow because he is Portuguese. He was never in his shadow in my mind. That is the only link I can see. He has always had great potential.

"Some players take longer to mature than others. Ronaldo was an exception. He was an incredible footballer. He matured immediately, from 18 until he left us. Stage by stage, he got better and better."

by Sean Gillen

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Comments (10)
10 Wednesday, 10 August 2011 23:58
2 awesome goals, one better than the next, wish I could have been there!
9 Tuesday, 09 August 2011 23:52
I wish i could have watched this.... He is constantly improving. Great news for Man u and Portugal. if only Portugal had this depth in the ST position as we do on the wings.. the more playing time he gets with Man U the better for his confidence i believe its good for him to stay at man u for now. he has good chemistry with his teammates.
Marvelous Nani
8 Tuesday, 09 August 2011 02:47
Fergie was so wrong in playing Valencia instead of Nani in CL final. He only played Valencia and Park because they are better tacklers than Nani. Yet the stupidity was that Fergie left Valencia on the field for almost the whole game when Valencia could not get past Barca's fullback the whole game and got no crosses into the box as a consequence. Even a blind man could see that Valencia was a non contributor to United's cause in that Barca game. Nani should have replaced him at half time because he could dribble and beat the Barca defenders with his trickery and get crosses in. 3 CL finals - Chelsea, and Barca twice, and Fergie left Nani out of them all. Nani does not deserve this, and if I was Nani I would tell Fergie to SHOVE IT - because Nani well deserves to play on the biggest stage. By the way, Nani has proved to be miles better, and miles more effective for Portugal in WC qualifiers than Ronaldo, and did more to get you to last WC when Ronaldo was injured than most of your players. The lad Nani is pure class!
O Nani
7 Monday, 08 August 2011 21:03
The only stupid thing Nani did all year last season was he disallowed Ronaldo's greatest ever goal vs Spain but other than that he was great.
About Time & It Better Stay Way!
6 Monday, 08 August 2011 17:34
Yea its about time Fergie gave Nani the praise and recognition he deserves! He has had praise before because for the last season and a half Nani has been in exceptional form and has proved himself as a WORLD CLASS player! He is Man Utd's most important creative attacking player! Its about time Fergie firmly established Nani as first choice and it better stay that way! Against Barcelona in preseason and against Man City here we've seen that Ferguson made a huge mistake leaving Nani out of the starting line up for the last CL Final! I hope Ferguson only learn from his hard headedness and realizes Nani's GREAT importance to Man Utd! Yes Nani will have to work to keep his starting spot and he will! Nani is world class!
Excellent Win
5 Monday, 08 August 2011 16:53
What a great game to watch.

I was really surprised at how poorly some of City's players played. Although they went up 2-0, Yaya had an awful game. Balotelli was non-existant and even Silva couldn't put anything together. Even Dzeko was poor, especially on the first goal, eventhough he scored.
Let me add that Balotelli just isn't going to learn. You can see him react and complain about teamates play, eventhough he wasn't anywhere in position to get the ball.

I know that Man United came out on fire the 2nd half, but their pace was faster than City's in the 1st half as well.
I know that people are pointing to conditioning, but uncertanty, and tactics look to have a part in it.
Kompany is taking the hit for the mix up that led to the winner, but he clearly thought that Clichy was going to get the ball. I know I did when it was in the air.

As for Nani, the first goal was just great. Great passing and movement by the whole team, with a great finish by Nani. What impressed me even more, was at how hard he played. He really went after the ball, where on several occasions, it could have been fouls if timing was misjudged. He really hustled and moved the ball better than last year.
If he is able to keep this up, there will no reason for him to sit.
Watching his performance
4 Monday, 08 August 2011 16:53
Nani not getting the nod for Man Utd in the CL final still boggles my mind. I like Antonio Valencia he is very talented and a exciting player to watch but he was injuried for some time. Also, having Park Ji-Sung on the other side of the wing Nani was a starter ahead of him the entire season why in the biggest match of the year he was bench? Why try to fix something that isn't broken? I know Barcelona would of won anyways but Fergie didn't put trust in Nani it's the principle.

Nani has proven again that he shouldn't be a bench player and that he has been Man Utd's most consistent winger. Enough said.
3 Monday, 08 August 2011 14:26
He is amazing and an unvelivable person on and off the field. Forca Nani / Forca Portugal....
2 Monday, 08 August 2011 12:00
What a great performance from Nani. It's really good to see him playing so well. I just hope he doesn't drop off in form and lose his place. Consistency Nani, that's what is required to play for Manchester United.

Nani's role will continue to grow with Portugal as we move closer to Euro 2012, and I hope he saves some of this form for the upcoming qualifiers this fall.

Forca Nani!
Good news but we'll see for how long
1 Monday, 08 August 2011 11:08
Great goals. I'm happy to see that he will be starting but Nani has proved himself time and time again to only be benched later in the season. I hope this time around he gets to stay as the starter.

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