Luis Nani Profile
Luis Carlos Almeida da Cunha, born Lisbon, Portugal, November 17, 1986. During his stay at Manchester United, Luis Nani won the Premier League in 2008, 2009, 2011, and 2013, the League Cup in 2009 and 2010, the FA Community Shield in 2007, 2008, 2010, and 2011, the UEFA Champions League in 2008, as well as the FIFA Club World Cup in 2008.
A highly talented winger, Luis Nani initiated his professional footballing career with local outfit Real Massama before he joined forces with Portuguese Primeira Liga team Sporting Clube de Portugal where he debuted as a second half substitute for defensive midfielder Custodio Casto in a 1–0 Champions League qualifying defeat against Italian Serie A side Udinese at Estadio Jose Alvalade on the 10th of August 2005. At the beginning of the 2007-08 campaign, Nani was brought to Manchester United by Old Trafford Head Coach Sir Alex Ferguson for an estimated transfer fee of £14 million and the speedy flanker made his first appearance for The Red Devils in a 6–0 friendly win against Chinese outfit Shenzhen Ruby at the Macau Stadium on the 23rd of July 2007, scoring the third goal of the encounter two minutes ahead of the break. He was handed his Premiership debut for Manchester United in a goalless draw against Reading at Old Trafford on the 12th of August the same year and scored his first Premier League goal for the club when he netted the winner in a 1-0 victory at home to Tottenham Hotspur fourteen days later. During his inaugural season at The Theatre of Dreams, he scored four goals in 41 first team matches and won the Premier League and the Champions League, as well as the Community Shield. He also played a vital part in the Manchester United team which won the Premiership in 2009 and 2011, the League Cup in 2009 and 2010, and the Community Shield in 2010 and 2011. In the 2–1 Premier League win over Arsenal at Emirates Stadium on the 22nd of January 2012, Nani suffered an injury to his foot from a tackle by French defender Laurent Koscielny and was out for almost three months, but he nevertheless managed to make 40 first class appearances during the 2012-13 term. There was, however, a certain hint of future disappointment when he fell out of favour with newly hired manager David Moyes the following season, and he only made thirteen first team appearances under the former Everton boss.
Approaching the veteran stage, Luis Nani´s days were numbered when Dutch head coach Louis van Gaal was appointed manager of Manchester United on the 19th of May 2014, and following a loan stint at former employer Sporting Clube de Portugal during the 2014-15 season, he joined Turkish side Fenerbahce for a transfer fee of £4.25 million in the summer of 2015 after having contributed 25 goals in 147 Premiership appearances for the Old Trafford club. At Sukru Saracoglu Stadium in Istanbul, Nani teamed up with previous Manchester United goal plunderer Robin van Persie, but after accumulating 28 Turkish Super League appearances for The Yellow Canaries during the 2015-16 season, he signed with Spanish La Liga team Valencia for a fee estimated to be around £7.2 million at the beginning of the 2016-17 campaign. He was shipped out on loan to Italian outfit Lazio the following year, though, and made 18 Serie A appearances for The White and Sky Blues during the 2017-18 season before he decided to rejoin Sporting Clube de Portugal in the summer of 2018. A Portuguese international, Luis Nani celebrated his senior debut for The Navigators by scoring his country´s second goal six minutes past the hour-mark in a 4-2 friendly fixture defeat to Denmark at Idraettsparken in Copenhagen on the 1st of September 2006, and he was an important member of the team which won the European Championship in France in 2016. Luis Nani: “I think that it is very common in Portugal to find technical players, creative players, and not so much players who are pure target men. If it is a cultural or genetic thing, I really do not know. What you have to see is that the local people really are not that tall so it is tough to find big and strong strikers.” Luis Nani Playing Career: Sporting Clube de Portugal, Manchester United, Sporting Clube de Portugal, Fenerbahce, Valencia, Lazio, Sporting Clube de Portugal. Managing Career: None.