Home » EPL, Latest » Fergie: I’ve never compared Nani to Ronaldo

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson says he never viewed Nani as being in Cristiano Ronaldo’s shadow after the winger’s two goals sank rivals City in the Community Shield.

The Portuguese winger has never had it easy and has often had to battle against comparisons with his more well-known international and former club team-mate.

Even last term when he finished top of the Premier League assist charts in addition to grabbing nine goals, he found it impossible to force his way into United’s Champions League final starting line-up.

It was felt that the Portugal international would leave Old Trafford in an effort to avoid such disappointments in future.

However, Nani remains within the United fold and at Wembley on Sunday scored twice to help his side emerge victorious in their 3-2 Community Shield win over City.

‘He is only in Ronaldo’s shadow because he is Portuguese,’ said Ferguson. ‘That is the only link I can see. He was never in his shadow in my mind.

‘He has always had great potential but 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.

‘Nani had a fantastic season last year. He was unfortunate that Antonio Valencia came in at a time when we needed a bit of freshness and a boost to the squad. But you have seen Nani’s form in pre-season and again yesterday. He will start the season.’

Nani was just one of United’s stand-out performers as Wayne Rooney was a figure transformed from 12 months ago.

Ashley Young enjoyed a memorable debut and Tom Cleverley provided the attacking thrust Ferguson was hoping for when he was introduced, along with Phil Jones and Jonny Evans, at half-time.

Already 2-0 down Chris Smalling triggered the fightback when he touched home Ashley Young’s free-kick six minutes after the restart.

Nani then finished off a brilliant move involving Rooney and Cleverley before take advantage of Vincent Kompany’s injury-time blunder to secure a result that leaves Ferguson in optimistic mood ahead of next Sunday’s trip to West Bromwich.

Not that the United boss is taking anything for granted ahead of another arduous campaign.

‘I trust them and have confidence in the ability of the players but you can never be confident in the Premier League,’ he said. ‘It is such a difficult league. Six teams could be challenging for the title.’

Source: DailyMail

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