After eight years at Manchester United, with last season being spent on loan at Sporting Lisbon, Nani has completed his permanent move away from the club by signing for Fenerbahçe.
Nani arrived in Istanbul ahead of signing for the Turkish club to large crowds excited to catch a glimpse of their new signing, with flares even being let off by members of the crowd. Fenerbahçe fans are clearly excited about the prospect of signing Nani, however, questions must be asked as to why things did not quite work out for him as a Manchester United player.
After signing for Manchester United as a highly-rated 20-year-old, Nani was touted to be the next Cristiano Ronaldo by many. However, as the years have gone by, we have only seen glimpses of the talent Nani possesses. His inconsistency has frustrated United fans over the years as it is clear the Portuguese international has talent, he just simply has not lived up to his potential at the club.
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There were times during his career at Manchester United where it looked as though he was finally going to show his true potential. Whilst Ronaldo was still at Manchester United, Nani could have perhaps been considered as a bit part player; however, once Ronaldo sealed his switch to Real Madrid in 2009, Nani had the chance to turn himself in to the clubs' star player.
The 2010/11 season saw Nani enjoy his best season at Manchester United. He scored ten goals in all competitions, his joint highest scoring tally for United. After a successful season which saw the club crowned champions for the 19th time, Nani was nominated as a contender for the Professional Footballer's Association (PFA) Young Player of the Year Award, as well as being included in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year and was awarded the Players' Player of the Year award for Manchester United.
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The following season, after a successful start to the campaign, Nani was shortlisted for the prestigious FIFA Ballon d'Or.
Despite Nani improving his game, he failed to live up to the comparisons that were made between himself and Cristiano Ronaldo over his career so far. Ronaldo has gone on to achieve bigger and better things at Real Madrid, earning himself the repuation as one of the best to have played the game. Nani on the other hand, despite looking at times like he was going to continue to grow as a player, has over the past few years found his career hitting a stalemate.
A loan move away was necessary for Nani last season; he began to show signs of reinvigorating his career, and was a key player for Lisbon in winning the Taça de Portugal.
Despite his successful loan move at Sporting Lisbon, Nani was told by Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal that he did not have a future at the club and was free to leave, leading to Fenerbahçe claiming his signature this week. Nani, now 28 years old, has a big chance to further reinvigorate his career at Fenerbahçe, if he can begin to perform well consistently, there is no reason as to why he cannot prove his critics wrong by showing he truly is a world class player.
Although he hasn't quite lived up to the enormous potential placed on his shoulders from an early age, his career at Manchester United should not be considered as a complete failure. He enjoyed some great spells for the club; however it was his consistency that let him down.
If he could have continued to perform at the level that earned him a Ballon d'Or nomination in 2011, then he could have gone on to become a Manchester United great. Overall, although he frustrated Manchester United fans for much of his time at the club, his transfer away will leave a sour taste in the mouth for many who will be frustrated it did not quite work out for him at Manchester United.