With the greatest respect to Primeira Liga champions Benfica, a move to Estadio da Luz from Manchester United would be seen by most as a step down.
However, it’s a switch Portuguese winger Nani should give great consideration to following several below par season’s at Old Trafford.
There have been times where he’s looked impressive - a genuine contender to replace Ronaldo and follow in the footsteps of a number of world class wingers to have wowed fans at The Theatre of Dreams.
However, as each season passes it looks increasingly likely that Nani will be remembered as a man who promised so much but delivered very little, and that’s why he should consider a return to his homeland, despite only signing a new five-year deal last summer.
Yes, his trophy haul at United would please any player, and in 2010/2011 he was named in the PFA Team of the Year, but if he’s to rediscover that form, Benfica is the place to do it.
The Lisbon side secured a historic treble last season, proving to Nani he could continue to pick up silverware in Portugal should he make the move.
While there will be interest from other countries were the 27-year-old to be made available for transfer by incoming Manchester United manager Luis van Gaal, he’d be foolish to overlook a move to Jorge Jesus’ side.
They may be seen as somewhat of a selling club in recent times, and speculation continues to link their best players with moves away from Portugal, but recruiting a man with 76 caps would be a real signal of intent from the Benfica hierarchy.
Despite his links to rivals Sporting Lisbon, the signing of Nani would excite fans.
On his day he’s a tricky winger who can run rings around the world’s best defenders or fire in unstoppable long shots to leave any goalkeeper rooted to the spot.
The problem he faces at Manchester United is that the fans have seen too many days where the only person confused by his quick footwork is himself, and too many fans have had to duck for cover to avoid a wayward shot rather than be lifted off their seats by yet another wondergoal.
In contrast, Benfica fans would be lauding the signing of an international looking to kickstart a career blighted by injury and inconsistency.
Unlike at Manchester United, Champions League football would be on offer, and if they were to find themselves dropping down to the Europa League after the group stages, Nani could be the man to finally end the curse of Bela Guttmann.
The club’s size and stature would allow the former Sporting man to make himself a hero, a big fish in a much smaller pond than the one he’s found himself in Manchester.
And that’s something that must appeal to a player who gives the impression he just wants to enjoy his football and be appreciated for his undoubted talents.
Wages may be a stumbling block and Serie A football could perhaps be more appealing, but if Nani really wants to prove himself as a world class footballer, a move to Benfica really is his best option.
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