Monday, February 13, 2012

Nani

Luís Carlos Almeida da Cunha (born 17 November 1986), commonly known as Nani, is a Portuguese footballer currently playing as a winger for English club Manchester United in the Premier League and the Portugal national team. Although predominantly right-footed, he has been utilised on the left-wing on many occasions.

Nani was born in Cape Verde and emigrated to Europe with his family at an early age. He was raised in Portugal and began his football career playing for local side Real Massamá. At the age of 16, he began training with Sporting Clube de Portugal and S.L. Benfica on alternate days, eventually joining Sporting's youth squad after they offered him pre-season training. In 2005, he made his professional debut with the club and won the Portuguese Cup during his second season with them. Nani was named the SJPF Young Player of the Month for May 2007 and his performances with Sporting culminated into a move to English club side Manchester United in July 2007 for a fee of €25.5 million. Nani won the Community Shield on his competitive debut at the club and has since added a number of trophies which included the Premier League and Champions League during his debut season at the club. He has established himself as first-choice winger at Manchester United and has won a further Premier League title, the Football League Cup, one FIFA Club World Cup, and three Community Shield titles. Individually, Nani has been included into the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) Premier League Team of the Year on one occasion and was a nominee for the PFA Young Player of the Year in 2011.

Nani is also a Portugal international. Prior to playing at senior level, he played at under-21 level. He made his senior international debut in September 2006 in a friendly match against Denmark and scored his first international goal during the 4–2 defeat in Copenhagen. Since his debut, he has made 51 appearances and scored 12 goals for Portugal.

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