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EXCLUSIVE Interview With Nani… Shirt Number, The Future and Winning The League

The Republik of Mancunia teamed up with Nike last week in support of their Tear Up The Pitch event and got to spend some time with Manchester United winger Nani.

Nani had just been doing a photoshoot for Nike for the hour or so previous to our chat and probably the last thing he wanted to do was sit down with a fan. You don’t often see him in the press giving interviews so I was intrigued to see what he was all about. Having known little about him beforehand, it would be easy to assume that, being a young fella playing for Manchester United, he might be a bit arrogant. But he came across as very shy and even nervous. The longer we spoke, the more he opened up and relaxed he became, with him speaking much better English than I had imagined.

The fans appreciation of Nani is increasing and that is down to a change in attitude in the winger. His potential has always been there for us to see but now we are seeing a big change in his performances on the pitch. Last month, Nani acknowledged the change in himself, with him claiming he now understands what it means to be a United player.

So in Salford, with a load of questions from RoM readers, a conversation with Nani took place.

RoM: Before we start, I would just like to commend you on your great recent form. The fans have noticed a real turn around in your performances and that’s great to see. How do you feel now that you have claimed a place in our starting XI?

Nani: It makes me feel very proud. This is my job and I work hard every day. I’m playing well on the training ground and that’s why I play every week in the games. Of course, I am so happy with playing and I want to improve every week.

RoM: Some might say how well you play can be effected by which position you are playing, given that you are able to play on the left and the right wing. Antonio Valencia always plays on the right but is that a position you would prefer?

Nani: It doesn’t matter to me. I have to play on both sides and all I want to do is help my team to win.

RoM: Is there any particular aspect of your game you feel like you need to focus on improving?

Nani: I want to score more goals. We need more players to score goals because if you’ve got just one player scoring and he doesn’t score then that is bad for the team.

RoM: Michael Owen currently wears our number seven shirt and it is something associated with some of the best players to have ever played for United. Is this a shirt you would one day like to have?

Nani: I’m so happy with my shirt. I’ve got seven as well but I have two numbers! I am happy with my shirt number though, I think it brings me luck.

RoM: So you’ll stick it out with number seventeen for the rest of your United career then? How long do you see yourself staying at the club for?

Nani: I’m so happy at this club. Of course, when you play and everything is going right it makes you want to stay for many years. I want to become part of a history of this club.

RoM: Talking about the history of the club, is it something you are made aware of or take much interest in when signing for United?

Nani: Of course. I think the history of this club is very important. It can help players make the decision to come here. You hear a lot about the old players and people want to play for us to become like them.

RoM: Can you remember much about your first day at United?

Nani: I didn’t see a lot. I went for my medical tests and that was fine. It was very exciting though.

RoM: Which players are your closest friends at the club?

Nani: There are a few players I’m closer to but everyone gets on well and has a nice relationship with each other. We like to have a joke with each other and we’re a happy team. Every day we joke around with each other. We are very much together.

RoM: Are there any players in particular you would like to see United bring in this summer?

Nani: Just one player? It would be nice if the manager brought one friend from Sporting Lisbon. That would be fantastic for me. Maybe Miguel Veloso. He would be good.

RoM: Are you looking forward to the World Cup?

Nani: Very much.

RoM: Do you fancy your chances?

Nani: I don’t know if we’ll win but I have a lot of confidence that we’ll do well. We’ve got a very good team and players who can do something special for us.

RoM: And finally, do you think we’re going to win the league this year?

Nani: I really hope so, yeh.

RoM: Let’s keep it going with a win against Spurs, eh? Thanks for your time.

Nani came across as a genuinely nice guy. There was none of the flashy stuff where he was concerned. His ‘entourage’ consisted of his bird and a mate, he was happy to talk and was earnest in his answers.

Now, it doesn’t end there though with treats, because our friends at Nike have given me an iTouch to give away to a reader on RoM. But this isn’t just any iTouch, oh no, this has a special app pre-installed. Its the latest development of the Nike training app, that compliments the release of the new mercurial boot, that tests players speed. Users will get to train for speed with Theo Walcott, Nani, Fabiano, Robinho and Nilmar.

All you have to do is e-mail your full name, address and favourite Nani moment (with video – YouTube, DailyMotion etc.) to: Republik_of_Mancunia_competition@hotmail.co.uk

Win cash for your Manchester United team knowledge. Share tips and comments to win part of £11,000 monthly! It's 100% free to enter, join OLBG now.


About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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135 Comments

  1. james21 says:

    Have to agree about Foster, the chance was there and it didn’t happen. He was at fault for the OT Derby in letting Shitty look good and giving us such a close game. Its a shame for England because he was looking like he’d be a no1 for the Future. SAF Gave him chances but in the end had to bring in Kuszczak, who I thought did quite well but not everybodies cup of tea.

    Nani is starting to show what he can do, the Munich game was his best game I’ve seen him play in, totally superb.

  2. redscot says:

    @ Paul parker, not that I am a gossip monger,( Costas says) the Cunt for a few weeks has been lodging in a hotel in Southport, research if you like, I have reliable contacts like groundsman and barmen, and of course the power of a network! lol

  3. willierednut says:

    AIG – I think he did get chances mate, but Rudd was our main man then, so he was never gonna start every week.

  4. Costas says:

    At the time he left, Forlan was Nani before January of 2010. He didn’t have a run of games to prove his worth and with 3 strikers signed since January of 04(Saha, Smith and Wazza), the writing was on the wall. It was a true shame because he was a favourite for most fans. I just feel happy for how he has turned out.

  5. rooney the new king says:

    Fred – like MAD TV’S DR PHIL would say if liverpool fight tooth and nail especially against chelsea then I am not a real DR.

    but before we talk about chelsea and liverpool the pressure is very much on united to beat spurs saterday

  6. redscot says:

    I must also congratulate GHTT, i saw the little video and news of Emily on Newsnow, yesterday, she looks fantastic, and a braw(good) singer. Pure dead brilliant, big up to you and Costas for neat precise words.You sound like a poet and you dont no it!

  7. aig alex is god says:

    @willie

    ya rudd was our main man but with ole injured we didnt have a very reliable 2nd striker, he could have done a job. We sold him then and got rooney.no complaints there. Another one of those who couldnt do well at United but did well after he left us. quite a few of those in recent years.

    off to sleep. Good night everyone

  8. Gotta hate tiny tears says:

    @Redscot

    Thank you so much mate
    whatsthe livepool story ? is it that stevie mes misses is been poled by Kris Commons cause i heard that yesterday

    is there more to this classy club

  9. Ulster Red says:

    *be warned this is pointless non united news*
    that scouse game is shite..is the fulham game on tv anywhere?

  10. Costas says:

    @redscot

    Thanks man. Usually, I am not that coherent, lol.

    @AIG

    Night mate.

  11. willierednut says:

    Liverpoo are a poor side, Chelsea will have to play really bad to lose against this lot.

  12. rooney the new king says:

    that is flatering liverpool calling them a poor side, they are so bad they worser than the old wimbledon side

  13. Costas says:

    @willierednut

    I am not watching the game, but I don’t have much faith in Liverpool giving Chelsea a run for their money without Torres and 3 days after the match of their season. In a way, it’s really up to their fans to make a noise and carry their team.

  14. rooney the new king says:

    and it annoys me how united lost to them which shows united’s levels and quality have dropped

  15. willierednut says:

    Costas – I’m flicking back and fourth, between the dippers and Fulham game, what i’ve seen from the scum is poor.

  16. redscot says:

    @GHTT It will come out in the wash mate, I think being Scottish can they do anymore to shoot themselves in the foot on there aim to win the World cup, I mean together ness and professionalism.
    All we can hope for now to completely make it hilarious is for Cornetto to be seen at a Gay club in cross dressers clobber.

  17. Costas says:

    0-0 is good for Fulham, but it puts them in a situation where they have to win at Craven Cottage. Of course, that hasn’t been much of a problem this season for them in Europe.

    I just hope that the dippers’ game next week won’t go into extra time. Knowing our luck, it probably will…

  18. ROOOOONEY says:

    lol liverpool, had 0 shots, 0 corners, and 0 chances. FACT

  19. Paul Parker says:

    haha, I bet you have eyes and ears everywhere redscot lol….

  20. redscot says:

    Pool will go through now, they need a pot this year for Benitez cv, and for him to salvage his career which is reducing big time.Anyways its all immaterial did not get too many laughs at the poor poor display, grow a pair Liverpool.No real scousers in that club now, foreigners and lads that dont know what it means to be a puddle player.All good however.

  21. Paul Parker says:

    thats why I laugh when people say all Spainish Clubs apart from the big 2 are poor.

    oh yeah? Go over there and prove it on the pitch mate. Its not straight forward.
    im glad Fulham have avoided Spanish Opposition so far, its no coincidence.

    Good news for us tho, it means Rafa will DEF fight for 4th because it doesn’t look like he can win in Europe does it? He’ll will be hoping City and Tottenham draw, and that Arsenal beat City, so he can win his remaining games and squeeeeeze in 4th. You never know, City and Spurs have to play Bolton and Villa too (can’t remember who plays who) so somebody will drop points. If Rafa has any pride he’ll be playing for 4th, he’ll also have Torres back for Chelsea, lets see what happens.

    ha, even if he gets through I wouldn’t fancy his chances against Roy anyway.

  22. Paul H says:

    Gotta hate tiny tears says:
    that was for paul h

    Superb, GHTT. There is a tinge of regret that Diego didn’t quite make it at OT. My only other regret tonight is that the air traffic restrictions have been lifted and the Scousers haven’t been forced to make the miserable 30 hour journey back by coach :)

  23. redscot says:

    @ Paul Parker, you are a Icon, mate well without my knowledge of seeing you play in the flesh, I can only read about you, so easy Tiger I am a youngster. Agree totally lets keep them alive and with a sniff of getting 4th, its like just keep it possible.
    Its a fascinating season if you think about it, Us against the Spuds, Arsenal want us to win that, so do Shitty and Villa, Shitty versus Arsenal, who on this site is not willing a win for Arsenal nothing more, or maybe not!!! ??? because we no what it means right! Shitty v Villa , shout out huge for the Clarets, utv.Shitty at Wet Spam, obvious. Rent boys V Potters, forget it lads its a Chelsea win all day long.Now the big one, if they fuck up at Burnley on Saturday which is possible, they will throw it against us, So hope boys for Liverpoo win,see what I mean its a odd season. The Dippers will win at Hull they have already gone, for reasons I gave last night on another thread(Iain Dowie).
    The rent boys as i said will not fuck up this time against Stoke, nor Wigan at the Bridge, see what I am implying, to keep the virus and make it possible, just pray and do it good, hope beyond all, our enemy get a win at Burnley on Saturday.Then and only then its on.
    AS for now Do you Believe, Just fucking Believe come on.
    off to the pub, and I wont come on here later and make a Twat of myself. LOL

  24. willierednut says:

    Paul Parker – Ok mate, who will win La Liga apart from Barca and Madrid in the next 5 years?

  25. Xyth says:

    @Paul Parker
    Who is the Darby Player? Surely not Robbie Savage?

  26. Paul Parker says:

    @ Willierednut – To answer with another question ;) who will win the Premier League apart from United or Chelsea in the next 5 years? I don’t think Liverpool can repeat their fluke last year, and Arsenal can’t challenge again until they buy a decent Central Midfielder and and replace Bentner. BTW, random thought, but Anderson would fit perfectly into Arsenal imo cos they need a creative/destructive player like him who Arsene can surround with sublime passers of the ball. Ando would be lethal in a team that knows how to play, if he’s given the chance to play, thats why I really want to see him suceed with us…. he is capable of doing what Scholes has always done for us imo. He’s far from it now, but I believe he has the talent, and the eye for the game. Anyway, you get my point mate, im saying just bcos La Liga has a big 2 doesn’t mean the other teams are crap, they ain’t imo.

    willierednut says:
    Paul Parker – I know you want an outsider to manage United, but Chris Moyles is taking the piss.

    not at all mate, my bad, don’t know how I’ve left that impression. I said yesterday that if i was put on the spot right now to name our next manager, i’d say Ole. thats why I was banging on about Pep, because he was a Reserve Manager who has inherited a Great Team and performed well. I think Ole can do just as well as Pep if he inherits United from Alec. I do believe that…. but the truth is I don’t like thinking about Alec leaving, he IS Manchester United for me, more than Cantona, Giggs and the rest…. anybody. So I don’t favour ANY SOD replacing him at the moment, I don’t have a favourite to suceed him, its like infidelity just talking about who will fill his shoes when he’s gone, my history starts with him, so he IS the Club to me. BUT, if I had to pick someone, the only person who feels right is Ole. That Boy loves the Manchester United, Alec loves him, thats his favorate Pupil, and he’s just won his first Silverware as a Manager. Who the fuck is Pep? thats my attitude, because If Pep can do it Ole can do it too.

  27. Paul Parker says:

    @ Xyth

    I have no idea Pal, im just finding this all out now, but ask our resident Scot with the Crystal Balls lol, he has all the answers, a fountain of wisdom that Lad.

    @redscot

    love the logic, its insane what we as supporters come up with in between games. I can see it now… Chelsea fucking up once again, if not against Stoke, then Wigan Warriors and the Spice Boys.

  28. Paul Parker says:

    hang about, I just realised, are you winding me up willierednut???
    haha, maybe not, its getting late afer all…. so to all a Goodnight.

    Christ, we’ve had exclusive interviews, kiddie fiddlers, blasts from a forlan past and slags with expensive handbags. I wonder what tomorrow with Bring on Republik of Mancunia?

    GREAT INTERVIEW SCOT – thanks for letting Nani know the Fans appreciate him, because if the fans didn’t appreciate his recent effort, he’d be entitled to think, Fuck this for a Laugh, and leave, lol, just no pleasing some people these days. Someone said they thought his responses were typical “political spin” when asked about what wing he prefers. I think he was being genuine when he said he was just happy to support the team. He can deliver great crosses with either foot, and he can cut in and shoot more from out on the left, but he runs at opposition better on the right side, with the ball on his right foot close to the chalk away from defenders. He is effective on either side, and I think he can see that now so I think he was being honest. Lets not look a gift horse in the mouth, he’s as naturally talented as Ronaldo, and he’ll only get better after the World Cup – ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED???

    I can’t wait till next Season….. WHERES MY SOMBREO !!!?????

  29. willierednut says:

    Paul Parker – To answer your question, Man city along with Arsenal will really challenge United and Chelsea in the next few years. We take the piss out of City on here and it’s good fun, but no – one can deny that City will be a big player with the type of money the Arabs have.

    The key for City will be getting in to the champions league, to attract better players. I agree with you about Arsenal needing 2 or 3 players and apparently Wenger will have money to spend in the summer. ps i was joking about chris Moyles, i think you ment david moyes lol

  30. possepossebon says:

    To all the morons on EPL Talk who said that RoM is a “link farm”, did any of you score an interview with Nani like that?

    Top stuff, top site, Scott.

  31. bh4vn35h says:

    This is truly our number 7. It’s sad to see Owen wear it! One of the greatest wingers in world Football without a doubt. Much bigger player then Ronaldo will ever be. Took Ronaldo 4 seasons before he started firing at UTD this boy scoring goals from day one and not just any goals WORLD CLASS finishers. Ronaldo leaving was a blessing for Nani to step up and shine up cause for 1. He’s got more class and skill and for 2. His Heart and Soul is at UTD! GLORY GLORY LUIS NANI you really are a beauty! Rooney would still be our player of the season but if this boy can seal his place in the starting line up for a whole season next season I think he’ll prove himself

    Watch this guys :

    This is my favourite utd clip maybe of all time. An Nani is the best winger ever :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-709TRnPa4

    My current fav montage of his goals(This is my entry for the comp):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XgyLlCjuFM

    Last Season an before Nani great goals :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jr18IRZhmEA&feature=related

    Please fast forward this clip to 2:36 seconds amd the watch this it’s my fav Sporting Lisbon moment for Nani :

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gP_GALv6KkQ&feature=related

  32. King Eric says:

    bh4vn35h – Nani will NOT be a much bigger player than Ronaldo as much as I like him now.

    And yes Willie La Liga is shite. Athletico were also very poor and a decent side woud have done the job.

  33. rooney the new king says:

    Sir_Ryan_Giggs_For_PM – well its been like that since the start if the 07/08 season where the goals came from 2 or 3 players. Obvious we would like goals to come from about 6 or 7 players but what can you do

  34. unitedtreble99 says:

    http://www.dailystar.co.uk/posts/view/132045/Nani-Wayne-Rooney-needs-help/

    You should be getting paid for all these articles ripping your interview off without any recognition :P

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