Rio Ferdinand: Luis Nani got sidetracked at Manchester United

Rio Ferdinand: Luis Nani got sidetracked at Manchester United

Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has explained why he believes Luis Nani never hit the heights of Cristiano Ronaldo during his time at Old Trafford.

Nani was often seen as the heir to Ronaldo and it ultimately proved that the comparisons between the two would lead to his downfall.

The pair shared the same nation and positions on the pitch, leading many fans to think they could share the same ability too.

Luis though ultimately left United in a much different vein to the way Cristiano left the club for a world record fee.

Ferdinand was a part of the Red Devils team and featured regularly alongside both players and has had his say on why his former teammate didn’t make it at the club.

Speaking to Ball Street, Rio said: “I think the most frustrating thing is when you know you’ve got players in your team with undoubted ability – great ability, got everything – but don’t consistently get that out onto the pitch.

“Nani was a great player. I remember he started one of the seasons like a house on fire and he definitely would have won Player of the Year if he continued that vein of form.

“He just got sidetracked. I don’t know, he just didn’t do it all the time. He could shoot better than anybody, left and right, and so hard with both feet but he wasn’t consistent with it.

“One would go over here, one would go there. You’d say: ‘hit the target man, you don’t have to hit it so hard,’ but it’s about getting all of that in one place at the same time.”

Luis Nani’s inconsistencies on the field saw him lose the red shirt permanently after Louis Van Gaal deemed him surplus to requirements.

The Portuguese winger currently plies his trade for Italian side Lazio but only for a season as he is on loan from Valencia.

Manchester United’s current wingers are all actually not traditional wingers and have been shoved out wide to fit them all in the same side.

Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford are both natural strikers and prefer to lead the line rather than support it from the flanks.

Juan Mata and Henrikh Mkhitaryan have occasionally featured on the right side of United’s attack, cutting inside to do their roles as playmakers either way.

The lack of traditional wide-men has seen Jose Mourinho play with a wing-back formation instead and perhaps the boss would’ve liked to have a crack at managing Nani at Old Trafford.

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