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Nani makes appearance in Manchester United vs Melbourne Victory friendly

by David O'Neill

Luis Nani came off the bench to make his Melbourne Victory debut against Manchester United today.

After an ovation from the entire stadium, Nani lined up in the centre forward position for a late cameo.

He was visibly emotional at the reaction from the United section as he took to the field, having enjoyed so much success for the Red Devils.

His entry came too late to affect the score line, although he showed good acceleration to beat Tyrell Malacia in midfield to cheers from the crowd.

Nani scored 26 Premier League goals for United during his eight years at the club, including an array of screamers.

He also produced 43 assists across his 147 appearances, with flair and guile that has often been found wanting at Old Trafford since his departure.

A tricky winger capable of pulling off the sublime with either foot, Nani’s departure from the club was met with frustration from fans as Louis van Gaal took an axe to the squad in 2014.

After a year on loan at Sporting Lisbon, Nani moved to Orlando City in the MLS.

He scored 28 times in 77 games on the other side of the pond, before a short stint with Venezia FC, although his 10 appearances could not save the Serie A side from relegation to the second tier.

He signed a two-year contract at Melbourne Victory last Tuesday and he was not expected to feature so early.

He was, however, delighted to make an appearance, and will be hoping he can help the A-League side improve upon their second-place finish last season.

Nani will perhaps have missed the chance to catch up with international teammate Cristiano Ronaldo, who he played with at United.

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