Nani is the latest in a long line of former Manchester United stars to name Paul Scholes as the most impressive player in training.
To stand out in a group of some of the greatest players in the world at the time would have taken some doing but, by all accounts, Paul Scholes did so with ease.
When Nani arrived at Manchester United in 2007, he came with the pressure of being touted as the next Cristiano Ronaldo, and he even briefly stayed in Ronaldo’s home after his move from Sporting Lisbon.
While Nani didn’t quite fill the shoes of Ronaldo, he did become a reliable servant for Sir Alex Ferguson and ended up making 230 appearances for the Red Devils.
Nani played 41 games in all competitions in his first campaign with United and became an important part of one of Ferguson’s greatest-ever teams, going on to win the Premier League and Champions League double in his debut season in England.
Nani looks back on his time with United fondly and recalled the incredible depth of talent in the dressing room when he arrived.
“I knew Cristiano from before, from Sporting, from the national team. Before I came to Manchester I was with him every time in the national team, so I knew how good he was,” Nani told UTD Unscripted.
Today, it's a #Throwback to a special moment – my first goal for @ManUtd!
Good luck for the new season, guys!🤞🏾🙌🏾👹 #TBT #ThrowbackThursday #manutd #goal #backflip #EPL #reddevils #glory #newseason #premierleague pic.twitter.com/PRTWwqtUAc
— Nani (@luisnani) September 17, 2020
“When I arrived in Manchester I started to see every player and I could see they had their own qualities. Darren Fletcher, for example. He was amazing. His attitude on the field, his running everywhere, but at the same time he was so strong, with a lot of quality in his passing. He scored some beautiful goals in training.
“The one who impressed me the most, though, was Paul Scholes because the quality he was putting into training was like he didn’t have to push. He would be playing soft: one touch, two touch, and nobody could catch him. He looked like he was having fun every time he trained.
“I could tell you every player. Ryan Giggs helped me a lot with his advice, with his quality, his training as well… the old players, the experience they had, they were putting into every single session. Every single day, there was something I was paying a lot of attention to. I wasn’t talking to them too much, just putting my eyes on them and what they were doing and what I should take from them.
“Rio Ferdinand and Vidic in the defence, Patrice Evra, the strength he put into every single ball in training was amazing. You would learn a lot, just seeing them train. Berbatov, Rooney, the way they were finishing, the way they were scoring goals.”