Former Manchester United winger Nani has explained why signing a five-year contract in 2013 turned out to be the worst moment of his life.
The Portuguese international had been at Old Trafford for six years at that stage, and the club were keen to tie him down as they transitioned from the Alex Ferguson regime into the new era spearheaded by David Moyes.
However, the Moyes season turned out to be something of a nightmare for the forward. He made just 13 appearances for the side that year, and was shipped off on loan to Sporting Lisbon the following summer by Moyes’ Man United replacement Louis van Gaal.
In an interview with the Guardian, the 29-year-old reveals why the decision to sign that new contract with Man United was one of the worst he’s ever made:
“It could have been the best moment of my life but it turned into the worst.
“After you sign a contract like that, you think all the people will be behind you and help you. And you see the opposite.
“Then the stress comes. I was down and, when it’s like that, of course, the injuries come too. It was a bad moment. It was something that made me very down, very disappointed.”
He also revealed that when Van Gaal told him that he would be his first choice, or even his second sometimes, then it was the best option for his career to leave the club:
“Van Gaal told me that, if I wanted to stay to fight for a position, then good but I would not be his first option or maybe even the second,
“I said: ‘No. I have been here for many years, I have been very important to this club and I think it’s time to decide.’ I wanted to play every game in the starting XI.”
Nani has since gone on to rebuild his career in Turkey with Fenerbahce, and having played a key role in Portugal winning the European Championships earlier this summer, will be playing in La Liga this season with Valencia.