Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughNani - A victim of his own antics - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Nani - A victim of his own antics - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Nani – A victim of his own antics

When Cristiano Ronaldo left Old Trafford in the summer of 2009, Manchester United fans worldwide were left wondering who could possibly replace their preening, petulant, prima donna.

But while the ‘Prawn Sandwich Brigade’ were panicking, Sir Alex Ferguson already had the man to fill the winker’s boots, Luis Carlos Almeida da Cunha – Nani.

It wasn’t hard to see why.

Nani already had the nauseously arrogant swagger, the step-overs, the array of coloured boots, and the hair. What he didn’t have was the record on the pitch.

Ronaldo’s final season at United saw him net 26 times in 53 appearances, compared to Nani’s paltry return of just six in 31 – queue mass scepticism.

Although his form in the early part of the following season was patchy, his performances at the tail end of the campaign showed promise, and he has continued that this season to become one of the league leaders’ star performers, with nine league goals and 15 assists to date.

His penchant for losing his balance has tarnished his reputation though, another facet of his game that draws comparison with Ronaldo, and this was witnessed in last Sunday’s match at Anfield.

Jamie Carragher’s tackle was atrocious and deserving of a red card, and today it has emerged that it will put the winger out of action for up to a month during United’s crucial run-in.

But rather than garner sympathy, all Nani has been subjected to is ridicule.

His antics, mainly his contender for the ‘Charlie Sheen rant of the week award’ at the referee and THAT fall, have just made his name an idiom to be used by Sunday League football players everywhere.

It’s a classic example of how your reputation as a diver can have a detrimental effect on the referee in his decision making.

Remember – Diving, We Stand.

James Riley

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