Training every day with top players who want to win trophies every year is a great motivation to me.” There are few guarantees though, even when the player returns to competitive action in the coming fortnight.
History suggests – despite that five-year contract – that Moyes prefers a more traditional wide-man.
"Now I'm in the right position to do everything I wanted in the past. "We're going to get the best years out of him, no doubt." Nani will miss tonight's Carling Cup trip to Leeds as Ferguson seemingly reverses his team selection policy in the competition.
Traditionally Ferguson has fielded younger squad members, but veterans like Dimitar Berbatov, Ryan Giggs and Ji-Sung are now likely to feature.
Indeed, Ferguson had come to mistrust the player late into the winter of his reign, hoping that time and maturity might work in the player’s favour; a slow developer where his predecessor Ronaldo had achieved a double figure goal tally in his third campaign with the club.
“Nani is definitely one of the best match-winners in Europe,” said the former United manager last winter. We would like him to stay.” Less than a month earlier Ferguson had sought to push Nani out of the door and into Zenit’s arms.
Six months later and Nani would sign a lucrative five-year contract with United; a signal, perhaps, of new manager David Moyes’ faith in the errant wide-man.
The winger turned down Zenit to be rewarded with a new opportunity at United.
Neither is the Portuguese known for the kind of defensive shift that the former Everton manager demands.For this reason Nani, like Ronaldo, has become a marked man.