Nani has shared a brilliant anecdote about former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson from his time at the club.
The Portuguese winger enjoyed a solid spell at Old Trafford and was unfortunate to be expected to fill Cristiano Ronaldo’s avoid after his counterpart left United for Real Madrid in 2009.
Currently playing for Major League Soccer side, Orlando City SC, Nani tells a hilarious story about a tense encounter with Fergie, who also ended up tearing into Ryan Giggs.
I love stories like these which is why we recommend listening to the official Manchester United podcast.
“He was my neighbour and we used to go to London by train,” Nani told the UTD Podcast.
“His wife or his family used to leave him in the train station so on the way back he has no driver to take him so he was looking for someone who lives close to him to give him a ride.
“So I said, ‘OK boss, I’ll take you home!” But that day, it’s so funny believe me! The day I took him home was after a game against Fulham away, and I was on the bench.
“I was playing unbelievable with a lot of confidence. We won a penalty and it was Ryan Giggs who took the penalties.
“I felt confident and Giggs didn’t say anything.
“I took the penalty and I missed!
“The penalty should make it 3-2. We are going back home that day and I say, ‘Boss, I can take you home’.
“I drove him back home and he didn’t talk to me in the car! In the dressing room he killed me!
“He said, ‘Nani, who do you think you are? Who gave you permission to take the penalty?! Ryan!’
“And then he killed Ryan Giggs, because he said, ‘Ryan, why did you let him take the penalty!’
“Ryan said, ‘He grabbed the ball and I let him.’ Oh my god, that day was incredible. I took him home and I feel very uncomfortable driving home.”
This doesn’t change the fact Ferguson thought highly of Nani. He wasn’t the second coming of Ronaldo but that was a very unfair expectation.
He spent eight years at United before moving on to other European sides.
Nani went on to admit he was frightened of Fergie in the early days.
“At the beginning, I was very scared of him,” he added. “Like a father, you know?
“To make a mistake or do something wrong, because sometimes to interact with him, I don’t know. I see him talking with other players and I want to be involved but I think what am I going to say, you know? I don’t know.
“But I was scared of him until I learned to understand and was able to express myself.
“My English has never been perfect, or going to be, but at that time it was worse than now and when we he found I could speak more with him, he started coming to me and giving me more attention. And from then, I learned more about Sir Alex Ferguson.
“What he wanted to do, who he was and the relationship started to be better.”
Not even Giggsy was safe from the hairdryer treatment!
But this shows the level of respect Fergie had in the dressing room. He could destroy you one minute and be your father the next. They don’t quite make them like him anymore.