Nani targets immediate debut against Man Utd as former Red Devils hero joins Melbourne Victory

By Sports Desk July 12, 2022

Nani is relishing the prospect of a Manchester United reunion after joining A-League side Melbourne Victory.

The 35-year-old former Portugal star has moved to Australia on a two-year contract, with his Victory deal announced on Tuesday.

Nani left United eight years ago and has since had spells at Sporting CP, Fenerbahce, Valencia, Lazio, Orlando City and Venezia.

He could line up against United on Friday, however, with his new team facing the Premier League giants in a friendly at the MCG.

Nani, who won the 2007-08 Champions League and four Premier League titles with United, was asked about his prospects of playing in that game.

"I would like to, I don't know. I just arrived in the country, and it's a long flight, so there are lots of things to do," Nani said.

"The body must be ready to compete. I think the fans and everyone expecting me to be able to perform with all my qualities, so playing that game could be not a good idea, but as a player I always want to play, so give me five minutes and I will be ready."

Nani won 112 caps for Portugal, scoring 24 goals for his country.

As his international career was winding down, so Bruno Fernandes was emerging as a candidate to come into the Portugal side and stamp his own mark.

The pair were team-mates at Sporting for a short time and could now go head-to-head, with Nani saying he had yet to speak to Fernandes about his Melbourne move.

"Not yet, we had to be a little bit quiet about this transfer," Nani said. "I know there will be time for us to meet here and talk about everything."

Nani was impressed with Melbourne boss Tony Popovic's plans, persuading him to try his luck in Australia for the first time.

He said: "I had some clubs interested in me, but Melbourne Victory is a club that has been trying to contact me for a long time. I had the opportunity to talk with the coach and had great feelings, and that was one of the good reasons to make me come here."

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    Mac Allister did not play Argentina's first game in Qatar, a stunning 2-1 defeat to Saudi Arabia, but has subsequently cemented a place in Lionel Scaloni's midfield and quickly emerged as a key player.

    Argentina take on the Oranje at Lusail Stadium with a place in the semi-finals at stake and Mac Allister is excited at the prospect.

    "If you would have told me this [how influential he has become] before the World Cup I would have signed up for it, for sure," he said.

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    The Netherlands will pose a serious threat to Argentina's hopes but Mac Allister was more interested in talking up his team-mates than spending too much time worrying about Louis van Gaal's men.

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