Luis Carlos Almeida da Cunha Profile
|Name||Luis Carlos Almeida da Cunha|
|Born||Nov 17, 1986|
Experiencing success on the domestic, European and international stages, Nani has been a key part of every team in which he has played.
Luis Carlos Almeida da Cunha, better known as 'Nani', is a Portuguese soccer player who plays as a winger for Orlando City.
He is best known for his time at Manchester United, where he scored 40 goals in 230 appearances between 2007 and 2015. Nani won four Premier League titles and the UEFA Champions League under the guidance of the iconic Sir Alex Ferguson.
Nani has also played for Sporting CP, Fenerbahce, Valencia and Lazio. He made his move to Major League Soccer's Orlando City in 2019.
Nani scored 24 goals in 112 appearances for the Portugal national team, making his most recent appearance in 2017. He was part of the team which won the UEFA Euro 2016 tournament in France.
Nani and Manchester United
Nani signed for Sir Alex Ferguson's Manchester United from Sporting CP for a reported €25.5million, 5% of which went to Real Massama, his first professional club. At the time, United were defending Premier League champions.
Nani made his first competitive appearance in the Community Shield against Chelsea. United won the match 3-0 on penalties following a 0-0 draw in regulation time.
Manchester United won the Premier League and Champions League in 2007/08, pipping Chelsea to both titles.
Nani came on as a substitute for Wayne Rooney in the Champions League final against Chelsea at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. Once again, the match finished 1-1 in regulation time and ultimately went to penalties. Nani scored for the Red Devils in the shootout.
Nani and United won the Premier League again in 2008/09 as well as the League Cup, but lost 2-0 to Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League final. After the season's conclusion, Cristiano Ronaldo left for Real Madrid and the team had to rebuild.
In 2009/10, Manchester United were beaten to the Premier League title by Chelsea, but they won the League Cup once again.
Nani truly came into his own during the 2010/11 season, making the PFA Premier League Team of the Year and scoring 10 times in 49 appearances in all competitions for Manchester United. The Red Devils won back their Premier League crown from Carlo Ancelotti's Chelsea and once again made the Champions League final, only to lose to Barcelona once more - this time 3-1.
Despite Nani featuring regularly the following season once again, United were beaten to the Premier League title in the dying moments of the 2011/12 season by city rivals Manchester City.
In 2012/13, inspired by the signing of Robin van Persie, Manchester United won the Premier League once again, although Nani did not feature as regularly as in previous campaigns. Nani was controversially sent off in a UEFA Champions League round-of-16 clash with Real Madrid with the Red Devils leading 1-0. Ultimately, Los Blancos progressed to the next round.
Ferguson left Manchester United at the end of the season and Nani struggled to find his best form under David Moyes. In August 2014, with Louis van Gaal being brought in to replace Moyes, Nani was loaned to Sporting CP in a deal which allowed Marcos Rojo to join the Red Devils.
The following year, Nani signed for Fenerbahce for a reported £4.25million transfer fee alongside Van Persie, officially bringing an end to his time at Manchester United.
Departure to Sporting Lisbon
One cannot discuss Nani without reference to his time at Sporting CP, the club which essentially took him from obscurity to the upper echelons of world soccer.
Nani joined Sporting CP from Real Massama and was part of the team which won the 2004/05 National Junior Championship.
On August 10, 2005, Nani made his senior team debut for Sporting, coming off the bench in a UEFA Champions League qualifier against Udinese. His goal against Spartak Moscow in the 2006/07 UEFA Champions League helped propel him into the spotlight.
With Nani in the side, Sporting won the 2006/07 Taca de Portugal. Liedson scored the winner as Sporting beat Belenenses 1-0 in the final.
Following the completion of the 2006/07 season, Nani moved to Manchester United, but his association with Sporting CP did not end there.
Nani spent the 2014/15 season on loan at Sporting, scoring 12 goals in 37 appearances in all competitions in his second stint. After spells at Fenerbahce and Valencia, he returned to Sporting in 2018/19, this time scoring nine goals in 28 appearances prior to his transfer to Orlando City.
Nani and Portugal
Nani made his debut for the Portugal national team in September 2006, scoring in a 4-2 friendly defeat to Denmark. Previously, he had been a star in the Portugal Under-21 team.
Having been a regular during Euro 2008 qualification, Nani travelled to Austria and Switzerland with the squad. He made three appearances at the finals, starting just once and providing an assist for Helder Postiga's goal in a 3-2 quarter-final defeat to Germany.
Despite having made Carlos Queiroz's squad for the 2010 World Cup, Nani was ruled out of the tournament shortly before it kicked off due to injury.
Although he made important contributions to the team during Euro 2012 qualifying and the 2014 World Cup, Nani truly came of age at Euro 2016, scoring against Iceland, Hungary and Wales en route to Portugal winning the tournament.
Nani also scored against New Zealand in a 4-0 win at the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup. Portugal finished third at that tournament.
He made the 35-man preliminary squad for the 2018 World Cup, but did not make the cut for the tournament in Russia.
Nani was abandoned by both of his parents and subsequently raised by his aunt. When Nani was five years old, his father went on holiday to Cape Verde and never returned. His mother subsequently left to start a new life in the Netherlands when he was 12.
He has nine siblings from his mother and five from his father. An elder sister gave him the nickname 'Nani' at a young age and it is the name which appears on the back of his shirt.
As a child, Nani was a fan of FC Porto, but his idol was Luis Figo, who like him played for Sporting CP.
Nani's net worth
Nani's precise net worth is unknown, but at the time that he left for Fenerbahce in 2015 despite having a contract at Manchester United which was supposed to expire in 2018, The Telegraph reported that United were facing a £17million bill for the remainder of his wages.