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Manchester United winger was in the shadow of Cristiano Ronaldo, says ex-striker



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Michael Owen has hinted that one of his former teammates at Manchester United never became the world-class star they could have because of Cristiano Ronaldo.

Owen, whose time at United is probably best remembered by his dramatic 96th-minute winner at Old Trafford that saw the Red Devils victorious against Manchester City by a 4-3 scoreline in 2009, spent three seasons at the club, where he witnessed many talented players.

One in particular caught his eye the tricky and skilful winger, Luis Nani. Nani delighted United fans for eight seasons, with his unpredictable flare and overly acrobatic goal celebrations, the latter much to, Sir Alex Ferguson’s dismay.

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The Portuguese winger joined United two seasons before his compatriot, Cristiano Ronaldo, left for Real Madrid for a then-world-record fee of £85 million, and Owen this that this had an impact on Nani’s career.

Speaking to the Daily Star, United’s former no.7 talked about The potential detrimental effects that Nani’s association with Ronaldo had on him, saying:

“There’s loads of players that were absolutely so talented and then probably didn’t ever (reach their potential)… Someone like Nani at Manchester United.”

Owen goes on to say, “You talk to players and he came hot on the heels of Cristiano Ronaldo, possibly felt a little bit in his shadow. But the ability of that kid.

“He would go and get Man of the Match three or four weeks on the spin, and then he’d have a little knock, or something would go against him, and his confidence could be shot, and you wouldn’t see him for a couple of months type of thing. But he had had just tons of ability.”

Although he might not have reached his world-class potential, Nani is fondly remembered for his time at United, as no one was left un-entertained when he stepped on the pitch, and he will forever be in Manchester United folklore as the winger, who crossed it to Wayne Rooney for his iconic overhead kick against City.