·28 September 2022
·28 September 2022
By Oliver Walker-Peel (@olliewalkerpeel)
Melbourne’s Victory marquee marksman Nani is at the ready.
The former Manchester United star is in pastures new after signing with the Victory in July, just days after leaving Italian side Venezia after nearly five months at the club.
While the 35-year-old is entering the swansong of a glittering career, he was quick to assert that he is raring to offer the league his all when speaking at the A-Leagues season launch in Melbourne on Tuesday.
“[The body] feels good, just small adjustments for these two weeks and begin the season,” Nani said.
“The most important for me is being at my best, being able to work hard every single game, help any single aspect for the league, for the club, for my teammates.
“That’s what I’m focusing on, and I hope I can deliver that for this league.”
With four Premier League winners medals with Manchester United sitting inside a glittering individual trophy cabinet, the Portuguese maestro is set to use his vast experience at the game’s summit to propel the Victory forward.
Slotting in seamlessly to the football club since arriving on Australian shores, Nani was complimentary of his teammates for allowing him to feel a part of the squad so quickly.
He also spoke glowingly of the supporter base at the club, noting them as a potential driving force for the club as they move into the new campaign.
“I have a lot of experience in my career, what I had to show I showed before, the most important here is what I can deliver for this league, for this club, for the players, for the fans.
“It needs a lot of hard work, so I will try and put it all together and see at the end.”
“The group is amazing, we are connected already so it has been easy for me to get into the group.
“It is not easy, a big player, a big name sometimes comes into the team and some players get a bit shy.
“For me, it was special, I feel like have been here a year with the team, all the players have been helping. We laugh, we talk, we make jokes, the environment is on point.
“I heard a lot about our fans, they are the best.
“When they are performing on their best, it helps a lot for us to produce our maximum on the field.
“We have been working hard and we hope that this season we can make them so happy.”
As well as immersing himself in Melbourne in a footballing sense, Nani has wasted no time adopting the Melburnian culture.
Viewing this as an ideal place to not only continue his career but proceed with his life outside of football as well, the complete synergy should only hold the club in good stead.
“Actually I have been enjoying it a lot, the country, it’s a beautiful country, a beautiful city where we are.
“I have been enjoying it, I have been travelling a bit, I went to the zoo, I saw the kangaroos, been trying the coffee as well, it is something that is very nice here.
“I like the culture, the way people are in the street, very calm, the way that people live their lives.
“It is nice, at this moment it is what I needed for my life, it is good.
Following the release of FIFA 23’s database last week, Nani’s FIFA Ultimate Team card saw an overall drop of three from 80 to 77.
As well as this, the EURO 2016 winner saw his status as a five-star skill move player taken from him, reduced to four for the new edition of the game.
As such, he had a few choice yet tongue-in-cheek words for EA, as he searches to regain that status.
“I think they just need to see me play a couple of games more and then I will go back to me to five stars again, I promise I will try and get back to the five stars!”
Nani and Melbourne Victory will start their season next Saturday away against arch-rivals Sydney FC, with kick-off scheduled for 7:45pm at Allianz Stadium.
Featured image: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images
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