5 Memorable Moments for Manchester United and Portugal Man Nani

Scott Rom@@R_o_MFeatured ColumnistJune 11, 2014

5 Memorable Moments for Manchester United and Portugal Man Nani

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    Paulo Duarte/Associated Press

    Luis Nani goes to the World Cup this summer on the back of two disappointing seasons at Manchester United. Sir Alex Ferguson barely played the winger in his last season in charge. David Moyes seemed to have more faith in him, ensuring he was offered a new contract, but Nani has suffered from several injuries and hasn't had a regular run in the team.

    However, club form goes out of the window in Brazil, where Nani will be playing for the manager he owes his career to. 

    Paulo Bento was the youth coach at Sporting Lisbon when both Nani and Cristiano Ronaldo were still at the club.

    Ian Ladyman wrote for The Daily Mail about the impact Nani claimed Bento had made to his career.

    He is one of the main reasons I am where I am because he opened doors and my eyes and made me see what I was doing was wrong many times. He made me realise if I wanted to be here, as I am today, I needed to change certain things. He believed in me.

    Nani has had a season to forget at Manchester United, but what have some of his more memorable moments for Portugal been?

U-21 Championship: 2006

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    ARMANDO FRANCA/Associated Press

    The first time the world was able to have a look at Nani was at the 2006 UEFA European Under-21 Championship when he was just 19 years old. He was the youngest player in their squad.

    Nani made his first appearance in a 1-0 defeat against France and featured in all of their other group-stage games.

    Portugal didn't get past the group stage but Nani got his first real taste of international football.

Making His Debut: 2006

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    Armando Franca/Associated Press

    Nani made his debut for Portugal in September 2006 against Denmark. Despite losing 4-2 to Denmark, Nani will have been fairly happy with his first appearance, given that he scored a goal.

    Nani has gone on to score a total of 14 goals in 75 appearances for his country.

Euro 2008

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    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    As Portugal qualified for Euro 2008, Nani regularly featured in the Portugal squad.

    Portugal beat Belgium 2–1 away from home and Nani scored one of the goals, which helped secure his place in the tournament in Luiz Felipe Scolari's 23-man squad.

    Nani played in three games and provided the assist for Helder Postiga's goal in the quarter-final against Germany. Nani came off the bench and made an impact, but Portugal were knocked out after losing 3-2.

Bento's First Game in Charge: 2010

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    Armando Franca/Associated Press

    Bento replaced Carlos Queiroz as Portugal manager after a poor start to qualifying for Euro 2012. His first game in charge was against Denmark in 2010 and Nani didn't disappoint.

    Nani was involved in all three of the goals. He scored two himself as well as assisting Ronaldo for a third.

    This wasn't a bad way to pay Bento back for all the work he had done for Nani when he was a youngster at Sporting Lisbon.

Captaining His Country

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    Paulo Duarte/Associated Press

    Whilst Ronaldo is the captain for Portugal, Bento has trusted Nani with the responsibility in the absence of the best player in the world.

    Last year, in Portugal's 3-0 win over Luxembourg, Nani wore the captain's armband. 

    He also marked the occasion with a goal.