'I lived with Cristiano Ronaldo and he demanded swimming races and truth debates'

Nani revealed in 2020 what it was like staying with Cristiano Ronaldo. (Image: YouTube)

The presence of Portuguese teammate Cristiano Ronaldo might have helped Nani settle into life at Manchester United when he signed for the club in 2007, but their friendship also severely tested his mentality. Nani joined from Sporting CP at the same time Brazilian midfielder Anderson arrived from Porto, and the pair initially lived with the iconic forward upon arrival.

Nani would spend two years alongside Ronaldo at club level, before ‘CR7’ departed for Real Madrid. They continued to appear alongside each other at international level, with the pair pivotal to Portugal’s Euro 2016 win.

But in a discussion that later appeared on his YouTube channel, the 37-year-old revealed how spending time with Ronaldo meant constant competition. “You know Cristiano is very competitive,” he said. “And staying at his house for a day? He’ll challenge you anytime.

“He has a swimming pool, he has a tennis court, a ping ping table. Sometimes we were competing with ‘who knows?’ and ‘who is telling the truth?’ or ‘who is right about something?’ Every time there was conversation about who is right and who is better.”

Nani and Cristiano Ronaldo during the Euro 2016 final. (Image: Getty)

Ronaldo’s mentality and desire to succeed has been widely perceived as the driving force behind his legendary career. A total of 763 goals at club level, not to mention a stack of major honours and five Ballon d’Or crowns, has seen him cemented among the all-time greats.

He also has 206 caps and a record 128 goals at international level, and at the age of 39, continues to play regularly for club and country. Indeed, he has 48 goals in 47 games for Al-Nassr this season, and is the top scorer in the Saudi Pro League.

On the contrary, Nani eventually left Old Trafford after eight seasons plagued by the view he had not fulfilled his stable potential in English football. That’s despite helping the club to four Premier League titles and a Champions League win, not to mention League Cup and FIFA World Club Cup success.

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He was also voted the United Players’ Player of the Year in the 2010/11 campaign, a season in which he registered more assists than anyone else in the Premier League. And like Ronaldo, he has continued his professional career, signing for Turkish Super Lig side Adana Demirspor last summer.

He scored four times in 34 appearances this season after his move from Melbourne Victory, but it was confirmed this month he was departing the club after his one-year deal expired. Despite currently being without a club for 2024/25, the 112-cap international has not retired from football.

Source: https://www.express.co.uk/sport/football/1899014/Cristiano-Ronaldo-nani-Man-United