Nani sees two-horse race

Winger believes only Chelsea can challenge United

Last updated: 24th December 2010   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Nani sees two-horse race

Nani: Writing off City and Arsenal

I no longer see anybody winning the Premier League this season outside of Manchester United or Chelsea.

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Nani believes Chelsea are the only side capable of challenging Manchester United for Premier League glory.

The title race appears wide open this season with just three points separating the top four teams heading into Christmas.

However, Portugal international Nani has written off the chances of Arsenal and Manchester City by claiming that only Carlo Ancelotti's Blues can stop United.

Chelsea's fine start to the campaign has unravelled and they have struggled for consistency in recent weeks, while City and the Gunners have also suffered some surprise defeats this term.

United remain unbeaten after 16 league games and Nani is confident they will go on to finish top if they stay ahead of the current champions.

"I no longer see anybody winning the Premier League this season outside of Manchester United or Chelsea. Hopefully, it will be United," he said.

Standing out

Red Devils winger Nani has emerged as one of the most effective attacking players in English football over the past season-and-a-half.

He feels the departure of compatriot Cristiano Ronaldo in the summer of 2009 gave him the chance to flourish after a frustrating first couple of years at Old Trafford.

"It is easier for me to stand out now that Cristiano Ronaldo has left the club," admitted the 24-year-old.

"He is a fantastic player who got all the attention and deservedly so. I loved playing alongside him and we got on well together.

"But it is also true to say that, when he left United, it freed up space for other players to shine.

"When he left, I saw an opportunity to demonstrate my qualities and to show the people at United what I can do. That is exactly what I have done."


Nani has learned to combine his attacking instincts with better defensive discipline and he credits Sir Alex Ferguson for turning him into a more complete player.

He revealed: "Sir Alex Ferguson explained to me the importance of defending well and said I would end up being more dangerous in attack as a result. It is the truth."

Nani hopes to one day compete with the likes of Ronaldo for prestigious individual accolades.

He said: "I know I can become a better player and my aim now is to get on the list of nominees for next year's Ballon d'Or - the European Player of the Year prize.

"I want to leave my mark and hope after I retire that people will say Nani was a great player. I really want to do something special in my lifetime."

Comments (17)

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Sharan Parikh (Manchester United fan) says...

Well clearly Nani's comment seems to be working it's charm on certain supporters ;) Why assume it is a jab at Arsenal though? I'd assume Man City fans would be most rankled by these comments. Arsenal will always compete and invariably like being written off / being the dark horses in the title race - it seemingly reduces the pressure on the team to perform. That said, I do find Nani's need for self-approval clearly indicating an immature mind with an inferiority complex or superiority complex he's trying to win over! United for the title. :)

Posted 10:01 23rd December 2010

Tarun Avasthy (Manchester United fan) says...

Okay, so there's an issue with Nani saying it's a two-horse race, well... you can't seriously blame him can you? Arsenal haven't won anything for God knows how long, 5 years I think. Liverpool have been knocked off their top 4 perch. Manchester City and Tottenham are genuine top 4 contenders, not title contenders, but they are unproven. The most consistent teams have been Manchester United and Chelsea in terms of winning trophies. Manchester United will always be a team that qualifies for the champions league for the next 5 years at least. Hence, I have no idea what you're talking about Jon.

Posted 09:59 23rd December 2010

Ray Serville (Manchester United fan) says...

A bad run of luck and a few injuries? This time last year didn't we have 9 defenders injured, playing fletcher and Carrick as centre backs? Yet lost out at the end by one point, what about Arsenal, i'd love to see how they would cope with that amount of injuries. There is a lot of belief in the team, so there should be! If Nani's talk psychologically damages your players, get some more mentally stable players who can take it! It's all about confidence!

Posted 09:57 23rd December 2010

Robbie Gwillim (Manchester United fan) says...

I believe Jon Rose answers his own question when asking 'why do players from united always feel the need to gob off', if it does effect other teams Jon then United would be foolish to not do it. I believe it's the other teams problem if it does wind them up. Also, i can recolect a certain Samir Nasri (in fine form this season to be fair) claiming United has lost their 'aura' and were no longer feared. This backfired as last Monday Arsenal delivered a disappointingly average performence - deviod of their normal attacking brilliance anf flair - and deservedly lost to united. i think it is asking for problems to write other teams off, Arsenal and City (don't discount spurs either) could well make Nani look ignorant, arrogant and foolish by winning the title this season. However i believe that United and Chelsea have to be considered the main title contenders because they're in competitive positions, have the strongest defences and the best recent history. It's shaping up into a decent season, and personally, I'm bored of this weather and listening to talking, I want to get back to watching some decent football.

Posted 09:47 23rd December 2010

Thomas Kearns (Manchester United fan) says...

Man United have gone well over half the season this year without Rooney, Rio, Scholes, Giggs, Valencia, Hargraves and Owen... Is that not a serious list of injuries? 5 of these 7 are regular 1st team starters for united.that is half our starting team. you can not say they have not had injury problems this season. united have shown dept in squad strength this season and that is what Arsenal have lacked. Aresnal have some of the best young talent in the entire world but it has never materialised into a quality squad that can handle pressure. If a few small words like this cause their team not to win games they are not true professionals. it is all part of the game in this day and age.

Posted 09:44 23rd December 2010

Phil Samways (Manchester United fan) says...

Jon Rose, what on earth are you talking about?? Players don't just go to a recording studio to randomly gob off - he was asked his opinion by a reporter on who will win the league and naturally he said United - because we're unbeaten and top of the league at Christmas with games in hand. Are Arsenal and City constantly dropping silly points? Yes. Is that championship form? No. Should he consider them as a bigger danger than Chelsea? Probably not. If your team (and others) are not winning the league simply because of what United players are saying about them then they shouldn't be in the sport. And for the record we've had Rooney, Valencia, Owen, Giggs and Anderson all out for large parts this year - the difference is our team is capable of getting stuck in and not feeling sorry for ourselves.

Posted 09:35 23rd December 2010

Iain Anderson (Manchester United fan) says...

Typical Arsenal sour grapes. Haven't won anything for five years so now try to find excuses as to why other teams have. Face it, you're not good enough and United, even without Ronaldo & Tevez, will finish higher than Arsenal, probably beat you at the Emirates, (1-3 again!) and possibly knock you out of Europe as well. All this because they gob off. Unlike Nasri, who said "teams no longer fear going to Old Trafford", shortly before losing there again, and Fibreglass saying you don't have a winning mentality against the big teams. I would suggest that your club has enough problems of its own without you gobbing off about others.

Posted 09:31 23rd December 2010

Wiqas Hussain (Manchester United fan) says...

Jon, what is wrong with gobbing off if you can back up, as far as I am concerned we beat Arsenal and that clearly ruled them out of the premier league, nani is 100% right in what he said, arsenal have not won a trophy in the last 5 years, u'll be lucky to win the carling cup!!! Have a look at this:,19528,11661_6608283,00.html I think the opening paragraph sums Arsenal up, Arsene Wenger has refused to rule out making signings in January but has warned Arsenal fans not to 'expect miracles'. I guess arsenal need a miracle!

Posted 09:29 23rd December 2010

James Odera (Manchester United fan) says...

I agree with Nani's sentiments. Looking at the other "title pretenders'', i.e City, Arsenal and Spurs none of them possess the calibre of players that United and Chelsea have. What this means is that they will most certainly fall by the wayside as usually happens since they luck the mettle to go full length of the season. Jon Rose, Nani is merely expressing his opinion which with all due respect, he's entitled to like Nasri did the other day when he claimed that United could have lost to Chelsea had the fixture gone ahead. Why is it painful when it is coming from a United player???

Posted 09:27 23rd December 2010

Luke Herincx (Manchester United fan) says...

Jon Rose, it is not 'gobbing off', its Nani's opinion and it is a fair one. United and Chelsea have been the top 2 teams in England for the past 5 years and he does not see that changing, injuries or not. It is not a personal dig at Arsenal (or City) but time and again they have proven they are not real title condenders and this season will be no different, everyone knows this. Also, to claim that the most successful team in PL history will struggle to qualify for Europe is (at best) simply naive!

Posted 09:25 23rd December 2010

Paul Johnson (Manchester United fan) says...

I wouldn't say Nani is 'gobbing off' not at all, it's just an opinion of how he sees the race for the title. I think it will pan out as a two horse race in the final furlongs but the other teams in connection will push them well into next year. We might have a stronger chance of winning the title if Nani actually contributed more than moaning, diving and being slightly dissappointed sometimes in the final third. He can have moments of brilliance but sometimes he's very frustrating. I get annoyed as a united fan when he's rolling around on the ground, it's embarrassing to be honest.

Posted 09:22 23rd December 2010

Martin Sommers (Manchester United fan) says...

What are you talking about Jon Rose? Nani is not 'gobbing off'', he was interviewed and expressed an opinion just like you have. You clearly don't keep up to date with football. Utd have had lots of injuries already this season - Valencia, Rooney, Scholes, Owen, Anderson, Ferdinand, Vidic, Van der Saar, Neville, Rafael, Evans, Brown - some quite lengthy lay offs. I think we've had our share, just like most teams. To top that Utd aren't actually firing on all cylinders yet and are still top of the Premiership, unbeaten, games in hand, etc. As for the Champions League I suggest you look nearer to home - have Arsenal ever won it,!

Posted 09:12 23rd December 2010

Mubita Young (Arsenal fan) says...

It is stupid for united players to come out like that.there are alot of games to play so please let nani shut his mouth up and wait for end of the season.

Posted 09:08 23rd December 2010

James Penfold (Manchester United fan) says...

Why do all Arsenal fans go out of their way to find poor excuses? It's coming up to 6 years and not a single major trophy, Face It. Wenger's got you all believing about a philosophy, but that only works with Barcelona. Manchester United are the dominant team in the premiership and well our trophies show that. So learn how the big boys play the game.

Posted 09:02 23rd December 2010

Andrew Johnson (Manchester United fan) says...

Jon Rose, I think you'll find we have had more than our fair share of injuries. Out of our back 4 only Vidic has been fit all season, Carrick and Giggs have already missed a significant amount of games, so has Scholes who is still out. Valencia is out for the season with a broken leg and I don't need to go into detail about Rooney.

Posted 09:01 23rd December 2010

Mike Stanton (Manchester City fan) says...

He already has done something special in his lifetime. Thriller is still be biggest selling album of all time and the Moonwalk was unique! :-)

Posted 08:53 23rd December 2010

Jon Rose (Arsenal fan) says...

Why do players from united allways feel the need to gob off, every year it happens, and it does affect other teams when they do it, people are gonna see them as a team that only wins because of mind games, if they are that good they should be able to win without speaking ill about other teams, they are yet to have a run of bad luck and a few injuries, when this happens they will be lucky to qualify for champions league,whether it be this season or next!

Posted 08:36 23rd December 2010

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