Nani hails Fergie factor for turnaround in form

MANCHESTER UNITED winger Nani has paid a glowing tribute to Alex Ferguson and predicted his manager will shelve plans to retire and remain in charge at Old Trafford for as long as he is fit.

Nani, who looked set to leave only a year ago after struggling to emerge from the shadow of compatriot Cristiano Ronaldo, has been one of their most influential players this season, helping the team to the Premier League title and the Champions League final.

Now he has put his transformation down to the management of Ferguson.

“He has been very important for me,” said the Portuguese international at an adidas boot launch in London yesterday. “Everybody knows, since I have arrived at United, the opportunities he has given me. He is the most important person in my career.

“If I am doing well at the moment it is because of him and the opportunities he had given me. And if I am showing a better side to my game it is because he has shown me how to improve and what I have to do.”

There was a time when Ferguson was tipped to retire as soon as he won another Champions League; but Nani is adamant the Scot will remain in charge even if United beat Barcelona at Wembley on May 28.

“He is still doing his job very well. At this moment he feels very confident and fit,” said the winger. “He believes that he can go to the training ground and give everything — and as long as he does that, he will stay. He loves football and winning trophies. And that’s what he’s doing now.”

Having already won the Premier League, United — who will receive the trophy at Old Trafford when they face Blackpool on Sunday — are already turning their attentions to European glory.

“It’s been a great season,” said Nani. “I am very happy at United to win the 19th title, that’s three I have been part of and I want to keep going and contribute even more. Now we are thinking about the Champions League final. I don’t want the same thing to happen as in 2009 when we lost to Barcelona.

“I’m not thinking about Lionel Messi; I don’t think there is anything specific to worry about with Barcelona. But we will try our best.”

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