Club First, Everything Else Second

At most other clubs, players are more focused on their individual honors rather than the club’s, but certainly does not hold true at Manchester United.

Sir Alex Ferguson has squashed Nani’s aspirations of winning the Ballon d’Or anytime soon, by telling him to focus on winning team trophies at Old Trafford first.

To be fair, Nani is no different than any other young, vibrant player in that he wants to be considered for all of the most prestigious players accolades, but that recognition comes when a player helps his team become successful.

Now that Nani is showing that he has matured into the player that he always had the potential to become, he is now aspiring to be just like his mentor and fellow countryman, Cristiano Ronaldo, as he wants to replicate the former United winger’s personal trophy cabinet.

Stating the obvious, Ronaldo bloomed in a top class footballer a lot quicker than Nani did, but that is not to say that they are both not outstanding players.

Nani has finally fully grasped the concept of defending, but now he needs to understand what made Ronaldo so successful – team success.

It would be impressive if Nani could amass as many goals as Ronaldo did during his six-year career at Old Trafford, but that is more than likely not going to happen, so he needs contribute in other areas of the pitch.

When Ronaldo scored any of his 118 goals, they were scored at an important tie of a match or when United were struggling to find a breakthrough, and Nani is slowly starting to do that as well – just not at such an alarming rate as his mentor did.

Even though there are similarities between the players, their approach to the game is vastly different, and comes down to one thing: ruthless finishing.

Despite popular belief from all of his critics, Nani is not that selfish of a player.

To prove that point, his passing, without question, is his best attribute, because his distribution of the ball has either directly, or indirectly, has led to some very good goal scoring opportunities for his United teammates, which is why he leads the team in assists by a country mile.

Nani is a very good two-footed player, so it should be no surprise to see him starting to thrive in the same roaming, freedom role that Ronaldo occupied during his time at Old Trafford.

This allows Nani to trade wings with his counterpart, or operate through the middle behind either Wayne Rooney or Dimitar Berbatov, which Ronaldo did so expertly well, and it was missing element to United’s repertoire when he left.

Nani has always had the physical ability – speed, quickness, strength and power – that is needed for a player to become of the world’s best, but unless he limits his faults.

There are a couple aspects of Nani’s game that he clearly needs to work on; his temperament, and how he goes to ground so easily, which frustrates everyone that watches him to no end.

Until those two things are eliminated, or are at least not so prevalent, then he will never be given an honest consideration for any individual award let alone the Ballon d’Or.

Sir Alex Ferguson stands is the correct one, because Nani should not be focusing on the personal awards, but, instead, he should shift his energy on making sure he plays his part in the tight Barclays Premier League title race that is going on.

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