Absent from the 2010 FIFA World Cup through injury, Nani returned to the international stage with a bang in UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying, starting all ten games and scoring five goals. A nifty, unpredictable winger who can operate on either flank, he has become an increasingly valuable figure at Manchester United FC.
• Born in the Cape Verde Islands, Luís Carlos Almeida da Cunha made his debut for Sporting Clube de Portugal in a UEFA Champions League third qualifying round encounter with Udinese Calcio on 10 August 2005.
• After a 2006/07 season in which he helped Sporting to Portuguese Cup glory and the runners-up spot in the Liga behind FC Porto for the second successive campaign, he moved to United on a five-year deal for €25.5m.
• In and out of the United team in 2007/08, he nevertheless featured as an extra-time substitute in the UEFA Champions League final in Moscow, where he scored a penalty in the Red Devils' shoot-out victory against Chelsea FC.
• Played three times at UEFA EURO 2008 a few weeks later but was less involved the following season at club level as United retained the Premier League title and lost the UEFA Champions League showpiece to FC Barcelona, for which he was an unused substitute.
• Came into his own in 2009/10 after the sale of compatriot Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid CF; started half of United's top-flight matches, scored twice in the UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg against FC Bayern München but missed the 2010 World Cup because of an injury to his left collarbone.
• Played an integral role − 11 appearances − in the Red Devils reaching the 2011 UEFA Champions League final at Wembley, where, once again, United were beaten by Barcelona.
UEFA Champions League: winner 2008, runner-up 2009, 2011
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