Former Pirates star among Nani's idols

English Premier League

Former Manchester United star Nani has named an ex-Orlando Pirates winger as one the players he looked up to the most during the early stages of his career.

Nani was speaking to the Red Devils' UTD Podcast when he explained how former Buccaneers winger Luis Boa Morte – a Portugal international at the time – was one of the players he admired when he was growing up. 

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"My first international game [with Portugal] was when I was in Sporting, I think in my second season as a professional," the Orlando City star said.

"That was great because I had the opportunity to meet so many fantastic players, some players who I admired as a child.

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"When I was young, I followed Deco, Maniche, Costinha, Luis Boa Morte. They gave me a helping hand at the beginning, and then there was Cristiano...

"He was young but had so much quality and we were looking to him. We'd get close so fast because people were saying we had the same style.

"We were together in the first days after I arrived in the national team and that was it, even more so when I moved to Manchester."

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Following spells with the likes of Arsenal, Fulham and Southampton in the Premier League, among others, Boa Morte joined Pirates in January 2012 but made only three league appearances for the club before returning to England the following season.