Nani apologised to Cristiano Ronaldo even though he felt his teammate was more angry with the referee after one of his greatest goals didn’t even count against Spain in 2010.
Captaining the Portugal national team, Ronaldo sent Gerard Pique back to his loan spell with Real Zaragoza with the deftest of chops.
He then took another swift touch to keep the ball away from Xabi Alonso and beautifully scooped the ball over Iker Casillas.
Ronaldo had already started to wheel away in celebration but just as the ball was about to drop into the back of the net, Nani came from out of nowhere and headed it in on the line.
Nani was (incorrectly) deemed to be offside and so the goal was chalked off. CR7 was absolutely incensed, well and truly throwing his toys out of the pram and even hurling his captain’s armband on the turf.
And even though Portugal won 4-0, Nani felt the need to apologise to Ronaldo, who was not on the scoresheet in the Iberian derby fixture.
He told the UTD Podcast: “No, I think he was angry with the referee! Everyone took it wrong, he was angry with the referee because the ball was already in and they made a bad decision.
“Imagine if the ball was not in and then I took it before. I was not offside, if you see that video.
“But obviously I had no intention to take the goal from him. I told him ‘Sorry’ in that moment because it was a beautiful goal.
“And for me that goal still exists, you just need to cut out the part where I touched the ball! But thank God he doesn’t need that goal to be who he is and he has so many goals to choose and still enjoy his career, and the fans as well.”
In the same interview, Nani revealed that Ronaldo was quite open about wanting to move onto a new challenge at the end of he 2008/09 season with United – before getting his dream transfer to Real Madrid.
“We would stay at the end of training to do competitions and they [Anderson and Ronaldo] were my teammates, everyone has best friends or some they feel more comfortable with and they were my support,” Nani added.
“Some days he [Ronaldo] was telling us openly, ‘I’m here six or seven years now, I think it’s enough for me.’ He said that a couple of times.
“But it was always, ‘I will see, I will see, I will see’ but we never thought it [Real Madrid move] would happen so fast. After we won the league in the second year he left, he produced a great season so we were still surprised.”