Date: 8th August 2011 at 9:21am
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Sir Alex has dismissed the suggestion that Nani has ‘lived in the shadow’ of Cristiano Ronaldo in his own mind.

He has said that the ‘only link’ he views is the fact that they are both Portuguese, although he has always seen Nani as his own player: ‘He is only in Ronaldo’s shadow because he is Portuguese.

‘That is the only link I can see. He was never in his shadow in my mind. He has always had great potential but some players take longer to mature than others.

‘Ronaldo was an exception. He was an incredible footballer. He matured immediately, from 18 until he left us.’

Two goals from Nani, including his dramatic breakaway goal in injury-time, turned Sunday’s community shield on its head to see United overcome a 2-0 deficit to win 3-2.

The United manager also praised the wingers form from last season and confirmed he will start the season in the starting 11: ‘Nani had a fantastic season last year. He was unfortunate that Antonio Valencia came in at a time when we needed a bit of freshness and a boost to the squad.

‘But you have seen Nani’s form in pre-season and again yesterday. He will start the season.’

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