Alex Ferguson tells Nani to forget Ballon D'Or

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has told Nani to forget dreaming about winning the Ballon D'Or and concentrate on making further improvements to his game to benefit his club.

GettyImagesNani has turned into a matchwinner

Twelve months ago it seemed the Portugal winger was destined for the Old Trafford exit. After a decent debut season, the 24-year-old had failed to find the form which persuaded Ferguson to spend £17million to lure him from Sporting Lisbon in 2007.

One particularly wretched performance at Stoke appeared to be the end for Nani as United struggled to adapt to the post-Cristiano Ronaldo era. But from virtually nowhere, Nani suddenly found form and confidence.

As brilliant as he was bad at Stoke, he produced a devastating performance to guide his team to victory against Arsenal in January, since when he has not looked back.

It prompted a confident belief that in 12 months' time he expects to be nominated for the prestigious Ballon D'Or, which Ronaldo collected in 2008 and Lionel Messi, Xavi and Andres Iniesta have been shortlisted for this season.

But Ferguson is not concerned with such personal accolades. He just wants Nani to carry on getting better.

"I am not too worried about the Ballon D'Or to be honest,'' Ferguson said. "His aim should be to be successful here.

"The ability was always there. He has got a tremendous instinct for the game. He is two-footed, quick and brave. He never misses a training session and always wants to play.''

Ferguson felt that Nani did not always make the correct decisions or choose the right options. It has required an admirable degree of patience to put that right.

"When we bring young players to the club, you hope maturity comes quickly,'' Ferguson added. "In the case of Nani, it has been a bit slower. Now we are seeing some good signs. He is improving, as players do as they go along here, and hopefully it will continue.''

*Taken from

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