Luis Nani vs Antonio Valencia - Who is Better?

Who is better?

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Luis Nani

When Nani arrived at Manchester united he opened his account very early on with a screamer of a goal and a flamboyant goal celebration to match. You would be mistaken in thinking here was the arrival of one of the next biggest things in Football and he came along with wonder-kid Anderson and fellow compatriot Cristiano Ronaldo in a new wave of Manchester united players that looked very exciting for the future. The reality is that Nani is yet to truly establish himself and win the full support of both fans and managerial staff alike but certainly at first Nani looked like a standout player.

Before long it became apparent that Cristiano Ronaldo was the real golden boy and being of the same nationality, play-style and position upon the pitch, it was hard not to constantly draw comparisons between the two and in many peoples eyes Nani became a Cristiano Ronaldo wannabe, if Ronaldo had managed to eradicate initial fears about his lack of end product, Nani sadly could not and fans were getting tired of his show boating, loss of possession and apparent poor understanding of the game. Nani found himself no more than a squad player, playing in rotation.


The sale of Cristiano Ronaldo was a real opportunity for Nani to emerge from under his shadow and to an extent he did and was beginning to relish a much more important role within the squad. It was the injury of Wayne Rooney that really brought the best out of Nani, as now he was the man and he didn't disappoint, during this phase Nani rose to the responsibility and delivered the goods and began to look like the spectacular player we all knew he was capable of being but sadly he burnt out and was back to his frustrating best.

Antonio Valencia had become firm favorite and was forging a great fruitful bond with Wayne Rooney which saw the two combine for goal after consecutive goal and for the 2011 champions league final vs Barcelona, Nani was benched for Valencia for the first 70 minutes and when Nani finally came on, his sloppy defensive pass led to David Villa's goal which helped bury United, the future didn't look great for Nani, however when Valencia was sidelined for half the season in 2011 with an ankle injury, then the opportunity was there once again for Nani to take up the mantle and regain his first team position and he once again forged a lethal combo with young and Rooney but as soon as the challenge from Valencia came back, his form tailed off some and Valencia was once again ready to quickly reclaim his position on the RW.


Nani enjoyed being a solid part of the 2012 Portuguese squad and helped them to the semi finals, where Spain was only able to stop them on penalties, this would once again lead you believe that Nani was amongst the European elite but the frustrating player who looses possession all too easily is never too far away.

Let's not forget the incredible ability that he has, on his day, he has speed, strength, can take his man on, deadly from long range and capable of the unpredictable and sublime.

Antonio Valencia

Antonio Valencia went largely under the radar during his time at Wigan, that is under everybody's radar except Fergie's., my guess is that ex Manchester United legend Steve Bruce, Valencia's Manager at Wigan, gave Fergie the tip off about Valencia's ability. When Cristiano Ronaldo left Manchester United to join Real Madrid for a whopping £80,000,000, Fergie swooped in quickly to acquire the services of right winger Antonio Valencia but was quick to play down any suggestions that he was a replacement Cristiano, for fear of placing too much pressure upon him. Many united fans and the media alike were bemused at the suggestion that Valencia could fill even one of Ronaldo's boots, let alone the two of them. Valencia went about his way putting in humble performances but in the early phases of the 2010-2011 season began to draw attention, his assists were wracking up and in particular his assists for teammate Wayne Rooney, as the two combined for nearly 8 goals in a row in the same fashion every time, cross by Valencia-head by Rooney. Valencia was then cruelly stopped in his tracks with a nasty injury which saw him miss at least half the beginning of the 2011-2012 campaign, just when he was gaining some recognition for his efforts from fans and pundits alike.


When he finally returned, it was like he had never gone, even in his first game back he still possessed that same yard of pace which enables him to terrorize opposition fullbacks and he was back to his best, beating his man and unselfishly drilling low driven crosses in for his team mates all game long. His efforts were recognized by the fans, as they voted his Man United player of the year and his omission from the starting lineup in the crucial six pointer against Manchester City bewildered everybody.


When Michael Owen departed Manchester United leading up to the start of the 2012-2013 season, it left the talismanic number 7 shirt up for grabs, when Shinji Kagawa reportedly turned the shirt down, feeling he had not yet earnt it, the natural decision was to give it to antonio, this once more reminded people that he was brought in to replace Cristiano Ronaldo, as he had previously worn the shirt and embodied all that it stands for, at least this time, most people conceded that although he may still have a tough time living up to Ronaldo, he was completely deserving of the honour of wearing the shirt.

Valencia is a very unselfish and humble players, he doesn't showboat and likes to do things simply and effectively and is all about the end product, this is probably in stark contrast to Nani.
His low driven cross has become somewhat of a trademark and his strength and yard of pace allows him to get that cross in nearly every time, he is very efficient and very rarely concedes possible. He has proven to be reasonably versatile and good going back and this is why Fergie chose to field Valencia in the RW position against Barcelona in the 2011 CL final, opposed to Nani, as Valencia would be able to provide better defensive cover, against the dangerous iniesta, however Valencia was rather disappointing in this match, which was a rare blip on his CV. Fergie has opted to play him at Right wing back, when the occasion has called for it and Valencia has obliged and applied himself well there but there is no doubting he is most effective when he is threatening enemy defenses, the only criticism that exists of Valencia, is that he is yet to score enough goals in his own right in order to became a truly rounded player but this could just be symptomatic of his unselfishness

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Comments 47 comments

Richard-Murray 4 years ago

I say equal. Nani to me is a center forward who masquerades as a wide player. Nani, Sturridge, Walcott, CR7, Di Maria, Robben, and others aren't the best crossers but are played wide. They are most effective when cutting in and striking or playing short balls around the box, but rarely cross effectively.

Valencia is a true wide player. He has speed, dribbling skill, he can fight on the shoulder, and he can make a pinpoint cross. A typical cross involves the use of all of those skills. Sagna at Arsenal has the same role. When Valencia or Sagna are missing, notice how weak crosses get for Man United and Arsenal respectively.

Nani needs to get a center forward position somewhere and Valencia is settled in.


CCahill profile image

CCahill 4 years ago from England Author

Its a good point you make, Valencia takes the ball to the deadball line, real old fashioned winger stuff, Nani as you say is the new breed of RW, the one who cuts in, i forgot to mention how unplayable Nani is at time with his multi footedness


juninho93 profile image

juninho93 4 years ago from Faro

In my opinion, Nani is the best. He plays differently, He is more unpredictable when He is dribbling, for example (and he dribbles very well). But Valencia is a good player, too (of course).


CCahill profile image

CCahill 4 years ago from England Author

I think Nani is more spectacular but Valencia is simple and effective


CCahill profile image

CCahill 4 years ago from England Author

Valencia is beating Nani in the opinon Polls by a slim margin (5%)


mmsu profile image

mmsu 4 years ago from Pakistan

I think Valencia is more effective but Nani on is day can do things Valencia can not.


Richard-Murray 4 years ago

CCahill,

yes Nani is difooted, but that is only truly potent when you play centrally and SAF will never give Nani the center role.


CCahill profile image

CCahill 4 years ago from England Author

i disagree, i think for a winger difooted is lethal because the wingback never knows whether you are going to knock it to the byline or cut in because you are equally capable of doing both, keeps them guessing and stops you becoming predictable, Ronaldo used this to his max advantage but i guess you are thinking of how Messi uses his multi footedness to dribble one foot to the other through the middle..


Anthony Binks profile image

Anthony Binks 4 years ago from Northern Ireland

I agree totally on your point that Nani is more spectacular than Valencia.

As you suggeted Nani can't seem to produce the goods when his position is under threat, hence when Valencia and Rooney were injured, Nani shone and for that reason I would pick Valencia.


CCahill profile image

CCahill 4 years ago from England Author

What do you think would happen to nani if he switched to a lower ranked team and became their undisputed best player?


Richard-Murray 4 years ago

@CCahill,

you are right, but there is one problem, Nani is not a good crosser of the ball. wingers are really only good if they can perform that cross. Nani isn't good at it, not for the level of a club like man united. Essentially, Ribery is the penultimate wide player. Ribery has the strength and speed and touch to cross the ball, and crosses it excellently when he gets to the byline. But, he can also cut in and can go for goal, go for a pass or etc. nani , cr7, robben, can cut left or right, but at the end of the day they want to cut and not cross, even at the byline.How often should cr7 have stayed wide and crossed it for real but didn't, same goes for Robben and nani respectively.


CCahill profile image

CCahill 4 years ago from England Author

Robben is one of the most 1 footed players i've seen, his right foot is awful and people have known about him for years, any good defender knows he ALWAYS kits in on his left.

Nani's crossing hmm yeah i agree, funny thing is though he only ever either does amazing crosses that put it on a plate for the striker or awful ones, his corners are terrible, i have no idea how he gets set piece duty, they hardly ever beat the first man


mmsu profile image

mmsu 4 years ago from Pakistan

Sometimes his crosses are just too good.I mean the 2010/2011 season he was the second in the assists chart.His corners are not that good.

Robben,i don't like him.He just cuts in and takes a shot and half those shots are not accurate.He doesn't have any "ideas" to his game.


CCahill profile image

CCahill 4 years ago from England Author

Very predictable player


mmsu profile image

mmsu 4 years ago from Pakistan

For sure!


CCahill profile image

CCahill 4 years ago from England Author

2nd in assists charts? hmm didn't know that, that's pretty good, your right he does sometimes play that ball in-between defence and goalkeeper whipped in at pace, its almost undefendable, if he could do that every time then great


mmsu profile image

mmsu 4 years ago from Pakistan

Yes he was,he had so many points even in the Fantasy League i remember.Same as Walcott consistency issue!,other -wise these players could be....


Richard-Murray 4 years ago

@CCahill,

I have seen him at Bayern, he has two feet, but the problem with him is he wants to score and because of his skill he can play the same way unchanging. People say he is predictable, but he knows how to play on the wings very well. he will cut in if you front him but if you let him go will go around you, and if you knock him in the box he will fall and he is excellent with either foot with the short pass.


CCahill profile image

CCahill 4 years ago from England Author

So your argument is that its not that he can't do it, hes just greedy :p


IOwn profile image

IOwn 4 years ago from My laptop in the UK

Valencia without a doubt, debate close, thanks lol!


Richard-Murray 4 years ago

@CCahill:)

yes:) and lets be honest it has been hard for Robben, he was at Chelsea and no patience was given, and Chelsea finally got to win the UEFA CL. He was at Real and no patience was givena nd Real are now looking to start a dynasty. He gets to Bayern and all is going good. then he gets to the world cup and second place. then he gets a season where bayern are runner up on all fronts.

yeah he is greedy:) he has been nearly there so many times. Remember at the end of the UEFA CL, you could see that was a big blow to him, I can't imagine how it feels to be in the UEFA CL finals and World Cup finals and just not make it. Robben needs more patience.


CCahill profile image

CCahill 4 years ago from England Author

Always the bridesmaid, never the bride... i guess it can be converted into good motivation for him


mmsu profile image

mmsu 4 years ago from Pakistan

First time i agree with Rich on a player.But i still think he's not that good!


Richard-Murray 4 years ago

@Cahill,

:) well said

@mmsu

ha! the semi union of london, keep a note of this ccahill

aww cmon gunner, the man is good, cmon


CCahill profile image

CCahill 4 years ago from England Author

I've screenshotted this historic moment ;)


hifizah profile image

hifizah 4 years ago

It's not an easy choice but my vote is for Valencia. His crosses are better and often create scoring opportunities. He also got an incredible speed. When both players are at their highest performance, Man Utd are tough to beat.


IOwn profile image

IOwn 4 years ago from My laptop in the UK

Not to mention Valencia's strength for nudging those defenders out his way! Nani is far too inconsistent for anyones liking


mmsu profile image

mmsu 4 years ago from Pakistan

@Richard @CCahill

Hahahaha=D


CCahill profile image

CCahill 4 years ago from England Author

The past couple of weeks have favoured Valencia, Nani's attempt to do a Pirlo dink penalty has angered manager and fans alike, as they grow tired of his showboating.

Valencia won the crucial penalty against Liverpool at the weekend, which sealed the victory.


Richard-Murray 4 years ago

@CCahill,

:) A Pirlo Dink:) It used to be called a Penanka:)

Nani isn't the only one thought. I have seen that throughout UEFA, all of a sudden, too many players swear they can do that.

but where will Nani go. I think Liverpool will have Nani, Walcott, and Sturridge to look at. In terms of money, if they can grab Sturridge and Walcott and put them as two center forwards. That would be a big shirt grab, when international time comes.


IOwn profile image

IOwn 4 years ago from My laptop in the UK

Your Nani video is broken, might want to fix that bud.


CCahill profile image

CCahill 4 years ago from England Author

IOwn cheers mate, its so annoying, those videos get removed constantly!

Ah indeed your right rich but i guess the newer generations will now know it as a Pirlo :)

true i have seen a few people do it and to be fair, a few people succeed but sure it looks special when it goes in but it looks stupid and annoying when it doesn't, i think players like nani are so ego driven that they crave the attention and praise of doing something so showboaty


CCahill profile image

CCahill 4 years ago from England Author

Sturridge and Walcott at Liverpool.... that would be an interesting turn of events, be no shortage of pace and width then, even though im sure both would move with the intention of being a CF


Richard-Murray 4 years ago

@CCahill,

fair enough, though we need to educate the newer fans

a true fan regardless of age does research:)

I think Nani is between two minds, the problem is that man united can't afford it

Man city comes from behind to beat chelsea's west london rivals but the London White have a 2 goal lead on your boys, i haven't been watching, preparing for the brasileirao


CCahill profile image

CCahill 4 years ago from England Author

Fifa13 rates;

Nani - 85

Valencia - 83

That's FIFA13's opinions at season start


CCahill profile image

CCahill 4 years ago from England Author

Valencia gets an assist for RVP at the weekend, Nani did not play


IOwn profile image

IOwn 4 years ago from My laptop in the UK

Nani should be sold in January in my opinion, doesn't offer much for the team, from his last few performances he is showing greed in going for goal etc instead of playing a decent pass. He has no end product this season and he is a completely different player from the one we saw last year, only he knows what has gone wrong!

Thankfully Valencia is finding a bit of form now and Ashley Young back from injury!!


Richard-Murray 4 years ago

@IOwn,

Ashley Young is a very good crosser, but his falling and lack of pace at times, is going to hurt him in the future.


CCahill profile image

CCahill 4 years ago from England Author

Sir Alex publicly attributed Manchester United's loss to Chelsea as being the fault of Luis Nani, for attempting to beat his man and losing possession, it would seem that relations between him and SAF are becoming freyed, so you see him as a Manchester United player for much longer?


Richard-Murray 4 years ago

@CCahill

Remember a while back, it was Walcott, Sturridge and Nani up for the january exit.

Nani is leading the pack. Sturridge and Walcott as english lads and in london sides may not be up for a relocation to meyerside. But, Nani may and he would be excellent up top at Liverpool. Him and Suarez, and Borini or that bald guy. I think it is perfect.

The signal is definitely there to leave and Nani going to Liverpool would be not so devastating mediawise but it would be a smart move for him. BErbatov is loving it in Fulham. And I think Le Chiffre has led the way for Nani and others who may need to find other pastures to go on.


CCahill profile image

CCahill 4 years ago from England Author

All 3 players would be great signings for Liverpool indeed!

who the hell is Le Chiffre :D

English players have great value in the english market, with the new UEFA rules on indiginous player quota's

Sturridge just needs to be given a few more starts and he can be convinced to stay and walcott needs a couple more chances in CF and he will sign a new contract on the back of a Hattrick high orso


Richard-Murray 4 years ago

@CCahill

James Bond villain, first book:)

good fiscal points and where else can sturrdige or walcott go, really? No place is bigger than the london clubs in terms of region. Manchester is second, liverpool is third. Not to many places. Neither will go to newcastle or other places.


CCahill profile image

CCahill 4 years ago from England Author

Some have suggested that the only reason SAF fielded Nani vs Braga was to showcase him to Portuguese audiences, to tempt an incoming Transfer bid, if this was the intention then it probably backfired, as Nani was hugely ineffective all game and eventually hobbled off with a Hamstring injury, which appeared to have been faked on Nani's behalf, so he could save face, as Rafael was being warmed up for him imminant replacement anyway, at least this way he could pretend that the substitute was on his own terms, rather than being replaced in front of his home nation, due to another abject performance.


Richard-Murray 4 years ago

nani needs a move:)


CCahill profile image

CCahill 4 years ago from England Author

The gap has been reduced to 52-47 in favor of Valencia


Richard-Murray 4 years ago

:) IT will be interesting to see this january


jeevannesvar 3 years ago

nani is super player.his the best

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