Cristiano Ronaldo almost single handedly inspired Portugal’s triumph over Sweden that secured their place in the 2014 Brazil World Cup with all four goals in their 4-2 triumph over two legs.
It was a magical performance from the indomitable Ronaldo and for Nani, it was the perfect present in what has been a faltering season so far for Nani.
The psychological impact of not qualifying for the World Cup would have been devastating for Nani. It would have drained a lot of his enthusiasm for football. A player of his quality should have the biggest stage to play on and not having the World Cup to play towards in the summer would have had a negative effect on him.
Now that he can celebrate the qualification this week, it should bring Nani into the Cardiff this game on Sunday with a positive and refreshed attitude which could be just the tonic he needs to get back to his best.
Fans wrongly booed him off the pitch against Stoke City a few weeks ago and something has been missing for Nani this year but this boost from World Cup qualification should be like a shot of adrenaline to his system.
Nani might be one of the most talented wingers in Portugal’s squad but if he has a poor season, there is a chance he would fall out of favour and find himself on the bench. I’d be surprised if he let that happen and from a United point of view, it should mean that we see the Nani of old make a return to the team this season.