One day after being officially announced as Orlando City’s newest Designated Player, Portuguese winger Nani was officially introduced to the Orlando media on Tuesday afternoon.
“A player in the prime of his career that has chosen MLS and Orlando City as the next step and the next challenge in his career,” EVP of Soccer Operations Luiz Muzzi said in his opening statements. “He has conquered the world in many places and now it’s time for him to conquer America.”
For Nani himself, the timing was right for him to make the move stateside, one he had contemplated in years past.
“At this time, Orlando arrived at the right moment,” Nani said. “I’m a person who feels my feelings and my feelings told me it was the time to move on. I was doing very well at Sporting [Lisbon], I was happy there, but as I said, I liked the challenge, the opportunity to be part of this project in Orlando.”
The winger spent his first morning as an Orlando City player out on the pitch with his new team, participating in drills and small sided action. Currently, the team is waiting on his work visa and his ITC (International Transfer Certificate) to process, which they hope to have settled by the beginning of the season against New York City FC on March 2.
“What Orlando give me is was what I’ve been asking myself all my career,” said Nani. “I play to win, I play to compete, I play to achieve big things. This has been all my life, my career, I’ve been giving all my best.
“Orlando gave me a chance and opportunity to have a new dream and to continue to believe I can perform at the highest level,” he added. “MLS has been improving in the last years and they gave me the conditions to show my football to this big country.”
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