Former Manchester United star Nani knows exactly how tough playing against Liverpool at Anfield can be.
The Portuguese winger, who played for Man Utd between 2007-2015, left the pitch on a stretcher after one particularly brutal tackle by Jamie Carragher in March 2011. He was also seen in floods of tears.
Nani was left with an ugly gash on his leg and was in no mood to accept Carragher’s apology after the match.
“When I saw my leg for the first time, I thought my season was finished,” he told reporters, per The Guardian, at the time. “That is why I was crying.”
“Afterwards, the doctor saw my leg and said I had been lucky because it just needed stitches and I would be out for two or three weeks. He is surprised that I could recover even quicker.”
How did Ferguson and Scholes react to Nani crying?
Twelve years on from that match, following Man Utd’s humiliating 7-0 defeat against Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool at Anfield, Patrice Evra has revealed how Sir Alex Ferguson and Paul Scholes reacted to seeing Nani crying at the home of their fiercest rivals.
Speaking on Rio Ferdinand’s YouTube channel, Evra said: “You remember at Anfield when Nani got tackled by Jamie Carragher?”
Ferdinand replied: “Pat, don’t! He got butchered!”
Evra continued: “I remember we came and started fighting with the Liverpool players, including Steven Gerrard. Then Scholesy came and he saw Nani crying…”
Ferdinand, laughing while casting this mind back, said: “I can’t! I can’t believe you’re going there, Pat! Nani’s going to be in the group, bro.”
Undeterred, Evra said: “But I’m being real. This is a true story. After that, Ferguson gave him two weeks off because he needed to recover.
“In that team we didn’t care, we were ready to kill him.
“And even Ferguson [said]: ‘I hope your leg is f***ing broke! I really hope your leg is broke!’
“He was killing Nani for always falling on the floor. It was like, you can’t be a United player and be doing that.”
Ferdinand then revealed: “The killer was, we all ran over because it was a bad tackle. Everyone’s pushing. Then Scholesy came, looked at Nani crying and went, ‘Nah’ and walked off – just walked off. He said he can’t defend that.”
Watch the clip here:
Things have changed since then
Things were certainly different at Man Utd back in 2011 under Ferguson, who we all know could be ruthless at times.
While the modern day manager and player would have plenty of sympathy for Nani after finding himself on the receiving end of such a dangerous tackle, that really wasn’t the case just over a decade ago – especially at Man Utd where there was a complete obsession with winning.