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Michael Owen believes one of his former Man Utd teammates could have reached Ronaldo levels

Michael Owen believes one of his former Man Utd teammates could have reached Ronaldo levels

Michael Owen played alongside some incredibly talented players during his career, including Cristiano Ronaldo, but one stands out.

Michael Owen has singled out one of his former Manchester United teammates as someone who had "tons of ability" but never quite achieved their undoubted potential.

The former England international, who joined United in 2019 following his spell at Newcastle, played alongside some talented players during a three-year stay in Manchester.

During the 2010/11 campaign, for example, when Owen won the only Premier League title of his career, he would share the pitch with Wayne Rooney, Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Dimitar Berbatov.

And they lifted that trophy without Cristiano Ronaldo following his big-money move to Real Madrid in 2009.

It was a near impossible task to replace the five-time Ballon dOr winner, of course. But his international teammate Nani showed glimpses of class.

In fact, on his day, the pacey winger was one of the Premier League's better players, although Michael Owen feels he had even more to offer.

Speaking to The Daily Star, the former Liverpool and Real Madrid forward said: "I think you go through life meeting people and you think ‘Oh, he'll do well in life, she'll do well in life’ and whatever.

"There's loads of players that were absolutely so talented and then probably didn't ever (reach their potential).

"And there were lots of players you think might be a bit of a journeyman, and all of a sudden they reach the absolute top because they're just like mentally monsters. And you know of players that were exceptionally talented and probably could have done even more.

"Someone like Nani at Manchester United," he added. "You talk to players and he came hot on the heels of Cristiano Ronaldo – possibly felt a little bit in his shadow. But the ability of that kid…

"He would go and get man of the match three or four weeks on the spin, and then he’d have a little knock or something would go against him and his confidence could be shot and you wouldn't see him for a couple of months type of thing. But he had had just tons of ability."

Image credit: Getty
Image credit: Getty

Sir Alex Ferguson was also a huge fan of former Sporting CP winger Nani, who made over 250 appearances for United.

That being said, the former Portugal international was given the silent treatment by Fergie after he missed a penalty in a Premier League clash against Fulham.

"He (Ferguson) was my neighbour and we used to go to London by train," Nani told the Manchester United podcast.

"His wife or his family used to leave him in the train station so on the way back he has no driver to take him so he was looking for someone who lives close to him to give him a ride.

"So I said, 'Okay boss, I'll take you home!' But that day, it's so funny believe me! The day I took him home was after a game against Fulham away and I was on the bench.

"I was playing unbelievable with a lot of confidence. We won a penalty and it was Ryan Giggs who took the penalties. I felt confident and Giggs didn't say anything. I took the penalty and I missed!

"In the dressing-room he killed me. He said, 'Nani, who do you think you are? Who gave you permission to take the penalty?'"

Image credit: Getty
Image credit: Getty

Nani added: "And then he killed Ryan Giggs, because he said, 'Ryan, why did you let him take the penalty?' Ryan said, 'He grabbed the ball and I let him.' Oh my god, that day was incredible.

"We are going back home that day and I say, 'Boss, I can take you home.' I drove him back home and he didn't talk to me in the car. I felt very uncomfortable driving home."

Featured Image Credit: Getty Images

Topics: Nani, Michael Owen, Manchester United, England, Premier League