Last updated : 03 June 2007 By Editor


"I can only say that United will be stronger because they have signed two great players.

"Anderson and Nani are phenomenons and the side will be improved a lot by their participation.

"I'm really happy that I will have Nani and Anderson as team-mates. They will be very welcome at Manchester United."

Nani: [speaking after his goal for Portugal last night]

"I am not Ronaldo, I am prepared just to be Nani.

"It is a terrific club, a big club and I am very happy to be joining them.

"I enjoyed the goal and was very happy to score. They (Belgium) made it difficult for us, but we got the win we needed and considering we were missing some players like Ronaldo, we are very happy."

Brazil manager Dunga:

"Anderson is an exceptional young player who will be a star at next month's Copa America. He has pace, great footwork and likes to run at opponents.

"He's a great talent with a terrific attitude and he has no fear. With his strength, power and pace he can be a big success in Europe and one of the very best in the world in years to come."


"I've only played against him once when we played Porto, but you could see then that he was really fast and had great skill.

"He is also strong, which is important for any forward in the Premiership. I think Manchester United have done a good piece of business by signing him."


Nani: "This is a dream move. It won't be easy to get a place in the first team, but I am ready for the challenge. And to play with Cristiano Ronaldo again will be fantastic."

Meanwhile, Sporting have claimed that they were powerless to stop the winger moving to Manchester after United activated a clause in his contract.

Chairman Soares Franco said: "Manchester United contacted us and said that they wanted to activate the clause - they wanted the player anyway. From the end of next season he would have cost half of that price.

"I felt he wanted to go. Nobody liked to see Nani leaving, but I am convinced he will have much success in the Premiership."

The Daily Mail:

The only Brazilian to play for Manchester United failed to last the distance, hampered by an introverted personality and inability to stamp his influence on Sir Alex Ferguson's squad.

But while World Cup winner Kleberson left with his reputation in bits, it is unlikely that his countryman Anderson will lack confidence when he joins the Premiership champions for pre-season work next month.

His father died when he was nine and, as the eldest son, he was effectively head of his family by the time his mother, Doralice, sent him to join 130 boys at a residential football academy at the age of 14.

Then he made a promise to those he left behind in the Brazilian city of Porto Alegre. "Everyone will see me on TV one day," he proclaimed.

"I will one day buy a house for my mother and a football pitch for the kids in this neighbourhood."

Perhaps Anderson's sense of self-worth is understandable. He was, after all, only 11 when the agents and club officials started to knock on his mother's door, enquiring about the kid they had begun to call the "new Pele".

Since then the moniker has been updated. Now he's the "new Ronaldinho" and in South America they insist that the latter comparison is more appropriate.

Anderson has built his reputation not just on scoring goals but also on his ability to direct the pattern of a game in a nomadic role behind a more traditional centre forward.

It helps, of course, that he is from the same town as Ronaldinho and began his professional career at the same club, Gremio.

As a 16-year-old youth team player, Anderson was handed his first-team chance seemingly out of nowhere. Again there was a touch of self-promotion about his elevation.

Sitting in the club canteen, first-team coach Cuca noticed an unfamiliar kid staring at himself in the mirror with a mobile phone in each hand.

Cuca asked: "Do you need two mobile phones to play football?" Anderson's reply was instant.

"If I have two mobile phones it's because I've never had one before," he said. "I deserve them. I bought them with my own money.

"If I want five mobile phones I am going to have five. I don't care what others think.

"I am called Anderson. Ask me what you want. I have already played in Spain, France, Germany, England. I play for Brazil juniors. I have scored more than 40 goals."

One wonders how United manager Ferguson would have reacted to such a torrent of self-justification but at Gremio it was enough to seal Anderson a berth in the first team.

Cuca recalled: "I can't explain why but it was just a hunch of mine. He had a promising future and the best references possible. I put him in the team."

For Anderson, life in Manchester will complete a rapid rise from his humble beginnings. At Gremio, his modest wages were sent home to his mother, whose income from her two jobs — one as a seamstress, one in a créche — were not enough to support her young family.

"I wouldn't swap that experience for anything in the world," recalled Anderson recently. "I learned discipline and organisation and responsibility. It helped me grow."

Anderson's family — mother, brothers and a sister — eventually lived with him in Portugal and it is likely to be the same in Manchester.

But soon he will join another family — the full Brazilian national squad — for the first time.

United's latest star has been selected by coach Dunga for the Copa America.

The Sunday Times:

You can't teach an old dog new tricks but some are perfectly capable of learning things for themselves. Sir Alex Ferguson went into the summer looking for a playmaker and a winger, just as he did on the last occasion Manchester United won the Premiership. Then, following the 2002-03 season, his targets were Ronaldinho and Damien Duff. Their clubs, Paris Saint Germain and Blackburn, wanted big prices and the players themselves had high wage demands but Ferguson was willing to play the waiting game.

He waited and waited until, in late July, deals were done. But those deals involved Ronaldinho going to Barcelona and Duff to Chelsea. Like a Wag gazumped over a designer handbag, Ferguson indulged in some hasty and indignant comfort shopping.

Kleberson, like a £5.93m pair of Jimmy Choos, arrived. A rotten buy. Ferguson then found himself pressured into bringing forward the purchase of an item he had originally intended leaving on the shelf for later. He paid more than expected too: the trouble was that other shoppers had become interested, among them Arsenal. Iin these unpromising circumstances a new transfer policy was born.

United's £12.24m purchase of Cristiano Ronaldo in August 2003 was to create a fresh model for Ferguson. From Ronaldo's success, the old dog divined that rather than chasing the Ronaldinho of right now it may be better to get the Ronaldinho of tomorrow. We are not talking about taking long-term gambles on obscure kids - nobody is going to beat Arsène Wenger when it comes to that - but purchasing upcoming stars after they have become established but before their prices spiral.

The next year Ferguson spent £20m on Wayne Rooney, with £7m of add-ons to be paid depending on the signing's success. Rooney, like Ronaldo, was 18 when he joined United. Since then, Ferguson has bought Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra at 24, a young age for defenders, and Ben Foster, the goalkeeper, when he was 22. You would get £45m for Ronaldo now, £40m for Rooney and £25m for Vidic, Evra and Foster, who cost £12m combined. And with the exception of Foster, they have been vital to bringing Ferguson the even greater profit of a championship.

United's £35m grab of Portuguese winger Nani and Brazilian playmaker Anderson, demonstrate how Ronaldo became Ferguson's blueprint for future United transfers. Nani is 20, Anderson 19, each with a status similar to Ronaldo's in 2003, and both even came from Portuguese clubs. Though their fees appear high, a significant portion is made up, as with the Rooney deal, by success-related increments that United will be more than happy to pay if these players bring silverware to Old Trafford.