Nani Set to Leave Orlando City SC after 3 Seasons

Orlando City's forward Nani (17) in 2019
Orlando City's forward Nani (17) in 2019. Photo by Anthony Nesmith/CSM/Shutterstock (10348794m)

Portuguese star winger Nani will leave Orlando City SC after his contract with the club expires at the end of the year. This was confirmed by the MLS franchise on Friday.

According to the official announcement, Orlando chose to decline Nani’s option for the 2022 MLS season.

Nani also addressed the news via a statement posted on Twitter in which he confirmed that Orlando didn’t want to offer him a new deal.

“I shall never forget how the fans and community supported me and my family ever since the moment we arrived in Florida,” Nani added. “You will have in me a friend and a fan for the future. I wish you all the best.”

Nani was arguably Orlando City’s best player since joining the club in 2019. As the team’s captain, he managed to lead Orlando to two playoff appearances, and the MLS is Back Tournament finale. Overall, he made 88 appearances in all competitions and scored 31 goals with 18 assists. His brilliant performances earned him two MLS All-Star nods.

It is certainly shocking to see Orlando City moving on from such a valuable player, especially since Nani had a great season in 2021. The most likely reason for this decision is probably Orlando’s unwillingness to make a significant financial commitment. Nani was playing on a Designated Player contract and was earning around $2.5 million annually.

Still, this might not be the end of the ex-Manchester United star in the MLS. Nani showed that he can still play on a high level, and it wouldn’t be surprising if other teams start making calls to keep him in the United States.

Jasmin can write about almost everything expect about himself. All you need to know is that he likes music, Nutella stuffed pancakes and sleeping till noon on Sundays.