Not many players will have fond memories of a 5-0 home defeat in the Champions League. But as Matheus Nunes prepares to complete his £53million ($67m) move from Wolves to Manchester City, he may look back on what at the time was a harrowing night for his Sporting CP side as the turning point in his career.
City had just obliterated Sporting 5-0 in the first leg of their last-16 tie with two goals from Bernardo Silva and one each from Raheem Sterling, Phil Foden and Riyad Mahrez. Guardiola, however, bizarrely chose to single out Nunes for praise.
"Sporting is a fantastic team, they are the champions of Portugal, which has a very strong league, with FC Porto and Benfica. They move the ball well, they have fast and intelligent players," Guardiola said after the thrashing at the Estadio Jose Alvalade in February 2022, before singling out Nunes for special praise.
"Matheus Nunes is one of the best players in the world today. Despite the difficulties and some mistakes, I have to be very satisfied because we took a big step towards the next round. Nunes is one of the best at the moment."
Guardiola does have a habit of heaping praise on players or teams who many people have overlooked, and there is often an agenda behind his words. He will often wax lyrical about a team that City have just beaten in order to make a routine win look impressive or about a striker who his defenders have just kept quiet.
Eighteen months after shouting from the rooftops about Nunes, however, he has backed up his words with actions, bringing the Portugal international from Molineux to the Etihad Stadium to add extra finesse to an already highly-productive transfer window. This time, it would appear, Guardiola's only motive was to make it abundantly clear to Nunes that he admired him and wanted to sign him one day.
اخلاء مسئولية! : هذا المحتوى لم يتم انشائة او استضافته بواسطة موقع اخبار الكورة و اي مسؤلية قانونية تقع على عاتق الموقع مصدر الخبر : GOAL  , يتم جمع الاخبار عن طريق خدمة ال RSS المتاحة مجانا للجمهور من المصدر : GOAL  مع الحفظ على حقوق الملكية الخاصة بمصدر الخبر.