Madrid at Old Trafford also cast an irritable shadow over his season, despite an encouraging return to form during Spring.
"If you play a lot of games you can play yourself into form and that's ideal," Nani explained in March, 2012. "When you're in and out with injuries, its more difficult."
Echoing the thoughts of many, before announcing his retirement, Sir Alex explaiend the Portuguese winger's importance at the Theatre of Dreams: "We need a Nani. He offers something different from the other players. He's an incredible talent."
Of course, the task now is to regain full fitness and form under new manager David Moyes, who quickly tied Nani down to a new five-year deal in September 2013 and will hope to tap into his vast pool of talent throughout the 2013/14 season.