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 explained 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."
Despite penning a new five-year deal in September 2013, the midfielder's ninth season at Old Trafford was a difficult one. Injuries restricted him to just 13 appearances in all competitions, and he did not appear at all between December and April. In spite of his lengthy absences, he was called up to Portugal's World Cup squad, and his goal against the USA in the group stage hopefully hints at a revival ahead of the new campaign.