The patented Nani backflip has reached Major League Soccer’s shores.
The Portuguese midfielder, signed to a Designated Player deal by Orlando City SC this past offseason, broke out his signature acrobatic celebration in the 18th minute of the Week 9 match at New York City FC. After a wayward clearance from Maxime Chanot, Nani smashed home the scraps, making it 1-0.
This is a familiar sight for those who have followed Nani, 32, across his storied European career. He'd often turn to the backflip when scoring for Manchester United, Sporting CP and Fenerbahce. Same goes for Portgual’s national team.
The goal marked Nani’s fifth in his last four games, following an opening five-game spell in MLS during which he was held off the scoresheet. He also has four assists, staking his claim as an early front-runner for the best new big name in MLS.
"My focus is not all about the goals, obviously I am very happy to score," Nani said postgame. "Like I said, what gives me the opportunity [to score] is the way the team is playing, the way the team has improved in the last games. We have been playing well, we have been playing better -- more consistent. We have been showing we are a better team since the beginning of the season."
Watch all five of his goals below:
Watch: Every MLS goal scored by Nani for Orlando City in 2019