Four years after signing 18-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo
, then a relatively unknown winger at Portuguese club Sporting, Manchester United has spent big money on
two young prospects from Portuguese clubs.
United agreed to sign Sporting winger Nani
, who has been compared to Cristiano Ronaldo, for $35 million and
Porto's Brazilian playmaker, Anderson
, dubbed the new Ronaldinho
, for a similar amount.
Nani, a left winger, had also been linked with Tottenham Hotspur. He was named in the Portugal squad for Saturday's Euro 2008 qualifier in Belgium.
A broken leg suffered last fall did not
deter interest by a host of European clubs in the 19-year-old Anderson, the MVP of the 2005 Under-17 World Cup.
He played the last two seasons for Porto after leaving Gremio and had a
brilliant Champions League campaign before his injury in a Portuguese league game against Benfica. He is on the short list for Brazil coach Dunga
's squad for
the Copa America in Venezuela.