While Manchester United fans were wondering who would make Louis van Gaal’s first starting line-up this side of the international break, something rather strange was going on in Portugal.
In different circumstances, Nani could have been involved for United as they took to the field against Queens Park Rangers on Sunday, but instead the winger – on loan at Sporting Lisbon – played his part in one of the strangest dismissals in recent times.
As Sporting’s match against Belenenses was reaching its climax – the scores level at 1-1 following goals from Andre Carrillo and Deyverson – the latter fell to the ground, clearly in considerable pain.
But rather than wait for Belenenses’ medical team as is commonly the case, Nani and teammate Jefferson attempted to carry the injured opponent off the pitch, one taking his shoulders and the other his feet.
Not surprisingly, the referee put a stop to that, signalling for the players to wait for the appropriate people to do their job, but as Jefferson continued to argue the official issued him with a second yellow card and dismissed him with the match in injury-time.
Nani can be grateful he was not sent off himself, but the on-loan United winger will have to make better headlines than that if he wants to get his career back on track in the months to come.
This weekend, rather than scoring, the Portuguese international merely played his part in a very strange red card indeed.
You can see the incident here on desporto.sapo.