LOS ANGELES — Orlando City star Nani said he would welcome the opportunity to face off against former teammate Javier “Chicharito” Hernández.
The duo played together for five years with Manchester United. Chicharito has been linked to MLS for months. He was first rumored to be showing interest in the Chicago Fire, but the Los Angeles Times reported this week the Mexican star is close to signing with the Los Angeles Galaxy.
“If it’s true he’s gonna be here next season, it’s amazing,” Nani said. “It’s another star player, it’s a big friend, old friend for beautiful moments with Manchester United. We shared the dressing room for a long time. I know him well. He’s a great person.”
MLS featured three of Nani’s former Manchester United teammates last season — Wayne Rooney with D.C. United, Zlatan Ibrahimovic with the Galaxy and Bastian Schweinsteiger with the Chicago Fire — but none of them remain in MLS for 2020. Rooney and Ibrahimovic both departed to play in Europe at the conclusion of the 2019 season, while Schweinsteiger retired.
Nani also welcomed the prospect of starting an in-state rivalry with Inter Miami CF, which is entering the league as an expansion team this year.
“I’m so excited,” Nani said. “I hope we can make this game a big game. I want to see passion in that game, a desire to win, because that makes the beauty of the game. It’s beautiful when you have a team and you can say you have a rival.”