Nani joins Serie A’s Venezia after Orlando City SC departure

Orlando, Florida, USA, April 17, 2021, Orlando City SC Luis Nani #17 wave to supporters after the match at Exploria Stadium in Orlando Florida, USA (Photo Credit: Marty Jean-Louis)

Former Orlando City SC star Nani has signed with Italian Serie A club Venezia FC through the 2022-23 season, it was announced Friday.

The 35-year-old spent the last three seasons in Major League Soccer, captaining Orlando and featuring as a Designated Player.

During Nani’s stay with the Lions, he tallied 28 goals and 23 assists across 77 games (64 starts). He was named an MLS All-Star in 2019 and 2021.

“I shall never forget how the fans and community supported me and my family ever since the moment we arrived in Florida,” Nani said upon his departure. “You will have in me a friend and a fan for the future.”

With Nani departing, Orlando are amid a final-third transformation that includes several open DP spots. They’ve brought back No. 10 Mauricio Pereyra, though lost both striker Daryl Dike (transfer to West Brom) and winger Chris Mueller (free to Hibernian).

Orlando, led by head coach Oscar Pareja, have made back-to-back Audi MLS Cup Playoff appearances (2020, ’21).

Venezia are home to two MLS homegrown exports: midfielders Gianluca Busio (Sporting Kansas City) and Tanner Tessmann homegrown attacker Jack de Vries is also on loan at Venezia, mainly featuring in their academy.

Before coming to MLS, Nani had stops with Manchester United, Sporting CP and more. He’s the fifth-most capped player in the history of Portugal’s men’s national team.


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