Manchester United's Nani wants to win 'important' Europa League

The Portuguese winger believes that although the competition does not generate as much excitement among supporters as the Champions League, winning the tournament would be huge

Manchester United winger Nani insists the Europa League is considered an important competition by himself and his team-mates and admits he would love to bring the trophy back Old Trafford for the first time.

The reigning Premier League champions were knocked out of the Champions League in the group stages and, as a result, were drawn into the last-32 knockout round of the Europa League.

Nani played 90 minutes in the English club’s 2-0 win away to Ajax on Thursday night and pledged to keep fighting for silverware regardless of which European tournament they are in.

“This is an important competition and we have to enjoy it,” he told reporters on Friday.

“Of course, the Champions League is the most important trophy for everyone. It is the biggest trophy in Europe.

“But now we are here, we just think about this competition. The club has never won the trophy. Now we will try to do this.”

The Red Devils will host Ajax in the second-leg next Thursday, and are expected to triumph with their two-goal advantage, and the winger believes progress into and beyond the last-16 is what United can achieve.

“Everyone expects us to do something different, that we haven't done in the past,” he said.

“We have always been in first position. We have won so many trophies and reach the final of every competition.

“But, of course, sometimes you lose matches that you don't anticipate.

“After we lost in the Champions League, a lot of people thought we would lose more games and see other teams win the trophies.

“But we are strong and we are fighting in every game to continue to give our supporters what they want: titles. That is what we want as well.”

The United squad continually suffered with injuries over the course of the current campaign, especially in midfield, forcing manager Sir Alex Ferguson to convince Paul Scholes to come out of retirement to boost their ranks.

The Portuguese international admits that an upturn in squad fitness is a must if the club are to be successful this season.

 “It is very important to have everyone fit and ready for the big games that are in front of us,” Nani added.

“We are reaching the important moments that will decide who wins the league and who wins the Europa League.

“Of course, we have had a lot of players injured. Now it looks like everyone is fit and ready to play.

“The players just need to get their rhythm then the results will come.”