'Players are not machines' - Nani dismayed but unsurprised by Portugal criticism

The 25-year-old Manchester United winger has been condemned for an ineffective showing against Germany, even though he had been struggling with a foot injury beforehand
Nani has admitted that he is bewildered but not surprised by the criticism which followed his display in Portugal's 1-0 defeat to Germany in their Euro 2012 opener on Saturday night.

The Manchester United winger had to pass a late fitness test to participate in the game in Lviv but that did not spare him from some stinging appraisals of his performance against die Mannschaft.

Nani insists that he does not allow the flak to affect him but did argue that the media need to show more understanding when it comes to players failing to shine in every single game.

"I do not think about what others say," the 25-year-old told reporters at a press conference on Monday. "It is normal and the criticism has been going for some time. It is easier to criticise than to help.

"I just think about the national team: if we can give the people some joy, all the better; but if we cannot, we need to know that we gave our best. We are not machines."
1.90 Portugal are 1.90 with bet365 to beat Denmark in their second Group B fixture

It has been suggested that Nani might be better utilised in the centre but he explained that he always feels more comfortable out wide.

"I am a winger and when I am on the pitch I usually help the team," the former Sporting Lisbon ace mused. "But I have played sometimes in the middle and I feel fine there, too.

"My position is close to the line, I believe that is where I will continue to play, but the coach is the one to decide. But do not start thinking that I will play in the middle!"

Indeed, Nani expects to start on the wing in Portugal's must-win clash with Denmark, who blew Group B wide open by upsetting Netherlands on Saturday evening.

And, as he acknowledges, that shock result coupled with the Seleccao's loss to Germany means that their Scandinavian opponents in Lviv can afford to sit back and defend in numbers.

"At the beginning of the match, there will not be much room for me," he admitted. "Denmark will be very clever and they will not attack recklessly.

"We will have to create many spaces and we will have to move a lot to find the way to the goal."

Portugal's pivotal clash with the Danes will get under way at 18:00CET.