Ex-City captain Fernandinho returns to first club in Brazil

Former Manchester City star Fernandinho has returned to his first club Athletico Paranaense, 17 years after leaving the Brazilian side.

Fernandinho, 37, left Manchester City at the end of last season after scooping his fifth Premier League title in a trophy-laden nine-year spell at the Etihad Stadium.

The former City captain who made 383 appearances for the club, has returned to his native Brazil and will play for Athletico Paranaense whom he represented from 2002-2005.

“We had numerous proposals, from several different clubs, from Brazil and abroad,” Fernandinho revealed at his unveiling on Monday.

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“But the most sensible decision was to return home and try to give my best here at Athletico now.”

Athletico Paranaense are coached by former Chelsea and World Cup-winning Brazil manager Luis Felipe Scolari, who joined the side in May.

Fernandinho departed the Brazilian side in 2005 for his first European adventure with Shakhtar Donetsk.

He spent eight years in Ukraine winning six domestic titles and then going on to lift the UEFA Cup in 2009.

The midfielder moved to City in 2013, picking up the first of his five Premier League titles in his debut season.

He went on to lift the EFL Cup six times and the FA Cup once but was unable to get his hands on the Champions League trophy, coming close in 2021 when City were beaten 1-0 in the final by Chelsea.

The defensive midfielder played a bit-part role for Pep Guardiola’s side last season,  starting just 17 games in all competitions as the younger Rodri was preferred by the Spanish tactician.

Capped by Brazil 53 times, Fernandinho found success with the Selecao, winning the 2019 Copa America in his homeland.

The Brazilian returns home with unfinished business having appeared 72 times for Athletico, scoring 14 goals.

Athletico currently sit third in the table, five points behind leaders and reigning Copa Libertadores winners Palmeiras. – MailOnline

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