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By ESPN Staff

Contrite Nani regrets 'thoughtless' red card

Manchester United winger Nani has begged for forgiveness after getting himself sent off off against West Ham.

The Portuguese star headbutted West Ham skipper Lucas Neill in Saturday's Premier League win at Old Trafford, earning himself a three-match ban.

He also faces internal disciplinary action, with manager Sir Alex Ferguson vowing to 'deal with' the player.

Nani said: 'I recognise that my action was a thoughtless one, but I also have to say that I was provoked and attacked. I know it serves as no excuse, but that's exactly what happened.

'I regret having done what I did and I have to be thankful for the fact that my team-mates secured a win which was extremely important to us.

'I want to publicly ask for forgiveness, firstly of my team-mates, who were forced into a greater effort during more than 60 minutes, secondly of my manager and coaches, and thirdly of the United fans who have given me so much affection.'

Nani also apologised for leaving Old Trafford before the end of Saturday's game and vowed to front up to his team-mates.

He said in the Daily Star: 'Believe me, it was difficult. At that moment I only wanted to disappear. That was what I did. I also ask forgiveness of the fans and the club for that.

'On Tuesday, I'll be in the changing room to redeem myself for my mistake.'