The Portuguese playmaker has established himself as a talismanic figure at Old Trafford, following in the footsteps of a legendary countryman.

Bruno Fernandes reveals that he draws inspiration from all facets of Cristiano Ronaldo’s game, with the Manchester United midfielder following in the legendary footsteps of the Portuguese legend at Old Trafford.

A fellow countryman began his career with Premier League giants, winning the first of five Ballons d’Or and as many Champions League titles during his time in England.

Ronaldo has now established himself as an all-time great, with Fernandes learning valuable lessons from the 36-year-old about the need of continual progress and shrugging off failures.

What was said?

Fernandes, who has become Manchester United’s next Portuguese star, told the club’s official website that he emulates his hero and current international colleague: “Everyone knows Cristiano was my favorite player growing up.

“I believe it was a mixture of everything. Cristiano made his national team debut at the Euros in our home country [Euro 2004], when I was nine years old. That year sticks with everyone because we lost the final in Portugal; we saw him sobbing afterward; he was a young guy who was beginning to shine, and it was then that I began to follow him.

“It wasn’t that he played in my position, because he didn’t; it was the way he worked every day, the mindset he had, the capability he has to give 100 percent in every game at a high level, that served as a motivator for me. He was scoring goals in every game, but he was always striving to develop, to grow better.

“My approach stems in part from a knowledge of the kind of player you want to be. Do you want to be the player who has a terrific season but then goes up and down, up and down, or do you want to be the guy who is always striving to be the best? To be honest, everyone has had poor games — Cristiano has had 100 percent awful games – but the idea is, recovering from a terrible game.

“Returning with the idea of ‘well, I didn’t play well in the last game and I really need to do well in this one.’ For me, the idea of always improving is critical. I’m improving significantly as a result of this, which was my primary objective.”

Fernandes shares Ronaldo’s persistent pursuit of excellence, with the 26-year-old often stressing that he would not settle for second best at United.

He is doing all he can to reintroduce the Red Devils to the trophy hunt, adding another 28 goals and 18 assists to his already outstanding score in 2020-21.

These efforts fell short of delivering big silverware, forcing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to rethink his strategy.

Ronaldo has been linked with a return to those plans as he enters the last year of his Juventus contract, but no deal has been agreed upon and recruiting plans continue to be stitched together ahead of the summer transfer window.


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