Manchester United’s talisman Bruno Fernandes has admitted to suffering a ‘mental and physical breakdown’ at the end of last season.
In a report by the Portuguese outlet A Bola, it is claimed that ‘Bruno Fernandes was part of Manchester United’s pre-season work this Tuesday and, in an interview with AP [Associated Press], the Portuguese midfielder admitted to having suffered a mental and physical breakdown at the end of last season.’
The interview was also covered by O Jogo in Portugal, although they did not refer to the words ‘mentally and physically broken’ as A Bola did.
Both articles continue with almost identical quotes from the interview from Fernandes (this from A Bola):
‘It was basically two seasons in one due to Covid-19.
‘In 2019/20 we were eliminated by Sevilla in the Europa League and we had five or six days to rest before we started a new season. It was very tough.’
‘A player comes to the end of the season and only thinks about holidays, family and rest.
‘But it’s good to be back and be able to get back on the pitch, playing the ball.’
In recent months, Fernandes has gone on record more than once to say that he did not feel tired.
In January, he said ‘I’m 26 years old, so I can’t be tired. If I was tired now, I wouldn’t be playing at all by the time I was 30 or 32.
Again in May, he told the club’s official website:
‘When the coach wants me, it’s important to know I’m ready to play every game, every minute.
‘I will never say I’m [too] tired to play because this is my dream. I will never be tired to play.
‘When I was a kid, I played maybe seven or eight hours a day. So, to play 90 minutes every three days or two days is not enough for me.’
And during Euro 2020, Fernandes said ‘“I hope I can put some pressure on our national coach by saying this. I don’t feel tired: forget about it. It’s the opposite.’
Without seeing the entire transcript it would appear that the words ‘mentally and physically broken’ are those of A Bola’s reporter rather than Bruno himself. However, it also seems clear by his own words that he was in poor shape and desperate for a holiday.
It was also clear to see the same from his performances toward the end of the season and in Euro 2020.
There was some criticism of United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for overplaying Fernandes since his arrival from Sporting Lisbon and it will be important, no matter how vital he is to the team and how much he insists he is fit, that the Portuguese magnifico is rotated far more often in the coming season.