Manchester United midfielder Bruno Fernandes has leapt to the defence of fellow countryman and United player Cristiano Ronaldo and claimed there’s no need for a ‘soap opera’ around him, following Portugal’s defeat in the Nations League to Spain.
Spain ended up taking the spoils in a game largely dominated by the Portuguese thanks to a late winner from Alvaro Morata, with Bruno an integral figure throughout the game.
Morata ended up scoring the winner in the 88th minute to send Spain to the Nations League Finals.
Cue a frustrated-looking Ronaldo at the final whistle. The talisman worked hard and had a decent effort in the second half, however was unable to get off the mark and generally looked rusty, probably due to the lack of game time seen so far.
Bruno, speaking to the Press after the game, was quick to defend Ronaldo and lay the blame on the team as a whole rather than the inability of Ronaldo to produce a moment of magic as he often has.
‘It wasn’t just Cristiano who failed. We all tried and we couldn’t (score). The Spain goalkeeper was very good. Cristiano is doing well, with the ambition to help the national team as he always was and there’s no need to make great stories,’ he said.
‘Cristiano is a forward, he wants to score goals, there’s no need to make a soap opera around him…what he has to do, when you score you feel more relaxed to continue scoring many goals for us. Don’t forget that he’s the record holder for goals in the national team, and that it doesn’t interfere with the preparation for the World Cup.’
Ronaldo has only scored one goal so far this season, in the Europa League, and failed to score in this latest range of Nations League games, despite playing 90 minutes in both ties and Portugal putting four past Czech Republic.
A lot of this can be attributed to Ronaldo’s lack of a complete pre-season, with the legend being absent from a large amount of pre-season training due to ‘family reasons’.
Bruno has shown his leadership credentials countless times at United recently, wearing the Captain’s armband in the recent convincing win over rivals Liverpool and is using those skills to good effect in trying to rebuild the confidence of his national and club teammates.
With the Manchester derby right round the corner, manager Erik Ten Hag will be hoping for a clean bill of health for his international players, however with news that Marcus Rashford could well be fit for the game, Ronaldo will potentially have to wait even longer to break his premiership duck this season.
With Erik ten Hag looking towards Rashford as his central preferred striker, Ronaldo will have to get used to being a more peripheral figure at the club.
- Get ready for the derby and enjoy articles, quizzes, puzzles, nostalgia and humour
- Online football content like you’ve never seen before
- No ads, no clickbait, no fake news – just 100% pure United
- Instantly delivered to your device with easy and secure online ordering
- Click Preview to see more or GET YOUR COPY FREE (usually £1.25/$1.50)
- Limited time offer: SAVE 33% on a season pass – use discount code SEASON33 at checkout.