Home » Reinvigorated Bruno Fernandes now spearheading Portugal’s Qatar World Cup hopes

Reinvigorated Bruno Fernandes now spearheading Portugal’s Qatar World Cup hopes

by Derick Kinoti

Manchester United midfielder Bruno Fernandes has been one of the best players at the World Cup so far.

The United playmaker has contributed two goals and two assists in victories over Ghana and Uruguay – placing him on par in terms of goal contributions with Kylian Mbappe and Spain’s Alvaro Morata.

Should Fernandes not start against South Korea, it is likely that he is being rested by Fernando Santos as opposed to being dropped.

The midfielder’s new-found prominence is a far cry from his paltry stature within the Portugal setup in the last tournament where he didn’t start in the final game of the tournament.

The 28-year-old’s scintillating form for Seleção das Quinas in Qatar extends his fine run of five goals and
three assists in his five appearances this season.

The Athletic reports on Fernandes’ reinvigoration for Portugal: “With Portugal, the pair [Ronaldo and Fernandes] play in tandem, ably assisted by the sublime Bernardo Silva, who has dovetailed beautifully with Fernandes so far in the tournament.”

“There are the direct attacking runners in Joao Felix, who has started both games, and Rafael Leao, who has come off the bench twice. They are perfect fodder for through balls from Fernandes, Bernardo and Ronaldo.”

“He [Fernandes], Bernardo and Ronaldo are at the centre of Portugal’s surprisingly attacking ventures in Qatar, having previously, rightly, been known as a pragmatic, defence-first team under their pragmatic, defence-first manager Santos.”

The Athletic also credit Fernandes’ rise to his handling of a range of off-the-field issues especially those surrounding himself and Ronaldo.

The two incidents are the handshake fiasco after Ronaldo’s explosive interview with Piers Morgan and, most recently, the uncertainty over who scored the goal against Uruguay.

In both instances, Fernandes refused to be dragged into slating his national team captain. He instead warded off questions intelligently and laughed off any claims of a rift.

Hopefully, the midfielder brings his World Cup form to Old Trafford when club football returns.

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