Bruno Fernandes has said former Manchester United and Portugal legend Cristiano Ronaldo had a great influence on him when he was younger.
Fernandes was inspired by the sight of Ronaldo bursting onto the international scene at Euro 2004 and the pair have since become team-mates, as well as good friends. Indeed, Ronaldo advised him to join United when given the opportunity.
Bruno, our Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year, was not involved in Portugal’s Euro 2016 triumph as he was still to win his first cap for his country at that point, but he will play a key role at this summer’s tournament as his country looks to defend their crown.
During a recent Q&A with United supporters, Fernandes reflected on the 2016 final and explained the impact Ronaldo has had on him.
“Growing up, everyone knows Cristiano was my favourite player,” declared Fernandes.
“I think it was a little bit of everything. When Cristiano began to take his first steps in the national team, it was in the Euros in our home country [Euro 2004], so I was nine years old. That year stays with everyone because we lost the final in Portugal, we saw him crying after the final, he was a young boy who was starting to shine and from there I started to watch him.
”It wasn’t because he plays in my position because that wasn’t the case, but it was the way he worked every day, the mentality he had, the capacity he had to give 100 per cent in every game at a high level, for me it was like a motivation, like you always have to do better. He was scoring goals every game, but game after game he was still trying to improve, get better.