'Likes to work under criticism!' - Bruno Fernandes calls out fans who have been criticising Cristiano Ronaldo
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Portugal star Bruno Fernandes has revealed that he is happy former Manchester United teammate Cristiano Ronaldo has been hit with stinging criticism.
It has been a tricky couple of weeks for Ronaldo due to all the reaction from his explosive interview with Piers Morgan, which resulted in him having his contract at United terminated.
Of course, there's been plenty of people defending the five-time Ballon d'Or winner, mainly former club teammates such as Roy Keane, who was still blaming United manager Erik ten Hag somehow.
But Ronaldo has also been criticised for what he said and how his time at Old Trafford ultimately came to an end, especially by fans of United.
There hasn't been much noise from his now-former teammates at the club, with Portugal colleague Fernandes even refusing to answer a question about Ronaldo in English.
Of course, Ronaldo was among the controversy again on Thursday when Fernando Santos' side took on Ghana in their opening World Cup game in Qatar.
The 37-year-old Portugal forward was accused of diving to win a penalty, which he then converted to open the scoring before receiving another round of criticism.
Fernandes, who is now happy to talk about his mate, has said that he hopes the criticism continues, as it seem to drive former Real Madrid and Juventus star Ronaldo on.
"I think he likes to work under that criticism from everyone, so I pray all of you to keep doing that because he gets the best of himself when you guys do that," Fernandes told reporters.
"I still share the space with him in the national team and the main thing, for me, is that Portugal does the best we can in the tournament because if we do it, Cristiano will be happy, I will be happy and everyone in Portugal will be happy for us."
There hasn't been much talking from Ronaldo, who is the first player to score in five men's World Cups, since his United exit and has avoided interviews in the pre-match build-up.
However, he was unable to get away from questions on Thursday, as he won the Player of the Match award in the 3-2 win over Ghana and was forced into a post-match press conference.
Ronaldo took just two questions at the Portugal press conference and sat for only two minutes and 12 seconds before exiting.
"This is a moment that makes me very proud. That chapter [United] is closed. I’m here to win. The rest does not matter," he said before leaving.
Chatty bunch these Portugal players...