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Bruno Fernandes Defends Cristiano Ronaldo After Juventus' Champions League Elimination

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Bruno Fernandes Defends Cristiano Ronaldo After Juventus' Champions League Elimination

Manchester United midfielder Bruno Fernandes has come to the defence of his Portugal teammate Cristiano Ronaldo, after Juventus crashed out of the Champions League.

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The Italian champions lost on away goals, after extra time, on Tuesday night, getting knocked out of the competition in the last 16 for the second season in-a-row.

Ronaldo came in for a lot of criticism for his performance in the first leg, three weeks ago, and it was the same again in Turin.

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The 36-year-old turned his back on the free kick that led to the Old Lady being knocked out and the former United player was understandably mocked for his failure to defend.

However his national team teammate Fernandes has come out in defence of Portugal's all time top goalscorer.

"Ronaldo? Cristiano is one of the greats in the history of football," the midfielder told Gazzetta dello Sport ahead of United's Europa League clash with AC Milan.

"His mentality inspires those who practice this sport.

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"He has won a lot, but no one can win alone.

"I understand that his presence in Juve had created enormous expectations for the Champions League, but when a team loses, they lose as an entire squad, not a single player."

It was a frustrating night for Ronaldo on Tuesday. Image: PA Images
It was a frustrating night for Ronaldo on Tuesday. Image: PA Images

Juventus had won seven Serie A titles in-a-row when they signed the former Real Madrid star for a reported 100 million euros in 2018, and wanted him to help win them their first Champions League title since 1996.

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In the past three seasons, with Ronaldo in the team, they have lost in the quarter finals and last 16, with the loss to Porto their consecutive loss in the first knockout round of the competition.

The five time Ballon d'Or winners failure to win Europe's elite title with the Old Lady, having won it three years in-a-row with Los Blancos before his move, has led to one former Juve chairman to call him an 'expensive mistake.'

Ronaldo attempts to score vs Porto. Image: PA Images
Ronaldo attempts to score vs Porto. Image: PA Images

However Bruno wasn't as surprised as others that Porto beat the Italian champions, adding, "I'm not surprised - Porto has a winning mentality, plays aggressive football and I expected them to create problems for Juventus."

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The former Sampdoria midfielder and his fellow countryman will likely be playing together in the Euros this summer, and they were also very nearly playing at Old Trafford together too.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Bruno Fernandes, Football, Europa League, Manchester United, Serie A, Premier League, porto, Juventus, Champions League, Cristiano Ronaldo

Ryan Sidle
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