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Bruno Fernandes Hits Back About Form Criticism And Manchester United Missing Out On The Champions League

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Bruno Fernandes Hits Back About Form Criticism And Manchester United Missing Out On The Champions League

The build up to Portugal’s UEFA Nations League clash with Switzerland on Sunday, June 5, saw Bruno Fernandes face questions about his form and Manchester United failing to secure Champions League football for next season from the Portuguese media. 

Fernandes went on to play 67 minutes in A Seleção’s 4-0 win before being substituted by Manchester City’s Bernardo Silva.

The United No. 18 did not register a direct goal contribution in the game after his form was the talking point in an interview with O Jogo the day prior. 

Asked about his “up and down” form in the national team, Fernandes seemed rather frustrated. 

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“But who says that? You?” the United talisman responded. “I have always been called up and I have been a part of almost every game. Therefore, the manager has liked what I’ve been doing here, otherwise I wouldn’t be here.” 

Continuing to elaborate, Bruno brought up the somewhat unrealistic newfound expectations that he has been forced to shoulder of late after putting up sensational numbers at club level in recent years.  

“At Sporting and Manchester United I had a lot of numbers and everyone expects me to come to the national team and score in every game,” Bruno said. “But I’m here to do what every moment asks of me. There are games where I have to attack more and in others, I have to defend more. It depends on the strategy. In the national team, we have to find a balance. I have done a good job in the national team, I have been here since 2017.”

Immediately after Bruno shut down that topic of discussion, the Portuguese midfielder was asked about United and his level of disappointment in the club missing out on Champions League football for the first time in two years. 

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The 27-year-old was a standout performer for The Reds in the competition last season.

In fact, Bruno registered the most assist in the Champions League (7) despite United's early exit against Atletico Madrid in the round-of-16.

Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford against Atalanta in the Champions League | Credit: Alamy
Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford against Atalanta in the Champions League | Credit: Alamy

In response to the question from Portuguese media, the United creator tried to put some life perspective on the definition of disappointment. 

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"Disappointment would be if I couldn’t play football," Fernandes said. "Obviously, everyone wants to play in the Champions League. But I’m in the Europa League and when I get there, it will be to win it. We have to earn it.” 

Bruno’s responses reflected an ambitious figure coming off an extremely underwhelming season. Though he tried to be coy, he is undoubtedly chomping at the bit to put things right next season under the watchful eye of Erik ten Hag.

The Dutch manager reportedly rates United's no.18 'extremely highly' which bodes will for the man who will be looking to recapture his flame after a sluggish second half to the 2021/22 campaign.

Portugal have two more games remaining until Bruno can jet off for his summer break. He is expected to meet up with United’s squad for pre-season in the first week of July. 

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Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Bruno Fernandes, Manchester United, Portugal, Champions League

Arion Armeniakos
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