Bruno Fernandes opens up on José Mourinho’s jibes and fight with Victor Lindelof

by Red Billy

Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes says he will have to ‘pedal a lot’ to be able to be compared with Cristiano Ronaldo.

Speaking in an interview with Portuguese magazine A Bola, the United star said it was natural that he would be compared with the legendary winger.

‘It is inevitable: because he is Portuguese; and we come from the same club,’ he said.

‘But it happened in a different way, because Cristiano came at a very young age and I was already 25, almost 26. That’s why I’m a little more mature.

‘But I’ll have to pedal a lot to be able to be compared with Cristiano.’

Fernandes was then asked how he had managed to make such an instant impact at United and on the Premier League despite people saying he wouldn’t be able to make the step up from the Portuguese league.

‘I think in Portugal there’s a lot of rivalry … people will say “if he’s a Sporting player I can’t speak well of him, I can’t say he’ll do well over there.”

‘Even today I hear people say “Oh, he only scores penalties”, but I looked at the statistics and if you ignore the penalties, only Kevin de Bruyne has a better average goal participation than mine.’

The interviewer then noted that even José Mourinho had ‘stung’ Bruno by saying that he was just good at penalties.

‘Honestly I didn’t feel stung, I felt like I’m a good penalty taker and nothing more than that. That kind of sting I understand.

‘But because I’m a positive person, I take from his words that I do hit penalties well.

‘It is a reality, because since I arrived in Manchester I haven’t missed. And I hope I don’t miss.’

Fernandes was then asked if he’d ever missed any penalties before.

‘I have only missed two penalties, one for Udinese against Napoli (I took two, I scored the first one very badly and missed the second) and then in the Portuguese Cup, with Loures.

The conversation then went on to the future and what the 26-year-old hopes to achieve at Old Trafford.

‘We managed to reach the Champions League so now our goals have to be different.

‘Because we haven’t won any trophies and at a club like Manchester United, who haven’t won a trophy for – I don’t know how many years – for three years – that needs to be put right.

‘Especially the Premier League, because I believe it is the main focus, for all teams, to win the championship and ours is as well.

‘But the goal is always to win everything we take part in.’

Bruno was then asked if, now he is in a big league with a big club, he thinks he can win the Ballon D’Or.

‘Dreaming costs nothing, but it isn’t one of my goals, because honestly I don’t have big individual goals other than to improve on my numbers each season.

‘I was twice awarded Player of the Year in the Portuguese league but I didn’t win a championship.’

Finally, the interviewer asked Fernandes about the on-pitch argument with Victor Lindelof in the Europa League defeat to Sevilla.

‘He speaks Portuguese very well, he does,’ he replied.

‘He’s one of the people at the club I have the best relationships with, also because he speaks Portuguese.

‘And as everyone saw he speaks it well [laughs] … those were obviously the first words he learned in Portuguese, it’s always what we teach them.

‘But it was just the situation in the game, nobody took it to heart.

‘It ended and we both went straight to our countries, he to Sweden and I to Portugal, and as we said goodbye we gave each other a hug, we leant against each other, we stayed there for those two seconds holding each other and didn’t have to say anything, we both knew what the other was thinking.’

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