Bruno Fernandes has explained how Cristiano Ronaldo’s influence has helped shape his career – and has spoken warmly about how Manchester United pulled out all the stops to convince him to sign.
Summer interest turned into a prolonged January pursuit for the 25-year-old, with the Old Trafford giants finally getting their man towards the end of the window in a deal worth an initial £46.6million.
United could scarcely have wished for a better early return from Fernandes, who has hit the ground running since making the big-money switch from Sporting Lisbon.
The Portugal international’s fine displays in February saw him named Premier League player of the month, having also won the PFA’s fan award for top-flight players and the club’s individual honour for February
Fernandes has also lifted standards among his United teammates, having been handed the ultimate accolade by pundit Owen Hargreaves.
United’s new crowd pleaser is, of course, international teammates with another of the club’s former heroes in Ronaldo and Fernandes has spoken warmly of his compatriot, whom also made the move from Sporting Lisbon to Old Trafford.
Speaking to Cronache Di Spogliatoio, Fernandes said: “He welcomed me very well to the Portugal national team.
“We look at him as an idol, he has always been an idol for me. I followed his example, he is one of my favourites.
“When I was called up by Portugal, he came to me saying, ‘You are doing a good job at Sporting, I like it’. Words like these make the difference.”
Fernandes also admits to being impressed by United right from day one and continued: “When I arrived for the medicals, everything impressed me.
“At the training ground, you can find everything.
“At Old Trafford you warm up with nobody in the stands, you hear nothing in the tunnel, and then you enter the pitch and you hear an incredible noise.
“If you talk about stadiums that everyone knows, the most historic are San Siro and Old Trafford.”
Fernandes earns Dalot plaudits
United defender Diogo Dalot has said that it is inevitable that Bruno Fernandes will become a “legend” at the club.
Speaking to the Official Manchester United Podcast, Dalot explained how Fernandes can go from strength to strength under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
“He’s a top guy, a top player. He is going to be a legend,” the defender said.
“He’s unbelievable, he can be better of course as well. He’s going to learn a lot from this club.
“I think he is a massive player to have in this team and he’s going to be a very good player for this club. He’s going to be [a legend], no doubt about that.
“He was the captain at Sporting, of course he’s an experienced player as well, 25 years old, he’s played in Italy, he played in Portugal as well. He knows what he is doing. It’s going to be very good for him.”