Bruno Fernandes has leapt to the defence of Cristiano Ronaldo after claiming his comments about Manchester United’s new-found team spirit had been misinterpreted as criticism of the striker.
After United roared back to beat Manchester City 2-1 in Saturday’s derby, Fernandes was full of praise for manager Erik ten Hag and his entire team, stating: “[We] used to be individuals, now we are a team. You can see a proper team that works for each other.”
His comments have since been interpreted as a dig towards Ronaldo, whose play style was often said to hamper the team because of an alleged refusal to sacrifice his personal goals.
However, Fernandes was livid to see his words used to criticise international teammate Ronaldo, who left United to join Saudi Arabia’s Al Nassr after the World Cup.
“Thanks for someone to post exactly the words I said!” he wrote on Instagram. “I know that it is difficult to see Manchester United doing well and don’t have anything to talk about us on the news apart [from] good things.
“Don’t use my name to try to attack Cristiano! Cristiano was part of our team for half of the season and as I said in many interviews, everyone since Liverpool is being amazing and acting like a proper team and you can see the results on that! We carry on.”
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Ronaldo is lining up to make his Al Nassr debut in the coming days, with the veteran striker expected to take part in a friendly against Lionel Messi’s Paris Saint-Germain later this week.
As for Fernandes, his focus is on climbing the Premier League table. United now sit just one point behind City, having played the same number of games.
League leaders Arsenal, who play Tottenham later on Sunday, are six points clear of Ten Hag’s side with a game in hand.