‘I can’t blame Cristiano Ronaldo’ – Bruno Fernandes admits lack of form isn’t due to icon’s return to Manchester United


Bruno Fernandes has dismissed suggestions that his form at Manchester United suffered with the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Portuguese midfielder was United’s star man in 2020/21 after scoring 28 goals and providing 17 assists in his first full campaign with the club.

Fernandes thinks Ronaldo is actually good for his form at Man United
Getty
'I can't blame Cristiano Ronaldo' - Bruno Fernandes admits lack of form isn't due to icon's return to Manchester United
Ronaldo and Fernandes are friends and colleagues for club and country
Getty

The summer of 2021 saw Ronaldo arrive from Juventus in a blockbuster deal, but on paper it had a detrimental impact on Fernandes’ contribution, with the 28-year-old only scoring 10 goals and 13 assists.

Much has been made of Ronaldo’s influence on and off the pitch since returning to the club for his second stint, but according to Fernandes, his influence has only been good for his performances.

Asked if the introduction of Ronaldo has hampered his form, Fernandes told The Athletic: “Most of my assists last season were for him, so I don’t think so (it’s fair).

“I just had a bad season in terms of my own numbers. I don’t think it’s about Cristiano or myself.

“Before he arrived I was also taking the penalty shoot-out, but I had two chances to take the penalty shoot-out last season and I missed both. So I can’t blame Cristiano for d having taken penalties, especially when he scores them.

“When I missed against Arsenal in April, he was the one who gave me the ball and said, ‘Go ahead and score’. I missed but felt he was making me confidence to be the one to step in and score in the big moment. So I don’t think it’s because of Cristiano, it’s because I didn’t do my best at times to get goals or assists.


'I can't blame Cristiano Ronaldo' - Bruno Fernandes admits lack of form isn't due to icon's return to Manchester United
Ronaldo has had a big influence on United since returning to the club
AFP
'I can't blame Cristiano Ronaldo' - Bruno Fernandes admits lack of form isn't due to icon's return to Manchester United
Fernandes hopes to continue partnership with Ronaldo
Getty

“In the national team I play with him and when I score he is on the pitch. Playing with Cristiano as a No.10 is actually very good because the players respect Cristiano so much that it creates more space because the opponents are afraid that he will take the ball and score.

“They want to score it and (they) create an overload where it needs to score it. For example, when I scored two goals against North Macedonia (in the March play-off that secured Portugal’s qualification for the Cup world), one was from his assist and the other was from his running that created space behind him for me to score.

“I’ve played the last four Premier League games (through the Arsenal game) without Cristiano starting and I’ve only scored one goal. So it’s not because of Cristiano. It’s a question of momentum, of timing, sometimes it goes badly and sometimes better.

“Obviously he can be very good to play with, for someone who gives assists, like if you give him the right ball he will score goals.”

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'I can't blame Cristiano Ronaldo' - Bruno Fernandes admits lack of form isn't due to icon's return to Manchester United

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