Bruno Fernandes interview: Taking risks, Ten Hag’s ‘ideas’ and Ronaldo relationship (PART 2)

By | September 21, 2022

This is part two of an exclusive interview with Bruno Fernandes, led by Adam Crafton from The Athletic. In this half of the discussion he talks about taking risks, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's departure, why it didn't work out with Ralf Rangnick, what he likes about Erik ten Hag and his relationship with Cristiano Ronaldo.

Watch part 1 here:

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00:00 Taking risks
6:03 Solskjaer's sacking
10:25 The Rangnick period
13:39 Signing his new contract
18:13 Ten Hag's new ideas
22:43 Ronaldo relationship
26:25 Being captain
28:13 Chocapic obsession

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#brunofernandes #mufc #theathletic


What you see on the pitch is uh is the Bruno that is passionate for the game The runner that wants to win the game The Bruno that will not give anything Away I play against wolves they have Many Portuguese players if I have to Kick them I will kick them if I have to Moan at them I will moan it's the game This is the way I leave the game is the Way I have to be one of the Refuge I Don't remember was he said oh my God Bruno every time that you're winning You're such a good guy when you're going Losing or drawing oh my God I will say This probably you have to cut this you Are a pain on my ass and and I like that I want to be that I want to be there I Want the referee to feel that I'm there Pressing him and always talking and Shouting at him this is the way I live The game Foreign Tastically I think I'm going to look Down here to get the numbers right 93 Appearances so far 37 goals 26 assists For the position you play those are Fantastic numbers I think you've had more assists from Open Play than any than any other player I think since March 2020 as well Um but there's still a lot of Conversation about the risk and reward In your game so for example The fact that you often are looking to

Play the killer pass and sometimes People maybe say why not just keep the Ball why not play the Easy Pass why not Maybe play five yards 10 yards you're Rolling your eyes no because you know It's easier from the stanza from the Television to think why not but in the Game you have two seconds to think yes The things are quick in my position as a 10 most of the times and because for Example last season we had about a Really bad season we played really deep On the beach For the the players that play in front Sometimes you recover the ball they pass The ball through to you because they Have so many players attacking they will Have so many players recovering so when You control the ball The first thing you have to do is Control the ball forward trying to Control the ball forward so when you Control the ball forward you know that You have people running behind you to Catch the ball from you so you have to Go forward because if you go backwards You pass the ball to someone that you Will have more pressure than you because Imagine that the center-back possible to Me they have many players there I have The right back I can do a simple pass Here I will do the ball to right back They have many players there three Players can go straight to him to press

Right back so what I did basically I Opened a bomb and I give it to the right Back now deal it deal with that and Sometimes you know you have to make Decisions quick and as I said I I don't Really I'm not really worried about that Because Uh I see that is not the right way to Say but I'm there to feed my Strikers They need to have the ball and when you Have a season like if you go to check Like this now because now this is like a Kind of random thing ah it takes too Many risks and so please carry on even When you don't take risks people will Say you're taking risks because this Season I had for example in the first Few games that we lost uh a high Percentage of accuracy on the past Because I'm more than people think or More that people see I see my stats I See what I can do better what I can Improve what I can do better game by Game and the two first games of the Season I have a high pass accuracy no One talk about because we lost the game Bruno didn't assist Bruno didn't score Problems when I scored a goal against Southampton I had a low pass accuracy And probably not my best game but Because I scored was like oh Bruno did a Great game against Liverpool I had a Good game I think everyone played a Really good game

We won everyone was hyping everyone even We did many mistakes on that game Everyone was hyping everyone so I know That we'll be demanding and people Doubting and people always because even This is changing but In life you have a way to think I have Another one But sometimes you have an idea but Because so much people tell you that That person is not a good person you Don't know her but in your head she's Already a bad person because five or six Percent have said that even if you don't Want in your head the first thing you Will come it's not it's not really a Good person most of people have saying Me because even for us as a players they See us in the pitch you say hi it Doesn't seem to be a good guy why that I'm on the pitch you don't know I know I Don't know how you live the other day I Saw I saw Rafa saying who is the most Like funny player in the dressing room Or Joker player laugh everyone yeah and He said Bruno Most of the people I'm really sure that Get surprised all the how that's Possible that Bruno is is that Joker on On the dressing room because they don't Know me they don't know how I am in the In the in the dressing room they don't Know how I deal with people I deal bad With people when I lose games yes I do

I'm not the best friend of anyone when I'm not the best father I'm not the best [Music] Meant to be I'm not the best friend Because I'm sad I'm upset and I don't Want to talk to anyone and it's the way I am but as coming back to that if I Miss passes if I don't miss if I do Goals if I don't do it will always have Someone to say something about that so I play my game in the way I think it's Better for the club for the team for my Teammates and I will keep doing that and I know when When I take my risks is because I think The rewards will be bigger than the the Risk that I'm taking I don't take that As a decision that comes in my mind Because I want to do the killer passer Because I want to do assists so I want To win games that is the main thing for Me win games even if I score I don't Score if I assist or I don't insist Because at the end of the day it's about Winning games and that message of be Yourself or that Ollie gave you I think It clearly bought the best out of the Best out of you as well Um clearly towards the end with with Ollie it was I think everyone involved In the dressing room with the staff was Very sad for him Um and probably one of the most Memorable images last season was at

Watford after the game and both yourself And Ollie went to the fans after the Game and you were actually raising your Hands up saying you know don't it looks To me like you were saying don't blame Him look at us as well Um How did it make you feel at the time So make me obviously I have a really Good relationship with uh with Ole he Was the one that brought me to the club Obviously I have a huge respect for him As a person first of all because he's an Amazing person is the kind of guy that Cares about everyone they try to make Everyone happy Um and for me it was You know you lose a game I don't like When someone goes to the media for Example some managers that do they Didn't Do what I want something is wrong Because if you lose a game your plan Could be could not be the best or what Your players did could not be the best But we are always in the same pack we Are always involved as a group as a team And at that moment uh we went as a Players there and we applaud and they Kind of fly up loud All that came after Earth and was like Some people booing him and I didn't like Because why they didn't did that to us We we the ones that went on the pitch

And lost the game together with him so If they want something to him has to be To us if they want us something to us Has to be to him at the same way because You know that some people sometimes when They Suck managers are the players did and Sometimes it's like the players don't Want to follow the the manager that's Why I get sucked that's why he was not That good and in that moment I felt that Uh Someone need to step up and and protect Him and trying to get Um Not to blame I don't want to take the Blame for Holy but I want everyone to Take the blame for themselves everyone Has to take the responsibility in that Moment because it was not a good privity And was not all always all left the Problem because he did great things Before we finished second with him we Went to the final we had some Semi-finals with him and I don't think Was everything about him was about him Together with the players so that's why I felt that time was not uh Was not fair was not fair with Ole Because he did great things for the club He did everything uh Um obviously in that moment you have to Treat him as a manager not as an Ex-player and I understand that and I

Think the play the the fans did really Well after when the way it was sucked Still singing his songs being really Grateful for him still having in the Moment of 99 on Barcelona Um you know you you is is one of the Persons that really loves this club and You can feel it that uh when he's We Came to Say Goodbye to everyone was it Was a really tough message from him uh Was really difficult you could you could Feel it that he was it was one of Probably the worst days of his life or Saddest days of his career as a manager And a player Um and you know even at that time I know That some people gets like oh why Bruno Is doing that why it was something that Came off was not like something that I Planned to do is is the way I am and I I Don't want anyone to take the blame from Me I want as someone that does a mistake Together with me to go there and take The blame with together with me Does as if you stayed in touch with him At all since yeah since he left oh yeah So sometimes that we don't talk every Day uh but yes sometimes he send me some Message asking or congratulations for Something or for some goal or for some Something that we do good Um but obviously it's a person that I Want to to keep in touch and I said that To him before he left the club so holly

Leaves And then you have another manager last Season in Ralph van Nick Um I think probably everyone even Ralph Would probably accept it was not the Ideal end result in the end with with Him How do you explain it because obviously When he came there was a lot of I think Intrigue and curiosity about his ideas And the way he wanted to play with Intensity and the pressing what do you Think what was the issue Now so obviously you know what someone Knew comes to the club he's always Bring something up straight away and we Won straight away against Crystal Palace I think after we go Norwegian we win uh And you build a little bit of momentum There Um but I think Ralph came with this idea You know intensity pressing uh the way That he was used to play in Germany but He didn't quite result with us because As I said before Was was an atmosphere between uh Between everyone that was like confident Slow everything really really down we Get a good result Bad result good result bad result and Get some bad results in a raw and it was Really difficult to come off that you Know when you are in that kind of Kind of runs with games and stuff it's

It's tough to come off and nothing to do With with Ralph Ralph try to tried his Best I think it was A good manager with the good ideas But that didn't fit with with everyone Because the team has been built with Ole With this idea and obviously when a new Manager comes in And I think that probably could be the Difference At the club because every manager that Has been here has different ideas so They bring different players in but the Players stay after they manage to go so You know you bring players for a certain Idea and all of a sudden a new manager Came in with a different idea and he Wants to bring new players and get rid Of other players Gets confused and I think now what the Club needs is stability as as a manager I think they find that with the they Found that with the with the 10 act now And and hopefully we as a players can Find that stability on a way to play on A way to follow and as I said before for Ralph was really tough to to build a Momentum to change everything and I Think the main main moment for us as a Season was when we lost against Atletico From there on like we we could feel like That the momentum was gone and after we We lost our way against arsenal when I Missed the penalty I think that was a

Crucial moment for us Then if you win that game you could Still think that you can still reach the Top four and we didn't and obviously was Was really bad and I felt really bad From from that game But is football I scored so many so I Have to get back to score when I have The chance In the middle of all that you signed a New contract Um Did you have any hesitation About thinking you know when the Situation United women at the time was There any part of you thinking should I Actually commit another few years to This club so I start This start in the beginning of the Season straight the conversations for The new contract and everything was Was long because you know Oliver new Manager coming in all the stuff that Passed through the season and uh and Obviously Um was difficult to me to get the right Time to get a new contract Um in the beginning of course you start The season I start with a with a Bangerat trick with one leads Rafa presented in the Sancho do the the First game Rafa Varan is presented in That day uh I think 15 days after Christian was presented so the hype of

The club the hype of the players was Like wow this will be a season with with A massive massive chance because the Year before you go Europe uh Europa League final you get second in the League so you you feel like no that's This could be the year that we change The momentum of the club and we win Something we can we can go for something Big Obviously during the season was not that That happens and and I had my Conversations with the club all the Stuff and obviously that was one point Because when Ralph came in The club said straight away is an intern Manager you'll not be here with us the Next season and for me that was a Problem I said to the club clear I said To them look I want stability More than you to tell me no we will Gonna win something no I want to be Competitive I want to be in a team where I know that I will be competitive we Will be competitive as a team we will Fight for something we will be capable To fight with the biggest teams And um The club was made was clear at that time I I tell them look I don't want to know Who is the next manager I just want to Know that the next manager that is Coming you want to be part of the Project because it's important for Youth

And for me because it can be a manager That comes as a different idea of Football doesn't think that Bruno Doesn't fit Bruno You probably have to go and I said to Them I'm telling you this before I sign My new contract and I will get more Money so it's it's it's not a question Of money I said dollars to them it's not A question of money it's a question of Me being happy fighting being Competitive I have a team that I know That will fight and be competitive to to Get to get the best results and so do You say this too is us to John murter Yeah John Martin and Darren Fletcher was The ones that I spoke the most Um and I said to them I just I I feel Good in the club uh as I said it's a Dream come true I don't think that is There many clubs that I would prefer to Play Um more than Man United and and I I I I I don't like to say this but I Would like to be here for a longer Period you know create some stability For me for my family Playing for my dream Club but I said to Them I want to be competitive either Just someone I don't want to be in England just to be I want to be here to Win trophies to be competitive to play Against the best so

I signed a new contract but I want to Make sure that the club is in the same Page as me and it's at the club make Sure that no the club will make will Make the decisions they said uh Bruno Will not be the next transfer window That we will make probably the team to Be competitive uh we will need time to Build that because we cannot just Straight away go and spend money and I Said I understand that I will be five Years in that five years you find in in In four of them or three of them I will Be fighting for trophies I will be Fighting against the best the best teams I will will have a team that wants to Compete will be will be strong enough And we want in we have a manager that Comes and put his mark on I'm okay with That and the club was clear with that I Trust them and uh I think I'm getting The rewards of that because the club is Making a is making a mark on the on the Marketing they brought players in uh With with big qualities and big names Also at the same time and uh and Obviously now is is is about us doing Our job on the pitch and the biggest are Going to be the most significant person At a club at any point is is the head Coach you know I think we've seen that Uh probably pains you to say Manchester City and Liverpool but with Pep Guardiola and Jurgen klopp

[Music] Um With Eric what where do you see your What what's he what is he asking you to Do in your position that's maybe a Little bit different if at all and what Is it that's giving you confidence about The way that he's coaching and managing That makes you believe you will be Competitive First of all because he has an idea he Has an idea of playing he has a style And he wants to go ahead with that and Has to be his idea you have to follow That rules you have to be is strict on That and I like that uh we need Discipline and I think that was Something that we we missed in the past And uh is it broke that discipline with Him that everyone has to follow his Rules everyone has to be in the same Page uh and I think that was as you said Before pep and the club have been doing For years and because they have Stability in the club they have Stability on the way they choose the Transfer market on the way they build The team That is really important for them to get The rewards and I think uh I saw the one Of the things that the manager said the Other day on the Press saying we don't Want to bring players just for bringing We want to bring the right players

For what we want to do so I think as I Said before it's something that the club Needs and it's something that I believe With him will get that point that will Be established as a team will be Everyone in the same page everyone will Understand this gets time because is a New manager new players everything so we Know we have four wins in a row yes it's Good we're getting better but we still Know that we still have margin to Improve and we'll get time to get the Best out of us uh in his own idea of Playing so For now I'm really happy for that Because I think even with the preseason I was happy with that after that two Games at Brighton I think was really Important the brighten meant for it was Really important for us to keep Believing on this idea and was important That also him show us that we can do What he asked us to do and he show us That in on photo photos video stuff and Show us that look at we can do this we We have the qualities we have the Capacity today so was he showing you Videos from the tour or even from the Games against Brighton and Brentford as Well both both of them so he showed us That and even individually calls really Many times the players to see some Videos with him look I want you to do This I want you to do that you're good

In this position in this moment I prefer You to do another kind of movement and I Think that's good because we'll get Because players will get in need time to Get the best out of the game he wants to Us to to do because it the ideas are Different so this is make it attic yeah This is something that you have to Sometimes you'll be a little bit too Many videos and stuff will be many times That you have to talk with emcee in Videos but it's something that after a While we'll get like use and it will Probably stop to show you videos because You are doing the right things or the Things you want you to do and you start With the discipline as well I think was It impressive for the players one Because I think you know when when People hear or he wanted you to run the Morning after Brentford but when he also Does that he's not demanding anything From you that he's not also doing Himself No as I said before it's uh I think we Have always to be in the same page when We win and when we lose so I think is is Good that everyone takes the blame for Themselves in in different ways because Uh was not everyone doing the right Things uh and uh and that can be the Players or the manager but normally is The players and the manager together so I think as a message is good for the

Team uh and obviously we I don't think If you do the one or you don't do the One that can can change something or not But as I said discipline is the way you Want so it's a way we have to follow the Rules and Is what it is players don't like to run But sometimes manager makes choices that You don't understand but at any point You will probably understand later on And you know you're a Portugal player And a Manchester United player therefore It means at some point you get a Question about Cristiano Um The statistics say that your record is a Little bit better in terms of goals and Assists when when your pla when Cristiano does not play Do you think that's fair Depends because most of my assist last Season was for him so I I don't really Think so I just had a poor season on on The number wise and I don't think was Because of Cristiano as myself because It's not it's not obviously He was before was me taking the Penalties now was was in but I had two Chances to take dependency I made I Misspoke so it was Obviously when you get to Pennsylvania Score penalties give you more goals this Season but I had my two chances and I Miss it so I I can't be

Like blaming Cristiano because he's Taking penalties now he's doing in the Right way he scored so I have to be Quiet on my side and when I get the Chance because against Arsenal was even Giving the ball to score the penalty Said to me go yourself Um and score and I miss but at the same Time I felt like okay but he trust me to Be to be the one that step up in a big Moment like that Um as I said I don't think was because Of Cristiano's because of myself because I missed some chances uh I I didn't do The best in some moments to get my goals Or my assists because in the national Team I play always with him and and when I score he's on the beach so yes and I Think playing with Cristiano sometimes As a 10 is really good because players Respect that much Cristiano obviously Because he's one of the biggest players Or best players in the world If not the best so it gives you more Space gives more space it creates big Space for everyone because the players Are afraid of him taking the ball and Scoring because they know he's a threat So they want they want to Mark him they Want to create they want to create an Overload where he is to to Mark him and To don't give him the the chance to get His shot his head and and sometimes they Create big spaces for you so I think

Sometimes for example when I scored the Two goals against Macedonian national Team one was from his assist and the Other one was from his run that creates The space behind him that makes me have The space to run into that space and Score the goal so It's normal that people do that kind of Uh comparison but with for example I played the last Four games with Cristiano and I scored One golden four games so Christian was Not playing in the first 11 and I'll Just get one goal so uh I don't think it Was because of Cristiano so it's it's About momentum it's about timings it's About Sometimes goes in a bad way it sometimes Goes in a better way so Um think every player Should understand that Cristiano is is a Really big player and a big threat for Every team and and obviously can be can Be a really good one to play together Because he has his qualities for assist Men for example that I want to be and I Like to be is someone that you know that If you give you give him the the right Ball the good one you will struggle so That's a good answer yeah Um last last couple of questions Um obviously the last few games in the League you've been you've been the Captain

Um I think you're part of a leadership Group now where the head coach likes to Talk to some of the senior players Whether it's Harry or David or or Yourself Do you enjoy that to feel that extra Responsibility Would you play that way anyway yeah I I As you said before I came to the club And all they asked me to to be the same Bruno was at sporting at sporting I was Capped in that moment but before I was Captain I was like that anyway so it's It's the kind of way I am is is the way The way I I think I get the best of me The best of my teammates Not being Captain but being As you want to call kind of a leader but Is I'm just trying to be kind of myself And uh obviously being the captain of Man united is such a big honor Um obviously we we all know that uh age Is the is the captain and uh because He's not playing for for now for the Moment he didn't play the last four Games uh I was being the captain for me Is such a big honor and I will always be Pleased to be to be the captain of the Club uh or one of the captains as you Said David also is part of that group And we have some players in that Leadership group that don't play like Tom Eaton that for me is one really Important in the dressing room one of

The most important to play in the Dressing room that most of the people Will not think or care about but is is Someone that is really important as as a Player as a leader in the in the Dressing room very last thing Bruno is Recently your birthday yeah and our Information I spoke to your friend Francisco Ramos yeah a while ago and he Said that when he played with you in the Portugal national teams that the secret For you to play well was some chocolate Cereal yeah so that's what we've got you For your birthday Thank you very much chocolate pick yes Is is something that we have in Portugal Uh we have it here in the in the Supermarket in the Portuguese Supermarket yeah really do you know how Difficult that was to find in London not Easy in sporting when I scored my 32 Goals because he's his cousin Luis netos Played with me in sports okay and when I Scored that uh that season 30 to 32 Goals that was this was my breakfast Every single day and uh his cousin Started to say that was my my secret Other cereals are available as well so No no no this is the one in England will Be difficult to find but if you want to Be a successful midfielder with a lot of Clothes this is the one brilliant Bruno Thank you so much for your time very Much brilliant I appreciate it