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Fernandes adopts Ronaldo mentality at Man Utd as lofty targets are set

12:59 GMT 31/12/2020
Bruno Fernandes Cristiano Ronaldo GFX
The Portuguese playmaker has become a talismanic presence at Old Trafford, but he is aware of the need to strive for continuous improvement

Bruno Fernandes is following in the footsteps of iconic countryman Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United, with the Portuguese now adopting the mindset of a five-time Ballon d’Or winner.

The Red Devils have found Iberian inspiration on a regular basis down the years, with star turns from that part of the world becoming talismanic figures at Old Trafford.

Fernandes currently fits that bill, with the 26-year-old continuing to star for a side that is daring to dream of challenging for the Premier League title in 2021.

Ronaldo once led that charge for United, with the current Juventus frontman claiming nine pieces of silverware during his time in England.

Continuous improvement was sought by a modern-day great as he rose to superstardom in Manchester, with Fernandes looking to do likewise as he seeks to rekindle former glories.

“In everything in life, you have to improve and understand you’re not the worst and you are not the best,” Fernandes, who has contributed 26 goals and 17 assists to the United cause through 45 appearances, told the club’s official website.

“There is always time to improve. It’s impossible to be the worst because you have time to improve, and it’s impossible to be the best because you always have time to improve.

“If you see Cristiano and [Lionel] Messi, they are improving all seasons. How is this possible? Everyone says it’s impossible to do better but, every season, they do better and better and better.

“It is 11 years fighting for a Ballon d’Or and this will never happen again. It will never happen again in the story of football because they are still improving and I have the chance to be with Cristiano in the national team.

“I see the way he wants to improve every time, in free-kicks, in shots, in headers, in penalties and you want everything. You want to improve every time.

“When you lose, he knows he has to improve more and when you win, he understands he needs to go to the details of the good [work] to improve a little bit more.”

Fernandes wants that approach to be embraced by everyone at Old Trafford, with United having come through some testing times to put themselves back in contention for major honours.

“I think it’s important for us inside to understand,” Fernandes added.

“The club have a lot of media behind, a lot of people talking. They will be talking all the time. They want to talk when you lose, they don’t want to talk when you win, because it is better to attack than to defend the club.

“I think the most important thing is, inside of the group, we understand what we have to do, what we have to improve, where we are and where we want to go. For me, the most important thing is like when we lose, we are not the worst.

“Of course if you lose, you did mistakes and you need to go into training the next day and think what can we improve now to not make the same mistakes in the next game.

“For me, in life, it is always like that. In your entire life, you do mistakes. It is impossible not to do mistakes in your personal life, in football, in other sports. You always make mistakes because without mistakes, goals do not exist. It’s impossible in a game of football.

“Of course, if someone takes the ball and shoots from 40 yards in the first two seconds of a game, you can say maybe nobody did a mistake. But someone maybe needs to mark him and maybe the coach of the other team will think it’s a mistake from my midfielder or my defender who didn’t mark him and gave him too much space.”