Bruno Fernandes happy to pass on penalty duty at Man Utd despite boasting perfect record

Bruno Fernandes Manchester United penalty 2019-20
The Portugal international midfielder has got plenty of practice in from the spot since joining the Red Devils, but others are allowed to step up

Bruno Fernandes boasts a perfect penalty record at Manchester United, with eight efforts converted from as many attempts, but the Portuguese claims he would move aside if others wanted to step up.

The Red Devils knew they were acquiring a dead-ball specialist when putting a deal in place with Sporting during the January transfer window.

Fernandes slotted seamlessly into the fold at Old Trafford, with free-kicks and corners immediately falling under his remit.

He also inherited spot-kick duties and has proved to be faultless when offered opportunities to score from 12 yards.

The 26-year-old has only missed two of the 30 penalties he has taken in his career to date, making him very much a go-to man when pressure is ramped up.

Fernandes is, however, adamant that he would happily stand down if the likes of Marcus Rashford or Paul Pogba decided that they wanted to take advantage of the flurry of spot-kicks that have come United’s way of late.

“It doesn’t matter if I take penalties,” the classy playmaker told United Review. 

“We have a lot of qualities in the team, like I’ve said before.

“I already talked with some players. Rashy was the guy who took the penalties so I tell him: 'When you feel confident, if you want to take the penalty, for me, it is not a problem.' I will not fight.

“I feel confident with penalties and I want to take them but, if someone comes to me to ask to take a penalty, I will not fight every time, just to take a penalty.

“In that moment, I can be tired or not prepared to take a penalty and I can say easily: ‘You take it’.

“I trust in my team-mates – Rashy, Anthony [Martial] and also Paul [Pogba], they have a lot of qualities and can take it. We have really good penalty-takers.

“The most important thing is scoring for Manchester United. It doesn’t matter if it is Bruno or someone else.”

Fernandes is not overly concerned about boosting his own numbers with successful penalties and claims others get just as many as he does, with scoring from the spot having become an art form in itself.

He added: “Yeah but we can’t talk a lot about penalties because everybody will say: ‘Bruno only scores with penalties’.

“If the others score them, it’s no problem! Penalties are part of the game, you know. You need to score. You have the chance but you need to score.

Article continues below

“I know everyone is talking about them like it’s easy but you can lose a final with a penalty. Manchester won the Champions League in Moscow with penalties [in 2008].

“For most people, it’s easy when you’re in front of the TV. It is easy – just look at the goalkeeper jump to his left so why don’t you shoot to the right? Yeah, I can shoot to the right but, on my mind, was the left and the goalkeeper saved it! It can happen! But the most important thing, for me, is to keep scoring.”

Fernandes and the rest of Solskjaer’s United side will be back in action on Saturday when they go in search of their first Premier League points of the season away at Brighton.