Robero Martinez rubbishes Bruno Fernandes criticism, hints at Man United players not being good enough for him

Robero Martinez rubbishes Bruno Fernandes criticism, hints at Man United players not being good enough for him

Portugal boss Roberto Martinez has hit back at the criticism aimed at Manchester United captain Bruno Fernandes, as he heaped praise on the midfielder and what he brings to the pitch.

Despite United enduring an incredibly challenging campaign, Fernandes still managed to put up very impressive numbers.

He registered 10 goals and eight assists across 35 Premier League appearances.

Across all competitions, Fernandes plundered 15 goals and 13 assists. Unsurprisingly, he was named the club’s winner of the Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year award.

United ended the campaign on a relatively high note by beating Manchester City to win the FA Cup. On that occasion at Wembley, Fernandes produced a world-class assist for Kobbie Mainoo, whose goal ended up being the winning one for the side.

As Portugal prepare for Euro 2024, the 29-year-old is expected to be one of Martinez’s key players for the tournament.

Already, the United captain gave fans a taste of what to expect last Tuesday. He scored two goals as the Selecao sunk Finland 4-2 in a friendly encounter in Lisbon.

Martinez spoke on Rio Ferdinand’s Vibe with Five podcast and insisted that some of the criticism usually directed at Fernandes is unwarranted.

He said about the United man, “No, no, he’s a perfectionist.”

“I think you need to put him in context when he is in the national team with Portugal, that he’s got so many players that they are in the same wavelength with him.”

“It’s someone that he cares. He’s always there. It is very, very difficult to see a player like Bruno… he’s not missing any games for Manchester United. And I think that’s the best way that you can show your important role in the team.”

The former Wigan Athletic coach added, “He’s had, I think it’s been close to nine assists in 10 games. He has that capacity of doing what the game needs.”

“We had a game, for example, in Slovakia, it was really tough. They surprised us with how high they were pressing us and they stopped us. And he came up with certain positions to score the winning goal.”

“And that’s what his quality allows him to do. He’s got this capacity to almost change slightly his positions and how he should affect the attacking play. You allow that instinctive behaviour. There is within a structure, there is always that the player should be free.”

Up next for Portugal are two other friendlies against Croatia and Ireland on Saturday and Tuesday respectively. They then kick off their Euro 2024 campaign by taking on Czechia in their opening group game a week later.

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