Bruno Fernandes has said that he does not ‘feel uncomfortable’ playing alongside Cristiano Ronaldo at the World Cup after the striker left Manchester United on Tuesday.
News broke yesterday evening that the 37-year-old striker would leave United by mutual consent after his contract was terminated before Portugal played their first game in Qatar.
Ronaldo is one of several players who started the season at Old Trafford. As well as midfielder Fernandes, right-back Diogo Dalot has also been called up to the squad.
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Fernandes often cuts a fiery figure on the pitch and is not short to express his dissatisfaction when things are not going well for his side throughout a game.
Fernandes has become one of the most popular players amongst fans at United since his transfer from Sporting Lisbon at the start of 2020 when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was manager, and he remained one of the better performers when Ralf Rangnick arrived, and remains a first-choice player in midfield under new coach Erik ten Hag.
In a controversial interview with Piers Morgan, Ronaldo explained that there was a lack of respect at the heart of the relationship he had with the club manager, and also criticised several other aspects of life at United.
Ronaldo had already tried to leave the club in the summer after they failed to secure Champions League football for the current season, but he was unable to find a club willing to take him on, with his wages believed to be a stumbling block.
Now he has been released from his contract he has been freshly linked with another Premier League side, Chelsea, and two former clubs, Real Madrid and Sporting Lisbon.
First, though, is the World Cup with Portugal, and Fernandes has denied there is any frostiness between him and Ronaldo.
“I don't feel uncomfortable,” he said at a press conference. “I don't have to pick a side. Cristiano has always been an inspiration for me, so it was a dream come true to be able to play with him, but we know nothing will last forever.
“It was good while it lasted, we have to respect his decision, whether we agree or not.”
Portugal’s opening group game is on Thursday night when they play Ghana.
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