Fernandes breaks silence on Ronaldo interview and ‘frosty’ incident

Cristiano Ronaldo recalls receiving letter from royal family

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Manchester United midfielder Bruno Fernandes has addressed Cristiano Ronaldo’s controversial interview with Talk TV host Piers Morgan, in which he struck out at Erik ten Hag and the club in general. Fernandes also flatly denied that the pair were captured in a frosty exchange shortly after the interview surfaced, providing an explanation as to what people really saw. 

Ronaldo seemed to burn his bridges with United in a tell-all interview with Morgan, which was released this week. In it, he claimed to ‘not respect’ Ten Hag, explained his surprise at the standard of infrastructure compared to other top clubs and explained how the majority of youngsters don’t listen to his advice. 

Onlookers watched closely as Ronaldo joined up with Fernandes on Portugal duty, as the latter appeared to give his United team-mate a cold handshake and a brief talking to. After scoring twice in a 4-0 pre-tournament win over Nigeria on Thursday evening, Fernandes was asked about how the comments have affected their relationship. 

“I didn’t read the interview,” he told Sky Sports. “As I said before, now it’s the national team. It’s Portugal. The coach made a point that it’s us. He made that point since I came to the national team in 2017. That is still clear. In his mind, the main thing is the national team. We have to be focused on the World Cup.

“Cristiano has done really well to play at five World Cups – this will be his fifth time. Everyone is ready for that and everyone wants the best for the team.” When asked about what appeared to be an awkward greeting when the two Man Utd stars linked up on international duty, Fernandes responded passionately.

“I was watching one of the channels that said it was cold and bad,” he recalled. “They went on a commercial break, the national team sent them footage with the sound, the sound revealed that he was joking with me.

“If they explained what was really true in that video, people would know. Manchester United will be my focus after the World Cup. I have no problem with anyone. I do my job. A manager once told me, the only thing you can control is yourself.”

There have previously been suggestions that Fernandes and Ronaldo don’t function particularly well together on the pitch, and the midfielder’s first-half brace on Thursday failed to dispel that theory. Goncalo Ramos and Joao Mario were also on the scoresheet in the game Ronaldo missed after skipping training due to a reported upset stomach. 

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