Bruno going into World Cup with confidence
Bruno Fernandes is targeting more goals in Qatar after a double strike in Portugal's 4-0 World Cup warm-up win over Nigeria.
The Manchester United midfielder converted a Diogo Dalot cross to open the scoring early on and added a trademark penalty before being substituted at the break, as coach Fernando Santos provided game time to his players in advance of their opening Group H contest with Ghana next Thursday.
It was perfect preparation for our no.8 and his country, who were without Cristiano Ronaldo, due to the striker suffering from gastroenteritis.
Two goals for Bruno Fernandes as Portugal lead 2-0 in their friendly against Nigeria 🇵🇹pic.twitter.com/JLpXQnyxZ7— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) November 17, 2022
"I'm just talking about the national team, this is the national team and the World Cup," Fernandes told reporters in his homeland, when asked about Ronaldo. "Manchester comes after that, God willing, it will be after the 18th [when the final is being held].
"The coach has managed his squad in the best way, giving opportunities to those who had not yet played. Everyone who was on the field demonstrated the quality that the national team has. The others have shown it in training and will also have their opportunity."
Fernandes played out on the right at times but switched with Manchester City's Bernardo Silva and was often involved centrally, as he again proved his potency in front of goal for Portugal.
It was his double that saw off North Macedonia in the play-off last March to secure his nation's spot in Qatar.
"It was a very complete game," he said of the latest victory over Nigeria. "We were very capable of having possession of the ball, managing the game and taking advantage of our opportunities to score. We also defended very well. We have a capable team, with a lot of quality, and we demonstrated that today, in an important step towards gaining confidence."
The United dynamo is likely to provide a goal threat during the tournament and feels in fine form on this front after also recently scoring at club level, in the Carabao Cup triumph over Aston Villa at Old Trafford.
"Let's hope for more than two [goals in the finals]," he added. "That's the goal. The most important thing is to help the team and score goals; then I'll be very happy."
The anticipation is building for Portugal's opener next week, as the Euro 2016 victors bid to lift the trophy for the first time.