Fernandes tops another list for 2022/23
Bruno Fernandes was the only player across the top five European leagues to feature in 70 games in 2022/23.
The tireless Manchester United midfielder finally ended a taxing campaign when appearing in Portugal's 1-0 win in Iceland this week, after a two-goal show in the 3-0 victory over Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Of course, he scored in his last outing for the Reds, calmly converting a penalty in the Emirates FA Cup final, as he finished the term strongly and led the team out at Wembley.
Bruno Fernandes is the only player in Europe's top five leagues to have played 70 matches this season 💪 pic.twitter.com/EIgmvGv6n2— ESPN UK (@ESPNUK) June 21, 2023
Bruno's endurance is legendary and, after playing in four UEFA Nations League matches for his country last June, his marathon season began with our Premier League opener against Brighton & Hove Albion in August.
His first goal of 2022/23 proved to be winner, at Southampton, while his opening strike at Old Trafford under Erik ten Hag helped the Reds see off Tottenham in October.
He was fully immersed in the winter World Cup, scoring four times for Portugal, but was powerless to prevent Morocco springing an upset in the quarter-finals.
The 28-year-old soon put the disappointment behind him, scoring in three out of four successive games in January, in all competitions, and other highlights followed, including a brace to fuel a comeback against Fulham in the FA Cup at Old Trafford.
The only goal of the game against Aston Villa, at the end of April, was a crucial one in terms of qualifying for the Champions League and Bruno got stronger as things wore on, despite having more minutes in his legs than anybody else. Bruno was voted our Player of the Month in March and April before being nominated again in May but losing out to midfield colleague Casemiro.
Indeed, he netted in four consecutive outings for club and country as the term drew to a close, before the Iceland encounter, finishing with 21 goals for United and Portugal.
So we hope Bruno gets a well-deserved rest and holiday before returning to Carrington next month.
The influential no.8 was the only outfield player to get more than 5,000 minutes on the pitch in the top five European leagues, finishing well clear of Real Madrid star Vinicius Jnr in second spot.
The way he shrugged off injury to appear in the draw at Tottenham illustrated his commitment to the cause and we look forward to seeing him, fit and refreshed, later in the summer.
MINUTES PLAYED IN 2023/24
1. Bruno Fernandes (UNITED)
2. Vinicius Jnr (Real Madrid)
3. Danilo (Juventus)
4. Rodri (Manchester City)
5. Nemanja Gudelj (Sevilla)
Outfield players across top five European leagues, courtesy of Opta Analyst.