Bruno Fernandes opens up on Cantona comparisons
Bruno Fernandes insists that comparisons between Manchester United legend Eric Cantona and himself are premature and he needs trophies on his Old Trafford CV to even begin to challenge the Frenchman.
Our Portuguese midfielder’s penalty winner against Copenhagen in Germany last Monday in the Reds' 1-0 extra-time win has set up Sunday's semi-final clash with Sevilla in Cologne.
Bruno's 11 goals for United since his January switch from Sporting Lisbon have been key to transforming the club's campaign and it could still end with silverware next Friday night in the Europa League final.
The no.18's amazing impact has been likened to the sensational effect Cantona had on Sir Alex Ferguson’s United in 1992 as they attempted to end a 26-year wait for a league title.
Eric turned around the Reds' Premier League fortunes and helped steer United to nine trophies in his five years at the club, including two domestic League and FA Cup doubles. It sparked the glory era under Sir Alex and although it's comparatively early days for Bruno, he seems to have supercharged Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's current squad in a similar fashion.
“It’s really good for me to listen to that and to be talked about alongside such names. But for me, Cantona was an amazing player for the club and I need to do much better to be compared with him,” said Bruno, during Saturday's pre-match press conference in Cologne.
“I’m really happy for what I have done, but I’m not satisfied like the coach said. Coming to Manchester is about winning trophies.
“I came to the club to win some trophies and I will be happy at the end of this season to have one, if we win the Europa League.”
Bruno, however, has eased into the job at United effortlessly and has won many plaudits for the seamless transition from his time back home in Portugal with Sporting.
“I can’t say it was easy,” the 25-year-old admits.
“But we have good results and I was scoring some goals. For me, it was easier because the team help me a lot.
“Everyone helped me: the staff, coaches, everyone has given me a lot of confidence which has made it much easier for me.
“Maybe, I think, also I played already in Italy [for Sampdoria and Udinese], so I know how it is to be out of my country and playing in different leagues. But, of course, the Premier League is completely different. But like I said, I have the confidence of my team-mates and the coach and the staff from the club.
“I think things are going really well because when you have the confidence from everyone you can do it in every game and try to do your best.
“The coach [Solskjaer] speaks with me all the time and says to play my game, to do the same as I did at Sporting, to have the same confidence, try the same things and improve.
“When you have that voice at your back, telling you about your own game and helping the team, it’s easier for you.”