Bruno Fernandes expresses his gratitude

Bruno Fernandes may be the superstar footballer but he has expressed his gratitude and respect for the work his brother and Ricardo his partner do in the NHS.

The Portugal international, who is due to represent his country in the UEFA Nations League against France tonight (Sunday), going head-to-head with Manchester United midfield colleague Paul Pogba, fully appreciates the amazing, awe-inspiring job undertaken by care-workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

And he has also outlined why family is so important to him and described how he was forced to grow up quickly, cultivating the strong mentality he now possesses.

When we asked Bruno recently about his family connections in the NHS, he replied: “I have my brother. He is working in London and also his girlfriend too is also working in London. And my brother said two days ago, I don’t see a photo in your Instagram saying ‘thank you’ for your work.

“I say it now so, after, he can see it on MUTV, thank you for his work in the NHS!”

“It’s hard work [for the NHS staff], you know. They work for so many hours. Some of them can’t see their families and friends and it was really difficult.

“For example, my brother he was due to come in March but he didn’t come because he was working in the hospital. He doesn’t want me to take any risks in being with him as he could have had the virus or not. For him, it was difficult as he couldn’t fly back to Portugal to see my mum and dad. So, for him and the rest of the people, it was really difficult.

“Some people have kids at home and need to go to work and go somewhere else, go to work and go somewhere else. Only after maybe two to three months working, they can see their kids. It was very difficult.”

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Although only 26, the playmaker has a mature outlook and has shown his strength of character since joining the Reds, not only in keeping his cool to maintain a 100 per cent record from the penalty spot in some high-pressure situations.

The fact his father Jose worked in Switzerland meant he had to take on more responsibility at home and he moved to Serie B side Novara as a teenager.

When asked by United Review if it was almost a case of him having an old head on young shoulders, he replied: “No, I can say I’m a little bit different. To go as a youngster to Italy, I needed to grow up. I grew up without my dad for five years as he was going to work in Switzerland. So I was with my mum, my brother and my sister so, for me, everything was quick.

“You need to improve and to be different, grow up and help my mum do everything – even like going into the supermarket, that kind of thing. You just look at it now and it seems like normal things but, at that age in the past, it was not normal. Normally, the dad and the mum go to the supermarket, you don’t need to. Sometimes, I would go to take my sister to school. Normally, the mum does this. I grew up quickly.

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Bruno Fernandes celebrates.
Could you score a 100th-minute penalty like Bruno?

“Of course, having a family with two babies now, and one little girl before, you understand that you need to grow up,“ he added. “You have that someone who needs you to grow up and be an example, you know. Also, in the football, I always take the responsibility. I always want to be in the game. I want to take risks.

“Like I’ve said before, I will keep doing this. For me, I like that you need to take risks. Like my dad took the risk to go to Switzerland to give me a better life and for my brother and sister, and my mum. I need to take risks in the game. It’s my job and I need to do the best I can.”

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