Must-read interview: Bruno answers your fan questions
Bruno Fernandes took part in our latest fans' Q&A session recently.
The results were predictably entertaining as we got the midfielder's view on a range of subjects, including his hopes and aspirations for the future, why he's the milkman (!) and debates about footballing greats with Alex Telles and Fred.
Read on to find out more...
Prithvi (India) Will United be title contenders next season?
"Prithvi, I think honestly the team has improved a lot since I arrived. I feel the improvement but I think the team is improving since the coach arrived. He’s trying to put his hand on the team and make it better and better. I have to talk about since I am here and, since I am here, I feel the team is improving but for what I see before is the team before was already improving and giving big steps, sometimes [it] falls down but trying to be consistent. I think Manchester United has to be a contender every season for the title, for every trophy and not just for the Premier League. For every trophy. I think the team can do better and we know that. We have to improve and keep on improving, like I’ve said, if we want to be champions. We have to be the best version of ourselves."
Tomas (Portugal) There is a massive tournament in the summer, the Euros. It may be hard to look forward when the club season is still going, but can you give us an insight into how exciting a prospect that tournament is? And how difficult will it be in a group with France and Germany?
"So Tomas, I think we have a tough group but, at the same time, we know Portuguese people like that the biggest moments are for us because, as a small country, we like to beat the biggest countries we have to beat. I think we have the same chances as them, before the game starts it will be 50-50 but, of course, we know the group is tough. We will do our best, we have good players and a good team and also know what we can do and what we can achieve. We will try, as always to win every game we have to play."
Fans' Q&A: Part one with Fernandes
Our no.18's aims, favourite destination, why he's the milkman and who gets in his Portuguese five-a-side team...
Oliver (United Kingdom) Fred and Alex Telles mentioned in their fan Q&A that they wind you up about Rivaldo. What is the story there?
"Oliver, so this story is basically they always talk about who is the best player in the world, in history blah blah. We always fight because they say Pele was the best in the history of football and I’m talking and I put Cristiano in the middle, of course. For me, Cristiano and Messi, I always say, both make history for many years and they were capable of being at the top for many years. And, of course, the same as me, they have never seen Pele play so they can’t say he was the best because they never saw him. They say it because they’re Brazilian and, in Brazil, they say it. I think Pele is one of the best in the world because I hear people talking about him and I’ve seen some history and some videos and you watch and everyone can see Maradona, Eusebio and people talk about Pele as being the best of all time. But, about Rivaldo, because we talk, we always fight about Rivaldo and Figo and which one was best. Who was the worst and who was the best. So, for me as a Portuguese, I always defend my players. It doesn’t matter if I like them or not, I defend the Portuguese players every time. So this is a fight between Brazilian and Portuguese people but it is more of a joke than other stuff."
Nikhil Ahan (UK) Hi Bruno! Where is your favourite place that you have ever visited, either on holiday or for a game? I'm curious to find out where King Bruno goes for leisure!
"So Nikhil, my favourite place is the same as every English person – it’s the Algarve [laughs]! I know you like my country, you love the Algarve, the golf courses. Honestly, I went to many places, luckily for me, but my country is the best one I can have for a vacation for the family. Not because I don’t like other countries, I like them but I feel more comfortable and more at home when I go on vacations in my home country. I think Algarve is one of the best places to be in the summer. My vacations are always in the summer, I try to take some sunshine and good food, good fish; to meet some English people because I see more English people over there than Portuguese!"
Findlay (UK) How do you take the perfect penalty?
"Findlay, the perfect penalty is the one that hits the net. It doesn’t matter any way it goes in. If the next 20 penalties have to go in like the one in Granada, if they hit the net then I will not be concerned about that. For me, the penalty that hits the net, for me, it is the perfect one."
David (Kenya) How's your relationship with Paul Pogba and do you see the two of you forming a formidable partnership to terrify defenders across Europe?
"So, David, my relationship with Paul since the beginning, as I met Paul already in Italy, I already know him with much, much relation but, of course, we have a good relationship. I think, on the pitch, there is still to come the best for both of us. We can do much better together. I think we are doing better now because people and players are concerned about who they might mark – we have Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes in the same places, the same pockets. Sometimes it is difficult for players to find who to mark and who to give freedom and so it’s good for the team. That is the best for us because we know we can help the team playing together. I think when you play with the best, your best comes out also. For me, playing with Paul, it’s playing with one of the best players in the world. So I think the best of me comes out and it’s helped me to have those kind of qualities. And the good thing is, out of the pitch, we have really, really good relations now with perudo, the game we all play in the team. It’s getting better, the connections with the team, because when you have those kind of connections, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a game of cards, perudo now, and ludo is the one I sometimes play with Fred. I think it’s really good for us and the team. You know, sometimes, it’s just five or six of us playing but the rest of the team is watching and saying don’t put that, put this or don’t say that, say this. That’s good for the spirit of the team and it’s really good. I think Paul is one of the players who has a good spirit, good moments in the dressing room. He’s a really funny guy and can always have something good to say to make people laugh."
Lebby (Tanzania) What does the future hold after your playing days are over. Would you consider being a manager and, if so, which team would you like to manage?
"Well, Lebby I think, in the past, I think more [it’s] in my future. Now I’m seeing time passing and seeing kids coming from 2000, 2001, 2002, and my sister is from 2000, so it’s making for some confusion in my head. I’m trying to enjoy the football, you know. I think I want to be a coach. Honestly, I would like to be a coach. I don’t know which team I would like to manage. Of course, the biggest team if I can manage Manchester United, I will be happy. I can leave now just some words so if people see this, if I’m a manager in the future, the fans can make some pressure to bring me as a coach! But I think I would like to be a coach in the future. I’m not sure but for what I feel for football, for the feeling I have, I think I have to continue to be inside of football because my whole life is about this. So I think, in the future, it needs to be with football too."
Winston (UK) What aspirations do you hope to achieve with United, Portugal and, most importantly, yourself?
"So, for myself, the most important is achieving with both. Winning trophies is the most important thing I have in my mind now. For every player, I think it’s really important winning trophies. That is the thing you will remember more when you finish your career – the trophies you won, the friends you’ve made, the good moments you passed. So I think, at the end of the day, you work for winning trophies. Winning trophies is with your team-mates so you work as hard as you can to help your team and your team-mates to make all that work in the training ground into giving some joy, giving some joy in football is winning trophies with the team and that is the most important for us."
Malcolm (Ghana) Why have you stopped drinking milk during games?
"[Laughs] Malcolm, so I don’t stop drinking milk. It’s just that the coach is changing me less than before. Before, he changed me a lot of times and I think in the last games I was not coming off a lot of times so you never see me with the milk. But, honestly, I don’t know if it is milk – sometimes it’s milk and sometimes it’s water with some stuff to help us [with the] recovery. But it’s okay, the milkman for me, I like milk so it’s okay, don’t worry about that. I still do it but sometimes in the dressing room, sometimes I take that drink to my home to drink. Don’t worry, it’s still there. If it was not still there, I was not running like I’m running now!"
Kim (United Kingdom) Have you ever been to a beach in England?
"So, Kim, never because the weather is not helping me to go to the beach in England. But I will go. I hope I can go in the future. Maybe in the next months, it will be a little bit more good weather. I hope. People are saying the summer is coming now but I’ve not seen the summer in Manchester until now. Sometimes, we see some light over there but it’s not sun just some light. Someone has put some light over there to give us some joy but it’s still cold here! Over here, it is not warm a lot so, for me, someone put fake sun, a light over there for us. But I hope I can visit some places here in England where I can enjoy a little bit with my kids and my wife."
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Luqman (Ivory Coast) Who would you pick for your 5-a-side team of all-time Portugal players?
"Luqman, I already did this before but it was with the Premier League Portuguese players so it’s difficult because sometimes you have to put some players because you like them and sometimes other players are better than the ones you like. In goal, for me, we have good goalkeepers but the one I see more and the one I think who was, for many years, doing well for the national team was Rui Patricio. And, because he won the Euros with us, for me he will be in our memories because that game he did in the final was superb. Defenders, I would put just one so it’s hard to choose one. So I’m between, we have a lot Jorge Costa, Fernando Couto, Pepe, Ricardo Carvalho. It’s difficult to choose one but I will choose Ricardo Carvalho – because I think he’s an elegant player, such a good player. I think he’s one of the best we have in the Portugal in the past. In the middle, I can go with two creative players. No, I can’t go with two creative players because I need Cristiano and Figo up front. So I just have one place for a midfielder. I go with Cristiano and Figo up front because, of course, two Ballon d’Or [winners], you have to choose them. In midfield, I’m between Deco and Rui Costa. This is a hard one. I could choose another one so there is no competition between them! But I will choose. Not myself for sure now, for now, maybe I will fight Rui Costa and Deco to be in that five-a-side! Argh, I will choose Rui Costa. I really like Deco and Deco, for me, at the time I grew up, was the top no.10 you can follow by elegance by everything but I think Rui Costa was a top player playing for a time in Italy. If you go to Italy now and ask some fans of Fiorentina and AC Milan, they talk about him like he was a top player. So, okay, I will choose Rui Costa so Rui Patricio, Ricardo Carvalho, Rui Costa, Figo and, of course, Ronaldo."
Part two of the exclusive Q&A will be first published in the next edition of Inside United, which is out on 11 May.