How Bruno perfected the trivela
The football world is marvelling at Bruno Fernandes's trivela assist for one of Goncalo Inacio's goals in Portugal's record 9-0 rout of Luxembourg in the Euro 2024 qualifiers.
Our no.8 set up three goals in total and added number eight himself for good measure, with a display that had fans in his homeland purring.
Roberto Martinez's side extended their 100 per cent record in Group J with a ruthless display, as Diogo Dalot posted another impressive performance in defence, ahead of the Reds pair returning to action with United in Saturday's 15:00 BST kick-off with Brighton & Hove Albion.
The trivela is a Portuguese term for the art of kicking the ball with the outside of your boot, using the smaller toes, to produce curl and swerve. Indeed, some Brazilians call it 'dos tres dedos', meaning 'with three toes'. The technique was perfected by Ricardo Quaresma, the former Sporting winger, and became his trademark.
The skilful wide man, who emerged on the scene around the same time as Cristiano Ronaldo, opened his account for Portugal with a spectacular strike of this nature against Belgium in 2007, checking inside and prodding an outrageous finish into the corner of the net.
Fans will certainly remember his trivela against Iran at the 2018 World Cup finals, when he played a one-two with Adrien Silva and floated a delightful shot past keeper Ali Beiranvand.
Bruno was on the bench for that Iran draw and obviously part of the same squad as Quaresma. Yet he only played four times with the 39-year-old, who had a short spell in the Premier League with Chelsea in 2009 and won 80 caps for his country.
The pair shared the pitch during the 2017/18 season for Portugal, against Egypt, Netherlands, Belgium and Algeria.
Yet our no.8 learned the skill from the Lisbon-born star and has added his own slant to the technique, with several shows of magic sprinkled over his time at United, as well as for his country.
There have been a number of examples of the Reds captain using the technique with his trusty right boot. A jabbed pass released Marcus Rashford for a goal against Leicester City and an unerring ball into the path of fellow countryman Cristiano Ronaldo yielded a goal during the game at Young Boys the season before last.
Let's not forget the delicious cross during the Carabao Cup semi-final home win over Nottingham Forest in 2022/23, leading to Rashford setting up a simple finish from close range by former midfielder Fred.
After the aggregate triumph over Forest that set us up for the Wembley victory over Newcastle United, ensuring Erik ten Hag lifted a trophy in his first campaign in charge, Bruno spoke about the trivela. "I learned from Quaresma," he admitted. "I had a great professor back in Portugal.
"You have to learn with the players. You have to learn their tricks and you have to use them."
After the Luxembourg win, he also paid homage to his former team-mate on Instagram, using the caption: "Doing my best Ricardo Quaresma impression."
His nod to the winger shows the respect he has for him.
Our skipper has a good record against Brighton and will be looking to show more of his skills against the Seagulls when we get back to action this weekend.
Fernandes has started the season in fine fettle, earning our Player of the Month award for August, and will be out to add to his four goals against the south coast club, with United looking to climb the table, following the defeat at Arsenal last time out.
Then, next week, our UEFA Champions League campaign kicks off against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena.