Now separated from Cristiano Ronaldo at Manchester United and at the center of the media storm after an icy salute with his compatriot at the start of the 2022 FIFA World Cup™, Bruno Fernandes regained his brilliance on Monday with a brace against Uruguay ( 2-0), to lift Portugal into the round of 16.
The dispute was definitively buried in the 54th minute, Monday evening in Lusail: launched in the left lane by Rafael Guerreiro, Bruno Fernandes fires a cross towards the head of Cristiano Ronaldo, who touches the ball by capturing the attention of the goalkeeper Uruguayan Sergio Rochet… and lets the ball slip towards the side netting.
The two men immediately hugged near the corner post, all smiles, before being joined by the rest of the team.
And on Fernandes’ second goal, in the 90th + 3 on penalty, Cristiano Ronaldo, released ten minutes earlier (82nd) to make way for Goncalo Ramos, was no longer there to celebrate with him… but rose from his bench with effusion.
Celebrations that seem light years away from the episode that put the two men at the center of media attention a week ago, the day after the departure of “CR7” from the Mancunian club.
In a video released by the Portuguese federation, we saw the two men exchange a dark look in the locker room. “I had just flown two hours, I wasn’t in the mood, and he made a joke,” the Reds Devils attacking midfielder said on Wednesday.
“He has his own plane and when possible we travel together. But this time it was not possible. When you take regular flights, there may be delays and he made this joke,” he added.
“I have a great relationship with him. His plane was late and I asked him if he had come by boat, I was joking with him”, added “Cristiano”, who has since become the first player in history to score in five different editions of the World Cup.
Two assists Thursday, two goals Monday
Reinforced by the star, Bruno Fernandes seized the opportunity on the fly. The Portuguese maestro had already delighted with a double against Nigeria, in a friendly, just before the World Cup, and had distilled two assists against Ghana, during the first match of the Seleçao in Qatar.
And with this new double on Monday, Fernandes has 13 goals in 51 caps…
He missed the 14th with a breath, in the 90th + 8, taking over from the right, at the far post, a long cross from the left wing.
On Ronalda’s departure from ManU, Fernandes brushed off the topic last week: “Cristiano didn’t argue with me, it’s his decision. We did not discuss the subject, we are focused on the national team ”.
“I don’t feel uncomfortable, I don’t have to choose a side. It was a privilege to play in the national team with Cristiano and in the club. Cristiano has always been an inspiration to me, it was a dream come true to play with him but nothing ever lasts forever.”
“There are always debates, space for rumours, I know that… But the atmosphere is really excellent. (…) But it’s a World Cup, talk to the other World Cup players, not Cristiano Ronaldo, that would be great, ”Ronaldo insisted in turn to the 70 journalists present at the press conference last week. .
At Bruno, the message slipped. Like a brushed ball in the small net.