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Roberto Martínez slams Bruno Fernandes criticism, says Man Utd captain has rare ability



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Credit: FIVE

Portugal manager Roberto Martínez has slammed criticism surrounding Manchester United captain Bruno Fernandes.

Fernandes, 29, led United to victory in the FA Cup final last month. He produced a world-class assist for Kobbie Mainoo’s winning goal against Manchester City.

Now, the club captain will be turning his attention to Euro 2024, where he will be a key part of Portugal’s attempts to win the trophy for the first time since 2016.

Roberto Martínez has had an excellent spell as manager of the Portugal team so far, and Fernandes has been key in the qualifying stages for the European Championships.

Asked about the criticism levelled at Fernandes, Martínez offered huge praise for the United captain. “No, no, he’s a perfectionist,” the manager told FIVE.

“I think you need to put him in context when he is in the national team with Portugal, that he’s got so many players that they are in the same wave length with him.

“It’s someone that he cares. He’s always there. It is very, very difficult to see a player like Bruno… he’s not missing any games for Manchester United. And I think that’s the best way that you can show your important role in the team.”

The former Wigan Athletic and Everton manager also explained a key skill that Fernandes offers his team and provided a recent example.

“Essential, essential. He’s had, I think it’s been close to nine assists in 10 games. He has that capacity of doing what the game needs,” he explained.

“We had a game, for example, in Slovakia, it was really tough. They surprised us with how high they were pressing us and they stopped us. And he came up with certain positions to score the winning goal.

“And that’s what his quality allows him to do. He’s got this capacity to almost change slightly his positions and how he should affect the attacking play. You allow that instinctive behaviour. There is within a structure, there is always that the player should be free.”