Fernandes has proven Ronaldo wrong – here’s why it bodes well for Man Utd
It's hard to believe Bruno Fernandes has only been at Manchester United since January.
The Portugal international has made such an impact at Old Trafford in just two months he may well go down as one of the greatest winter window signings of all-time.
It's a wonder United didn't sign the midfielder sooner, and why there was so much back and forth during the summer window, in which the Red Devils first declared interest.
Speculation was rife at the time, and it seemed Fernandes was keen on a move.
But despite his head being turned, the midfielder didn't push for the switch. He didn't hand in a transfer request or refuse to train or play. He simply got on with the job at hand.
Around the same time, Cristiano Ronaldo casually name-dropped him while talking about the young Portuguese players coming through the ranks with the national team.
"In the national team you have Cancelo," Ronaldo said on TVI. "Bruno Fernandes, who nobody knows why he doesn't leave.
"You have a lot of talent, so I see the light at the end of the tunnel. Possibly this new generation will be the best at the talent level, but that's not enough. They have to want to. I have spoken to him. Positive, I'm a captain who wants to help and be helped.
"The atmosphere in the national team is spectacular. The last few years have been the most enjoyable, both because they want to learn and because there is this. The most responsible for this is Fernando Santos and the president of the FPF."
While Ronaldo's comment was off the cuff it did shed insight into what he – one of the most determined sportsmen on the planet – thinks, or rather, thought of Fernandes.
The suggestion was the 25-year-old lacked ambition; he was seemingly happy being a big fish in a small pond, so to speak, and disinterested in testing himself at a higher level.
But Fernandes did want to leave. He was just determined to do it on his own terms.
Fernandes had a great rapport with the Sporting fans, which was highlighted perfectly when he broke down in tears during his final interview in green and white.
And it seems he wanted to leave in the best possible way, like a model professional.
Since joining Manchester United, the Portugal international's ambition has been on display for everyone to see – and it's infectious.
Emmanuel Petit recently said of him: "In the space of two months he is the best buy in the winter market. He has made such a big impact.
"It's like he's been at the club for six years. He's changed the mentality inside the dressing room. It's hard for a player to come in mid-season and do that."
No player lacking ambition could achieve so much – gain so much respect from players already settled the the club – in so little time.
Fernandes recently spoke out about Ronaldo.
He didn't reference his compatriot's comment about him from a few months earlier, he instead revealed what he admires about Ronaldo, inadvertently drawing subtle parallels that again prove his ambition.
"Ronaldo is an inspiration for me," said Fernandes. "When you start watching Ronaldo and you start watching his team and see they can win everything, then you dream to be here.
"It's a big challenge coming from another country and coming from a big club with big players. But when I had the chance to sign for United, I didn't think twice."
Ronaldo will have no doubt changed his mind on Fernandes after watching him rejuvenate his former side since joining in January.
United fans on the other hand have never had to change their mind on the 25-year-old.
As aforementioned, the midfielder has worked wonders, and his recent history – the way in which he dealt with the transfer from Sporting – bodes well for the future.
In ensuring he showed respect to his former club before making the switch to United proves he is nothing if not very loyal.
It's safe to say he won't be looking to pull a fast one on the Red Devils should a Real Madrid or Barcelona suddenly come calling.
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