BRUNO FERNANDES warned rivals that Cristiano Ronaldo will shake off his Manchester United misery by firing Portugal to World Cup glory.

Ronaldo was sacked by United on Tuesday on the back of his bombshell TalkTV interview with Piers Morgan in which he tore the club to shreds.

Bruno Fernandes speaks ahead of Portugal's clash with Ghana

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Bruno Fernandes speaks ahead of Portugal’s clash with GhanaCredit: PA
Cristiano Ronaldo trains with Portugal after being axed by Manchester United

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Cristiano Ronaldo trains with Portugal after being axed by Manchester UnitedCredit: Richard Pelham / The Sun

It was not the ideal preparation for his nation’s World Cup opener against Ghana today.

But Portugal team-mate and former Old Trafford pal Fernandes said: “We know these issues can affect individual players.

“Cristiano could have been worried at a specific moment but we know what the World Cup means for him.

“He mentioned the 2016 European Championships was a great achievement for him, and I’m sure his focus has always been there for this tournament.

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“With Cristiano being so famous there is always a huge noise about what is going on.”

The racket grew even louder yesterday when he was hit with a two-game FA ban and fined £50,000 for smashing a phone out of a fan’s hand at the end of United’s defeat at Everton in April.

Despite the damage inflicted on the Red Devils by the global icon, Fernandes says it was still a dream to play alongside him at Old Trafford – if only for a season and a bit.

Fernandes added: “I don’t feel uncomfortable. I don’t have to pick a side.

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“It was a privilege to play with Cristiano at the club, a dream and I’ve always said that.

“Cristiano has always been an inspiration for me. It was a dream come true to be able to play with him, it was great for me and good while it lasted.

“Cristiano took a different decision for his life, his career and we have to respect such decisions. Every decision has to be respected.

“As players but also as parents and brothers, we know it might be difficult to take some decisions but these decisions have to be for the wellness for ourselves and our families.

“He hasn’t discussed it with me. It’s his decision, an issue pertaining to him and his family.

Cristiano has always been an inspiration for me. It was a dream come true to be able to play with him, it was great for me and good while it lasted.

Bruno Fernandes

“We are all focussed on the national team, on the World Cup, you’re all aware of that, how important playing for the national team is for all of us.”

It had seemed Fernandes was unhappy with Ronaldo when a video emerged of them meeting up for World Cup duty with what looked like a frosty exchange.

But Fernandes claims it was about him arriving later than his team-mate, with Ronaldo asking if he had travelled to Qatar on a boat.

He said: “I was in a plane for two hours so I was not in the same mood and he made a joke. He could laugh, I couldn’t.”

Fernandes said it was Ronaldo’s decision to part ways with United but it was actually club chiefs who decided to terminate his deal, without compensation, with just six months remaining.

Ronaldo’s interview with Morgan was the final straw for Reds big-wigs who, along with the playing staff and manager, had already grown tired of the megastar’s behaviour.

Yesterday, it looked like Portugal coach Fernando Santos, 68, had grown tired of it too.

The controversy attracted over 200 journalists to a press conference ahead of today’s Group H clash with 20 cameras trained on the top stage.

The throng had hoped for Ronaldo himself, as captain, to turn up with the coach – as is normal on the eve of matches.

While he ducked it, the questions about the global icon flowed, first Fernandes’ way as Santos rubbed his face in apparent frustration.

Then it was his turn.

Santos said: “It is something we have not even talked about on the pitch, or when we are resting.

“The important thing is the players are absolutely focussed on what we want to do here.

“We have a target, we are preparing to provide joy and fun for the Portuguese people, to make them happy.”

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Unfortunately for Santos the Ronaldo issue still won’t go away.

As Fernandes said himself – ‘there is always a huge noise’.



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