Bruno Fernandes Biography

Bruno Miguel Borges Fernandes (born 8 September 1994) is a Portuguese professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Premier League club Manchester United and the Portugal national team.

A creative midfielder known for his long passing and shooting from distance ability, Fernandes can operate as a number 8 or 10.

Born in Maia, Metropolitan Area of Porto, Fernandes started his career at Italian Serie B side Novara and soon featured for Udinese and Sampdoria in Serie A.

In 2017, he signed with Sporting CP where he established himself as one of the best players in the Primeira Liga. With Sporting, Fernandes became club captain and won back-to-back Taça da Ligas in 2018 and 2019 and the Taça de Portugal, leading him to be named Primeira Liga Player of the Year in both 2017–18 and 2018–19 seasons.

Fernandes’ performances sparked the interest of several Premier League clubs, with Manchester United signing him in January 2020 in a transfer worth an initial €55 million (GBP £47 million).

A senior international since 2017, Fernandes represented Portugal at the 2016 Summer Olympics and 2018 FIFA World Cup. Helping them win the 2018–19 UEFA Nations League, he was named in the Team of the Tournament.

Club career

Novara

Born in Maia, Metropolitan Area of Porto, Fernandes played most of his youth football with local club Boavista FC. On 27 August 2012, he joined Novara Calcio in Italy.

After only a few weeks with the youth sides, Fernandes was promoted to the first team in Serie B, and went on to appear in slightly more than half of the league games during the 2012–13 season, helping his team to fifth place and the promotion play-offs.

Udinese

In summer 2013, Fernandes signed for Udinese Calcio in a co-ownership deal. He made his debut in Serie A on 3 November, coming on as a second-half substitute in a 0–3 home loss against Inter Milan.

Fernandes scored his first league goal on 7 December 2013, in a 3–3 draw at S.S.C. Napoli. He scored again in the second match between the sides (a 1–1 draw).

Sampdoria

On 16 August 2016, Fernandes moved to U.C. Sampdoria on loan with an obligation to be signed permanently. He made his league debut twelve days later, playing six minutes in a 2–1 home win over Atalanta BC.

Fernandes scored his first goal for his new team on 26 September 2016, in a 1–2 away loss to Cagliari Calcio. He scored 5 goals in 33 Serie A appearances during the campaign, helping them to finish in tenth position.

Sporting CP

On 27 June 2017, after returning from the UEFA European Under-21 Championship, Fernandes joined Sporting CP for five years, for a reported fee of €8.5 million plus bonuses and a buyout clause of €100 million. He scored four goals in his first five Primeira Liga games, including a brace in a 5–0 away win against Vitória de Guimarães.

Fernandes’ first appearance in the UEFA Champions League group stage was on 12 September 2017, where he put the visitors 3–0 ahead in the 43rd minute of an eventual 3–2 win at Olympiacos FC. He finished his first season with 16 goals across all competitions, second only to Bas Dost.

On 15 May 2018, Fernandes and several of his teammates, including coaches, were injured following an attack by around 50 Sporting supporters at the club’s training ground after the team finished third in the league and missed out on Champions League qualification. Despite the events, the team agreed to play in the final of the Taça de Portugal scheduled for the following weekend, eventually losing to C.D. Aves.

Fernandes was named the Portuguese League’s Player of the Year on 6 July 2018. Four days later he signed a new five-year contract with a €100 million release clause, having turned back on his original decision to leave the Estádio José Alvalade following the departure of club president Bruno de Carvalho, and being given an improved salary in the process.

Fernandes scored his 23rd competitive goal of the 2018–19 campaign during a 3–1 home win against Portimonense S.C. on 3 March 2019, through a late penalty, surpassing António Oliveira’s club record for goals by a midfielder in a season, set in 1981–82. On 5 May, he scored a hat-trick in an 8–1 away rout of Belenenses SAD, in the process becoming the highest-scoring Portuguese midfielder in a single season of all time, with 31 goals to his name. He scored his 32nd and final goal of the season on 25 May 2019, during Sporting’s victory against Porto in the Taça de Portugal final.

Manchester United

On 29 January 2020, English club Manchester United confirmed they had reached an agreement with Sporting for the transfer of Fernandes for a fee reportedly worth up to €80 million (£67.6 million), subject to the player passing a medical and agreeing personal terms.

The transfer was officially completed the following day, for an initial fee of around €55 million (£47 million), plus up to €25 million (£21 million) in add-ons and 10% of the profits should United ever sell Fernandes. Fernandes signed a five-and-a-half-year contract.

He made his debut on 1 February, playing the full 90 minutes of a goalless draw at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers.

In Manchester United’s 2–0 away win over Chelsea on 17 February, he provided an assist for the second goal, a header from Harry Maguire. Fernandes came on as a late substitute for Manchester United against Club Brugge in a 1–1 draw on his European debut for the club.

He scored his first goal for Manchester United against Watford on 23 February, converting from the penalty spot in an eventual 3–0 victory at Old Trafford, a match in which he also provided an assist for the third goal scored by Mason Greenwood.

His first European goal for the club came in the second leg of their UEFA Europa League round of 32 tie against Club Brugge at Old Trafford, in which he scored a penalty, helping them to a 5–0 victory.

International career

Overlooked for selection by Portugal during his spell in Italy, Fernandes was first chosen on 28 August 2017, replacing the injured Pizzi for World Cup qualifiers against the Faroe Islands and Hungary to be played the next month, although he did not play in either match.

Fernandes represented Portugal in the 2016 Summer Olympics. He started every game, as the team reached the quarter-finals.

Fernandes won his first full cap on 10 November 2017, replacing Manuel Fernandes for the last 34 minutes of the 3–0 friendly win over Saudi Arabia in Viseu. He was then selected by Fernando Santos for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. He scored his first goal on 7 June with a header in the last warm-up match before the tournament, a 3–0 defeat of Algeria at the Estádio da Luz.

Fernandes’ first World Cup game took place on 15 June 2018, when he played 66 minutes in the 3–3 group stage draw against Spain, being booked in the process.

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