BRUNO FERNANDES says Old Trafford is big enough for him and Cristiano Ronaldo.
And he refuses to blame the return of fellow attacker Ronaldo to Manchester United for his dramatic drop in form last season.
Fernandes has scored 29 goals and provided 19 assists in his first 53 Premier League games after joining for £55m from Sporting Lisbon in January 2020.
But his last 40 games in the top flight have only scored eight goals and he has only assisted seven goals.
Ronaldo has featured in most games where his numbers have declined – having returned from Juventus in 2021.
Since then, there have been repeated claims that his form suffered due to an ego battle between the two. Ronaldo has even taken over Fernandes’ job of taking penalties.
However, the playmaker insists his troubles don’t mean fingers should be pointed at his compatriot and Portuguese team-mate.
Fernandes said: “Most of my assists last season were for him so I don’t think so (it’s fair).
“I just had a bad season in terms of my own numbers. I don’t think it’s about Cristiano.
“Before he came I was taking the penalties but I had two chances to take them last season and I missed both of them. So I can’t blame Cristiano for taking penalties, especially when he scores them.
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“When I missed against Arsenal in April, it was he who gave me the ball and said, ‘Go yourself and score’. I missed, but I felt like he trusted me that I would be the one to show up in the big moment.
“So I don’t think it’s because of Cristiano, it’s because in some moments I didn’t do my best to score goals or assists. I play with him in the national team and if I score, he’s on the pitch.
“Playing with Cristiano as number 10 is actually very good because the players respect him so much that it creates more space as opponents are afraid that he will take the ball and score.
“They want to tag him and they’re creating an overload where he’s supposed to tag him.
“When I scored two goals against North Macedonia (in the World Cup play-off in March), one was from his assist and the other from his run, which created the space behind him for me to score.
“I’ve played the last four Premier League games without Cristiano and I’ve only scored one goal. So it’s not up to Cristiano. Sometimes things go badly and sometimes things go better.”
Fernandes also defended his rants during matches.
He told The Athletic: “I play for Man Utd so I know all the cameras are on our players.
“At the Crystal Palace, Wilfried Zaha always complains about the referee. That’s because he’s being fouled.
“Fernandinho, who was at Manchester City, always abused the referee.”
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6265774/fernandes-slams-critics-ronaldo-partnership/ Bruno Fernandes slams critics who claim he can’t play with Cristiano Ronaldo and supports the duo to thrive for Man Utd