Bruno Fernandes maintained it didn’t matter that he was Portugal’s hero in Tuesday night’s World Cup qualifying win against North Macedonia. Portugal advanced to the Qatar finals with a 2-0 victory at the Estadio do Dragao, thanks to two goals from the Manchester United playmaker.
Fernandes scored his seventh and eighth international goals in Porto, combining with United colleague Cristiano Ronaldo for his opening. The 27-year-old has also scored nine Premier League goals for United this season as they strive to qualify for the Champions League.
After cruising past Turkey and North Macedonia in back-to-back play-off games over the March break, Portugal can now book flights to Qatar. Both matches were begun by Fernandes.
While the United sensation was understandably taken aback by the attention and praise he received for his goals, he insisted it was not his intention. Portugal won 2-0 in Porto Thursday night, following a 3-1 victory over Turkey at the same site the night before.
After North Macedonia’s victory, Fernandes told the Portuguese newspaper Expresso: “It doesn’t matter how well you score; what matters is that you help the team in any way you can. I’m not here to score goals; instead, I’m here to assist the squad. It would be great if you could [assist] with goals.
“Any of us enjoys scoring goals. But the essential goal is to assist the squad, which is exactly what I did.
“Then it’s up to each person to criticize and express their viewpoints, but I’m sticking to my plan and the manager’s plan. Because I do what the management asks, I’ve got this consistency in my selection.”