Bruno Fernandes wants Manchester United to follow Cristiano Ronaldo example in Champions League
While Cristiano Ronaldo and Raphael Varane’s Champions League experience is valuable in the competition, Bruno Fernandes believes that the rest of the squad must follow in their footsteps and be hungry enough to win it for the first time.
United will play Atletico Madrid in the opening leg of their last 16 encounter on Wednesday night, with the competition now being the club’s sole chance to end their five-year trophy drought this season.
With Ronaldo, Varane, and Juan Mata being the only players of the squad who have already lifted the prestigious title, their chances of doing so appear unlikely.
Fernandes, on the other hand, has stated that they had to win it for the first time, and that the rest of the team must share their enthusiasm in order to join them.
“Cristiano has won this tournament many times, and everyone knows that in this type of competition, he has that smell for the goal, and he has that smell for performing different things,” he explained.
“In a same vein, we have Rapha, who has won the Champions League four times.” That is a player that is capable of doing so as well, but it is always the first time for someone who wins.
“Sometimes it’s about someone who has more experience, and other times it’s about someone who hasn’t because they’re hungry to do something well, something nice, and they want to demonstrate it.”
“Because Cristiano probably wasn’t the most influential player or, you could say, had more experience in that competition when he won the first one, but he won it regardless and helped the team win the Champions League.”
“It’s all about sticking together, doing the same things, having the same focus, and obviously having guys who can decide games for us at any time is always beneficial, and whether it’s Cristiano or someone else, the most important thing for us is winning the game and getting through this stage.”
United have won their last two games, against Brighton and Leeds, and Fernandes believes the recent successes have helped them prepare for the challenging fixture in Madrid.
“I think the team has been playing well even when we haven’t won,” he continued. “Of course, if you don’t receive the result, it’s not ideal for you, and we understand that.”
“Winning games gives you more confidence, and going through this game, which is significant for us and difficult, gives you more confidence.” We all know that knowing you can win games provides you an edge in terms of being prepared for the game.
“To be more focused and understand that we can win the game if we do the right things and the things that we work to do, and if we adhere to the plan from the beginning to the end.”