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Manchester United star Bruno Fernandes reveals ex-coach advised him to play as central defender

Would Bruno Fernandes have excelled as a central defender?
Would Bruno Fernandes have excelled as a central defender?
Modified 14 Nov 2020, 21:26 IST

Bruno Fernandes as a center-back? That was exactly where the Portuguese was advised to play by a former coach, the Manchester United No.18 has revealed.

The former Sporting Lisbon midfielder joined Manchester United in January of this year and quickly adjusted to life in the Premier League. Bruno Fernandes has become the leader and talisman the Red Devils needed on the pitch.

The Portuguese has been the creator-in-chief for the Red Devils since making the move to Old Trafford. He has been involved in 31 goals from 33 appearances in the Manchester United shirt, scoring 18 and assisting 15. However, things could have been very different had the player paid heed to his former coach’s advice.

Bruno Fernandes is a vital cog in the Manchester United midfield

The Manchester United midfielder has now revealed that he started off playing as a defender. Bruno Fernandes recalled his former coach's prediction that he would be a top player if he played in the backline.

"I played central defender for the most part when I started playing football, either central defence or right-back. I was really good, I had a coach who said to me, ‘If you want to be a top player, you will need to play as a central defender. If you want to be a good player, you will be a midfielder."

The Manchester United midfielder also revealed that he was showed potential while playing in defense,

"I think he was wrong but, maybe as a central defender, I could be much better, I don’t know! At the time I didn’t like to play there, but everyone was saying I was a good defender, they said I was smart, that I covered the sides."

Bruno Fernandes went on to recall the exact events that led to his transition from defender to a creative midfielder,

"The coach looked at the list of players, and because some were on vacation he said, ‘Oh we have no strikers’ and I said ‘I’m a striker!’ He said, ‘I thought you were a central defender’ and I said, ‘No, I don’t play there anymore, I’m a striker!’"
"So he gave me one try-out in training, I scored twice and he said ‘OK, you can play a striker!’ He played me as striker in one game, then, in the second game, I was like a fake nine. After that I moved back to number 10 and number eight."

While it is not hard to imagine Bruno Fernandes excelling as a central defender, Manchester United fans will certainly be glad that the Portuguese decided to move to the midfield.

Published 14 Nov 2020, 21:26 IST
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