Who doesn’t remember Portugal’s team at the 2004 Euros with stars such as Figo, Deco, Cristiano Ronaldo, Pauleta, Ricardo Carvalho, Vitor Baia and Rui Costa? Rui Costa was one of the best players to ever wear the famous shirt, since his retirement Portugal have not had a player in the similar mould but things now have changed. Bruno Fernandes development whilst at Sporting this year has been better than anyone could have predicted.
Bruno was born in Maia (Porto) he was soon picked up by the second biggest team in Porto, Boavista. He stayed there until he moved to the Italian Serie B team of Novara despite not even being 18. His first season at the club was so good that Udinese signed him. After 2 seasons at Udinese, he was loaned out to Sampdoria, during his time at Udinese he made 86 appearances. The following year at Sampdoria he managed to pick up 33 appearances for the club. Meaning that whilst at Italy he managed to get over 100 serie A league games, despite only being 22, impressive right. Another thing he has in common with Rui Costa, both have played in Italy.
Current and Qualities
Portuguese giants bought Bruno Fernandes in the summer for the fee of €8.5 million, but he has been absolutely unreal for the club. He has 13 goals and 14 assists in 40 games and is presence is felt every game with and without the ball. Arguably the best player playing the Portuguese league. Sporting fans are so impressed with his attitude off and on the field that some are requesting he becomes club captain over the likes of William Carvalho who has been at the club for 13 years. Deployed in either the no. 8 role or the no. 10 role, it is clear he is better at the n10 role where his qualities shine. He has an incredible long shot on him which is one of his best trait. With the ball he is technically very gifted with his passing being outstanding. His set pieces are normally great too. He can beat his man whilst speed not being one of his biggest strength. His vision is sublime and most of all he understands football not like many players do. He has a lot of natural ability and is now being polished off by Jorge Jesus, a manager that has polished players such as David Luiz, Matic, Di Maria, Ramires to name a few.
For Portugal Bruno only has 2 caps for the senior team, both came this season. But at youth level he has captained the under 21. If he does not get picked for this years World Cup than riots will happen in Portugal. Bruno has been the best Portuguese attacking midfielder this season and with Andre Gomes and Renato Sanches, frankly, not playing well as they can it definitely should mean he features and may even start. Portugal’s midfield is their strongest part of their squad regarding depth so it will always be up to what approach Fernando Santos takes.
I do hope he stays at Sporting and goes on to become a club great but realistically I can see him leaving in a few seasons, his market value has doubled since the start of this season to £15 million. If he has a good World Cup then expect bids to arrive in Lisbon. If he was to leave, I think Spurs would be the best club for him. Spurs lack an alternative for Eriksen and he would fit that role as well as giving Eriksen a run for his money. Plus Pochettino loves young players and I think Bruno would fit into a hungry competitive young side like Spurs.
Bruno Fernandes, remember the name.
featured image credit Noticias ao Minuto