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Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes appear to be ready for Manchester United despite the troubles in Portugal

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Bruno Fernandes, who boldly took credit for masterminding Cristiano Ronaldo’s return to Manchester United, pointed to a very bright future for the club, but now older and a different player, Ronaldo is expected to step into the limelight.

For the time being, at least until the end of the international break, Fernandes is top dog. There have been suggestions that when linked at club level, the duo will struggle to ignite each other, but optimism is flowing through the corridors at Old Trafford.

And Fernandes’ reaction after it was confirmed that Ronaldo had sealed his emotional homecoming said all supporters should know. The players are ecstatic, hungry and eager to win trophies with him.

Cristiano Ronaldo (right) and Bruno Fernandes (left) playing together at Manchester United

Ronaldo's return to United after more than a decade was officially confirmed on the day of the deadline

Ronaldo’s return to United after more than a decade was officially confirmed on the day of the deadline

That was clear from Fernandes’ post welcoming Ronaldo to United. He suggested he played a part in the deal, which was indeed confirmed by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, he wrote ‘Agent Bruno’ on Twitter, using a suitcase emoji.

Then with a simple “Welcome home Cristiano,” with the modified goat emoji for good measure, Fernandes expressed his excitement. But now the hard work begins. United must find a way to dazzle them both.

Two real world-class players on the same squad doesn’t sound like the sort of dilemma that would give boss Solskjaer a headache, but their contrasting fortunes away with Portugal suggest otherwise.

Fernandes and Ronaldo are key players for Portugal but have endured a mixed spark on the pitch

Fernandes and Ronaldo are key players for Portugal but have endured a mixed spark on the pitch

After Ronaldo's arrival was announced, Fernandes boldly claimed credit for the return

After Ronaldo’s arrival was announced, Fernandes boldly claimed credit for the return

Fernandes has made no secret of the fact that he grew up adoring Ronaldo. Another heartfelt social media post responding to the news that his compatriot was on his way to United was a drawing of him watching the superstar on TV.

The sketch was titled ‘Never stop dreaming’. A lifelong ambition has thus been achieved for Fernandes, and they have both followed the same paths. After all, he came over from Sporting Lisbon, the same club that Ronaldo also left.

“My love for Manchester United really started when I saw Cristiano Ronaldo play and I’ve been a big fan of this great club ever since,” Fernandes said after joining United, remembering a starry-eyed youngster.

It’s a safe bet that Ronaldo will primarily play as number 9 at United, with all his years of experience and goals making him as dangerous as ever in the penalty area. Then Fernandes would nestle behind him as a playmaker.

Ronaldo is the undisputed talisman for his country, meaning Fernandes has a supporting role

Ronaldo is the undisputed talisman for his country, meaning Fernandes has a supporting role

Fernandes has made no secret of the fact that Ronaldo was one of his football idols growing up

Fernandes has made no secret of the fact that Ronaldo was one of his football idols growing up

With speed on either side of them by Jadon Sancho, Mason Greenwood, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial, the potential for United’s new strike force is limitless. On paper yes, because there can be problems.

“He doesn’t sign to sit on the couch. He is going to make us a better team,” said Solskjaer, who also wants his new talisman to join “as soon as possible”. In short, Ronaldo is thrown straight into the line of fire as the main man.

Those words may have evoked an uneasy feeling of déja vu for Fernandes. For Portugal, he steps out of the spotlight to put Ronaldo center stage, while at United he is the real headliner.

But there is no bad feeling between them or frustration on the part of Fernandes. Instead, he has accepted that while Ronaldo remains his country’s standout star, and captain, he will play more of a supporting role.

Fernandes has shown no frustration at his deeper position for Portugal to help Ronaldo shine

Fernandes has shown no frustration at his deeper position for Portugal to help Ronaldo shine

Their good friendship off the field undoubtedly helps. After joining United in January 2020, Fernandes revealed he spoke to Ronaldo, who praised the club with glowing colours.

“I spoke to him after that, not before,” Fernandes said. “I said before, Manchester was the dream team for me. I’ve always wanted to play for this team and it doesn’t matter who can talk about it – bad or good, I will come.

“It was my dream to play in the Premier League. I have the choice to come to Manchester United and it was two dreams in one. It was perfect.

“Of course I spoke to Cristiano afterwards and he spoke very well about the club. I spoke to him again a few days ago. Every time I speak to him he asks me how it is in Manchester and if everything is okay.

Ronaldo has remained a fan favorite at Old Trafford for his exploits during his first stint

Ronaldo has remained a fan favorite at Old Trafford for his exploits during his first stint

“Everyone knows that he has spent a lot of time in Manchester and that he takes the club into account. He loves the club, I think he won his first Ballon d’Or here, so it’s a club that definitely marked him.”

That mark remained after all these years. But behind the optimism and excitement over Ronaldo’s second stint at United, there is sheer bewilderment as to why Fernandes has struggled to make the same impact as his team-mate at Portugal.

The simple fact is that Fernandes has capped 33 times for his country, but has only scored four goals. Admittedly, it’s Ronaldo who takes the penalties for them, but this rather meager return has more to do with his role outside club football.

Ronaldo is the reason behind this. Everything Portugal does, and has done over many, many years, is solely centered around the five-time Ballon d’Or winner getting the ball and then finding the net.

Portugal's style is heavily based on Ronaldo and Fernandes often struggles to impress

Portugal’s style is heavily based on Ronaldo and Fernandes often struggles to impress

Those around him, such as Bernardo Silva, Joao Felix and Diogo Jota, are all standout artists in their own country, but need to be in step and make sure that everything they do on the pitch when they are with Portugal is the way to their finds a man of danger.

He has recouped this sacrifice in spades, becoming the record top scorer at the European Championship, overtaking Michel Platini and also leveling alongside Iranian Ali Daei for the highest international goals scored with 109.

But in this quest for success, Fernandes, normally the creative hub at United, becomes part of a bigger machine. He is also normally placed in a deeper role, taking a position as a number 8 and trying to orchestrate from there.

It’s important to remember that football is about so much more than raw numbers – but there’s no denying that Fernandes’ overall record for Portugal is average. Therefore, he struggles to escape the claim that he is being held back by Ronaldo.

Fernandes has only scored four goals in total on international service and was even dropped at Euro 2020

Fernandes has only scored four goals in total on international service and was even dropped at Euro 2020

At United they will find there is room for both of them. No compromises are necessary, just two born entertainers working in perfect tandem, playing in their favorite positions as they try to finally end the club’s drought.

They are both passionate, able to get involved in the heat of battle and love the game, and will help a United team that has been crying out for natural leaders to drag them across the finish line by the scruff of the neck. neck.

Therefore, Solskjaer is unlikely to pay too much attention to Fernandes’ international concerns. Yes, he thrives as the centerpiece of a team, but he is driven and completely committed to the greater cause, just like Ronaldo.

His frustration with poor decisions and misplaced passes at United often leads him to angrily raise his hand, but that doesn’t happen with Portugal. Instead, his lower status makes him fit to be part of the bigger picture.

But Fernandes is driven and committed to the wider cause, so he will welcome Ronaldo to United

But Fernandes is driven and committed to the wider cause, so he will welcome Ronaldo to United

There is room at United for both Fernandes and Ronaldo to take the lead in the battle for trophies

There is room at United for both Fernandes and Ronaldo to take the lead in the battle for trophies

United’s electric counterattacks will lead them both to silverware, and it was no surprise to see Fernandes, when asked which six traits of players he would choose to make his perfect footballer, select Ronaldo’s skill.

There is fervor beneath the surface during this international break as supporters wait to see Ronaldo and his compatriot do on the same team. But with this fresh start, the signs point to building the perfect tag team.

Cristiano is one of the greats in football history. His mentality inspires those who practice this sport,” Fernandes once told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “He has won a lot, but no one can win alone.”

He certainly won’t be alone now, and with his good friend next to him, there’s no excuse for United not to add to their hallowed trophy cabinet this year.

United fans are ecstatic at Ronaldo's return and have praised Fernandes since signing

United fans are ecstatic at Ronaldo’s return and have praised Fernandes since signing

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