The viral video of Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes seemingly showing a rift between the two players has been dismissed as “just a joke” by their Portuguese teammate Joao Mario, amid the aftermath of CR7’s controversial interview with Piers Morgan.
The short clip shows an awkward exchange with the Manchester United pair, as Fernandes arrives in the Portugal dressing room ahead of training. This is presumably the first time both have met since the bombshell interview surfaced this week.
However, Benfica midfielder Mario has insisted that there was no tension between the pair, contrary to the reaction of social media to the video.
Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Mario said:
“It was a joke between them because Bruno was one of the last to arrive and Cristiano asked if he had come by boat. It was a joke between them, they play together.”
Apparently, what Manchester United fans had taken as a rift forming between two of their key players (at least, for now) was nothing more than a bit of banter between teammates.
In the video, Fernandes put an arm on Ronaldo as he walked past him to put his bag down in the locker before turning to face the rest of the dressing room.
Ronaldo offered out his hand first – which Fernandes, after a brief second of seemingly wondering whether he should accept it, meets with his own before saying something to him and turning away.
The forward was left awkwardly standing there, visibly confused as Fernandes went to speak with some of his other Portuguese team-mates.
But, you can see why United fans had made the apparently ‘incorrect’ assumption.
Although the full interview is yet to be released, Ronaldo reportedly told Morgan that he felt “betrayed” by United boss Erik Ten Hag, after starting just five times in the Premier League this season.
Ronaldo added in the interview that Manchester United were not even close to the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool, which, although may be true, is definitely not the kind of thing a Man United ‘legend’ should be saying publicly.
In doing so, Ronaldo hasn’t just burnt his bridges with the Red Devil fans, he has torched, nuked and salted the earth with them.
Ronaldo did clarify it wasn’t the fans that he was aiming at, but rather the ownership and direction of the club, adding:
“The fans, they’re always right. I think the fans should know the truth – should know that the players… we want the best for the club.”
The glaring problem however is that once you speak out so publicly, so critically, about your employers, your time with that employer is inevitably numbered.
Despite undoubtedly being one of the best of all time, it’s extremely unlikely we’ll be seeing Ronaldo in a United shirt again. Maybe Fernandes wasn’t being as cold towards CR7 as it appeared on the video… but could you really blame him if he was?
At the end of the day, they will both be key players for Portugal at the World Cup, so they’ll have to keep their reservations to themselves for now.
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