December 1, 2022

Fernandes spoke about the situation with his now former team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo

Bruno Fernandes has revealed that his supposedly ‘frosty’ handshake last week with Cristiano Ronaldo had followed a joke by the five-time Ballon d’Or after he had joined up with the Portuguese World Cup squad on his own private plane.

While Fernandes had taken a delayed scheduled flight between Manchester and Portugal, it has emerged that Ronaldo took his own jet and was joking that his now former Manchester United team-mate must have come by boat.

“He could laugh, I couldn’t,” said Bruno, who stressed that he still felt completely comfortable playing with Ronaldo following the Portugal captain’s explosive interview about Manchester United.

Footage had gone viral last week of Ronaldo greeting Fernandes when the players met up in Portugal shortly after the captain’s interview with Piers Morgan in which he accused club executives of betraying him.

“Actually I was in a plane for two hours, I was not in the same mood, and he made a joke,” said Fernandes. “He has his plane, his possibility, this time I wasn’t able to join him. When we have the possibility we travel together. When we take regular flights there are delays.”

Fernandes was appearing as the senior Portugal player at their press conference ahead of the World Cup opener against Ghana, even though most teams put up the captain on the day before the game.

Ronaldo had instead spoken to journalists on Monday when he made an impromptu media appearance at the training ground, thus ensuring that the team avoided the inevitable deluge of journalists from all over the world.

Portugal manager Fernando Santos still looked noticeably exasperated by all the questions that were being directed at Fernandes during the press conference on Wednesday and, at one point, jokingly placed his hand over his face.

Fernandes stressed that he would not take sides over Ronaldo’s Manchester United departure and was adamant that all the off-field spotlight on his team-mate would not derail Portugal’s World Cup.

He also said that they had not discussed the situation at Manchester United, where the Glazer family have also now put the club up for sale.

“It is his decision, a personal decision, an issue pertaining to him and his family,” said Fernandes. “We haven’t discussed the topics.

We are all focused on the national team, the World Cup, how important playing for the national team is. For Chris, for all of us, we are in a championship that is actually the dream of every player.

Portugal World Cup 2022 squad

Portugal announced their 26-man squad on November 10, which features a raft of Premier League players; City, United and Wolves are represented in triplicate, plus lone Fulham player, Joao Palhinha.

Goalkeepers: Diogo Costa (FC Porto), Jose Sa (Wolverhampton Wanderers FC), Rui Patricio (AS Roma)

Defenders: Diogo Dalot (Manchester United), Joao Cancelo (Manchester City), Danilo Pereira (PSG), Pepe (FC Porto), Ruben Dias (Manchester City), Antonio Silva (SL Benfica), Nuno Mendes (PSG), Raphael Guerreiro (Borussia Dortmund)

Midfielders: Joao Palhinha (Fulham FC), Ruben Neves (Wolverhampton Wanderers FC), Bernardo Silva (Manchester City), Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United), Joao Mario (SL Benfica), Matheus Nunes (Wolverhampton Wanderers FC), Otavio Monteiro (FC Porto), Vitinha (PSG), William Carvalho (Real Betis)

Forwards: Andre Silva (RB Leipzig), Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United), Goncalo Ramos (SL Benfica), Joao Felix (Atletico Madrid), Rafael Leao (AC Milan), Ricardo Horta (SC Braga).

Who are the star names in the squad?

Cristiano Ronaldo will almost certainly be taking part in his last World Cup. The all-time leading international goalscorer will look to add the World Cup to his horde of trophies.

Bruno Fernandes will also be one to watch, as will Rafael Leao, who has been impressing at AC Milan this season.

What are Portugal’s fixtures?

What is Portugal’s World Cup record?

Portugal have appeared at the tournament seven times. On their debut appearance in 1966 they recorded their highest ever finish: third place.

Portugal have appeared at the previous five editions of the World Cup and fell in the round of 16 at Russia 2018 when they were beaten 2-1 by Uruguay.

Argentina | Australia | Belgium | Brazil | Cameroon | Canada | Costa Rica | Croatia | Denmark | Ecuador | England | France | Germany | Ghana | Iran | Japan | Mexico | Morocco | Netherlands | Poland | Portugal | Qatar | Saudi Arabia | Senegal | Serbia | South Korea | Spain | Switzerland | Tunisia | Uruguay | USA | Wales

Latest odds

Portugal are currently a best price of 15/1 to win World Cup 2022.

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