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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Samuel Meade

8 Man Utd superstars who inspired Bruno Fernandes - and where they are now

Bruno Fernandes ' impact at Manchester United was immediate with the playmaker taking inspiration from club legends.

The Portuguese star moved to Old Trafford in January 2020, when the Red Devils were meandering in mid-table, before proving to be the catalyst for their rise under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. His goals, assists and demands he placed on his team-mates were immediately hailed.

Individual accolades were quick to come his away and have continued ever since. Fernandes, upon arriving, made it known he was looking to the past as he attempted to emulate some of the modern day greats who led United to trophy after trophy under Sir Alex Ferguson.

When he was unveiled he said: "I have already said this a lot of times but it was a dream come true. For me, ever since I was a kid, it was a dream playing for Manchester United.

"Manchester United was and is one of the biggest clubs in the world. You look in the past and when I'm younger, you look at the players who played for Manchester United. You see the biggest stars in the world. You see the best players in the world. You have players from everywhere and also, we talked a lot and I told you about Cristiano.

"I looked at Manchester with more interest when Cristiano was here, because it's normal when you have Portuguese players in some teams, you look at them more than other teams. But at that moment, I started to look at Manchester in a different way because you see Cristiano but then you also see the team and you have Paul Scholes, you have [Wayne] Rooney, you have [Ryan] Giggs and you have Roy Keane, [Eric] Cantona before.

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"You have a lot of players… I don't know… [Ruud] van Nistelrooy… I can stay here for hours saying all the names of players for Manchester United. Also Nani, who's played with me. You have big stars playing here. Joining Manchester United was so easy because since I was a kid, it was a dream, so for me, doing this step, a big step to the Premier League and Manchester United was perfect."

Mirror Football has taken a look at where those who provided Fernandes with his inspiration are now.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Up until recently he and Fernandes were team-mates, before a sudden and acrimonious departure from Old Trafford. Now Ronaldo is in Saudi Arabia with Al-Nassr, being joined by a host of big names this summer. Fernandes and Ronaldo remain teammates at international level with Portugal.

Paul Scholes

One of the Class of 92, he is part of the hierarchy at Salford City alongside several of his pals. The former midfield general has turned his hand briefly to management, having a short stint at Oldham whilst also taking charge at Salford for a matter of games. Scholes has also been a regular pundit on BT Sport.

Wayne Rooney

Now in charge at DC United, Rooney is determined to make it as a manager. He's previously been a player-coach at Derby, eventually taking the top job. He was even linked with the Everton job in the past with his stellar playing career opening plenty of doors for United's all-time leading scorer.

Ryan Giggs

Another of the United academy graduates to be involved with Salford. Giggs finished his playing days as a one club man and took up a coaching role at Old Trafford under Louis van Gaal, leaving in 2016. He later became Wales boss before his tenure was cut short.

Roy Keane

The Irishman left the red half of Manchester in 2005 after falling out with Ferguson. He went on to play for Celtic before calling it a day and has held several coaching roles. His first saw him gain promotion with Sunderland and he's served as an assistant at club and international level. His career as a pundit has gone from strength to strength with Keane's popularity continuing to rise on Sky Sports.

Eric Cantona

When Cantona left United, Fernandes would've only been two, but the Frenchman's legend very much lives on. He is among the most famous No 7s to have played for the club and has gone on to do various adverts and acting roles, appearing in a film as recently as this year.

Ruud van Nistelrooy

The prolific marksman set numerous records during his time in Manchester before departing for Real Madrid. He's been on the coaching staff with Netherlands and taken the youth ranks at PSV, where he first made his name. Recently he had the top job at PSV, but left after clashing with the board.


Fernandes' compatriot showed moments of magic during his time at Old Trafford, but perhaps not regularly enough. Signed as a teen star, Nani eventually left in 2015 after winning numerous trophies including the Champions League. Last season he was playing in Australia but his departure from the Melbourne Victory was confirmed in May.

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