Manchester United star Bruno Fernandes has revealed he ignored advice from his coaches about which position he should play in. The Portuguese playmaker began life as a defender in his youth career and says he was advised to play in a deeper role if he ever wanted to become a ‘top player’. Fernandes admits he can see why coaches backed him to make it as a defender in the professional game but says he had his own desires to play in a more advanced attacking role. The 26-year-old is currently regarded as one of the most dangerous attacking midfield players in the whole of Europe and he has lifted the lid on how his drastic position change occurred.
Bruno Ferdnandes said “I played central defender for the most part, when I started playing football, either central defence or right-back, I liked to play as a right-back because I was aggressive at the time, I was that guy who wanted to give tackles and everything. As a central defender, I was the free one, being prepared to follow the wingers if the right-back wasn’t there and all that. I was really good, I had a coach who said to me, ‘If you want to be a top player, you will need to play as a central defender. If you want to be a good player, you will be a midfielder. I think he was wrong but, maybe as a central defender, I could be much better, I don’t know! At the time I didn’t like to play there, but everyone was saying I was a good defender, they said I was smart, that I covered the sides, but, at one point, I had the chance to go to the team a year-group older than me and I said to the coach look, I don’t want to play central defence any more, but if I have to play central defence, I would prefer to go back and play as a midfielder with the guys my age. But when I joined that team, the coach looked at the list of players, and because some were on vacation he said, ‘Oh we have no strikers’ and I said ‘I’m a striker!’ He said, ‘I thought you were a central defender’ and I said, ‘No, I don’t play there any more, I’m a striker!’ So he gave me one try-out in training, I scored twice and he said ‘okay, you can play a striker!’ So he played me as striker in one game, then, in the second game, I was like a ‘fake 9’ with two strikers, and after that I moved back to no.10 and no.8.”
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