“His creativity is one of the best I’ve ever seen” – Guardiola praises Fernandes as Portuguese duo sweep Man United annual awards

Portugal stars Diogo Dalot and Bruno Fernandes have been named winners of Manchester United’s end-of-season individual awards, demonstrating the extent to which the duo have maintained some credibility amid the Red Devils’ disastrous season.

Fernandes was named the Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year, voted for by supporters of the club, claiming the prize for the third time in four years with the club. Meanwhile, Dalot picked up the Players’ Player of the Year from his teammates.

United have had a poor season, finishing 8th in the Premier League as well as bottom of their Champions League group. With an early exit in the League Cup earlier this term, the FA Cup final against Manchester City tomorrow is the club’s only hope of taking something positive from the season, although it would likely not save manager Erik ten Hag who is expected to be fired afterwards.

Ahead of the final at Wembley, City boss Pep Guardiola highlighted the importance of Fernandes in particular. “Everything happens when he has the ball. The influence of Bruno on that team is outstanding, unbelievable. Yesterday we watched some of the last few games and I always said this guy has creativity which is one of the best I have ever seen.”

Fernandes has now won the Matt Busby Player of the Year award three times, with only compatriot Cristiano Ronaldo and long-serving former goalkeeper David De Gea (4) winning the honour more times. Speaking to United’s in-house media, Fernandes said he hopes the best moment of the season is still to come.

"It's special [winning this award]” he said. “Everyone knows the connection I have with the fans, I think. I feel and appreciate it every time I step onto the pitch. I have them on my side. I'm really grateful to them to have voted for me.

“The standout moment? It's still yet to come. We had some good moments this season but I think the standout moment is still yet to come.”

Dalot, meanwhile, becomes the third Portuguese to claim United’s Players’ Player of the Year prize. Cristiano Ronaldo also won the award back-to-back in 2007 and 2008, while Nani earned the recognition from his teammates during the 2010-11 campaign.

"For me, it’s even more special [than the main award],” Dalot said. “I have a lot of consideration for the fans; they are a big part of me and the biggest part of this club.

"But my team-mates are the ones who see each other every single day. We have to come here and we still have to fight, and we still have to share these moments when things are not going well, and when the things are going well.

"This, ultimately, is my second family and this recognition by your team-mates, I think it’s really special, because they see you every day, they know the work that you put in behind the scenes."

By @SeanGillen9