Bruno Fernandes will be essential for Portugal – Martínez

Portugal boss Roberto Martínez says Bruno Fernandes will be vital for Portugal at the upcoming European Championships, after the Manchester United man ended the season with glory for his club.

Fernandes won rave reviews for his efforts in helping United win the FA Cup final against Manchester City last month at Wembley, and the midfielder is expected to take on a similarly important role for his country at the Euros.

Martínez was speaking to Rio Ferdinand’s FIVE podcast, where he was asked about Fernandes’ role as well as some of the criticism the former Sporting man receives for his style of play. The Portugal coach insists Fernandes is hugely important for his team, where the system will be aiming to extract the best from the players.

“Essential,” Martine replied when asked about Bruno. “He’s had I think close to 9 assists in the 10 [qualifying] games. He has that capacity of doing what the game needs, the attribute of appreciating what the game needs. We had a game in Slovakia that was really tough, they surprised us with how high they were pressing us and they stopped us.

“And Bruno came up with certain positions and scored the winning goal. That’s what his quality allows him to do. He’s got this capacity to almost change slightly his positions and how he should affect the attacking play. [Yes] without the coach.

“Within a structure, the player should be free. Within a structure it won’t affect what another player does. The limit when a coach intervenes is when what a player does affects someone else’s role. That is the very thin line. The more we can give freedom to a player, the more unexpected result you’re going to get. At the moment the individual’s decision can affect another player, that is when the coach needs to intervene.

“I think [Bruno] is a perfectionist. You need to put him in context. When he’s with the national team, he’s got so many players who are in the same wavelength. He’s someone who cares. He’s always there. It’s very difficult to find a player like Bruno, who isn’t missing any games for Manchester United. For a manager that is the best way you can show your importance to the team.”

By @SeanGillen9