Bruno Miguel Borges Fernandes is a Portuguese professional footballer who plays as an attacking midfielder for Premier League club Manchester United and the Portugal national team.
Since joining Manchester United in January 2020, Fernandes has established himself as one of the best playmakers in Europe with his excellent passing, goalscoring ability, leadership and work ethic. He was instrumental in leading United to a second-place finish in the Premier League in 2020-21 and has earned praise for his transformative impact on the club’s fortunes.
Fernandes is also a key player for the Portuguese national team. He was part of the squad that won the UEFA Nations League in 2019.
In this article, we will take a deep dive into the life and career so far of this prodigiously talented footballer.
Bruno Fernandes’ Early Life and Upbringing
- Bruno Fernandes was born on September 8, 1994 in Maia, Porto District, Portugal.
- He was born to parents Maria Manuel Branco Fernandes and Virgílio Fernandes.
- Bruno has an elder brother named Gonçalo and a younger sister named Rafaela.
- Bruno started playing football from a very young age. His father Virgílio worked as a kit man which allowed Bruno to have easy access to footballs and nets to practice.
- Bruno played for amateur side FC Infesta from ages 7 to 15. He trained three times a week while also focusing on academics.
- Bruno was an excellent student and earned good grades in school. He pursued a degree in Sports Science from the University of Maia while playing professional football.
Early Club Career in Italy and Portugal
- In 2012, at age 17, Bruno moved to Italy to sign for Novara Calcio and make his professional debut.
- After a season with Novara, he transferred to Udinese where he played for their youth setup.
- In 2016, Bruno returned to Portugal to sign for Sampdoria where he made his first-team breakthrough. His excellent performances as an attack-minded midfielder earned him the Player of the Year award.
- In 2017, he transferred to Sporting CP in Portugal for €8.5 million. This move really launched him into the limelight as he shined for the Portuguese club.
Breakout Seasons with Sporting CP
Bruno Fernandes enjoyed two highly successful seasons with Sporting CP and established himself as one of the best players in Portugal:
- In 2017-18, he scored 16 goals in 33 Liga NOS games as Sporting finished 3rd. He was named Liga NOS Player of the Year.
- In 2018-19, Bruno stepped up another level, scoring 20 goals and providing 13 assists in the league. He was named Player of the Year again.
- His performances attracted interest from top European clubs like Tottenham, Man City and Real Madrid.
Manchester United Came Calling
- In January 2020, Manchester United eventually signed Bruno Fernandes for an initial €55 million potentially rising to €80 million. This remains the club record transfer fee paid by United.
- Bruno was handed the iconic number 18 shirt previously worn by Paul Scholes.
- He made an instant impact, scoring 3 goals and providing 4 assists in just 9 appearances as United went unbeaten after his arrival.
- In the 2020-21 season, Bruno was the fulcrum of United’s attack, scoring 18 league goals and providing 12 assists as the Red Devils finished 2nd.
- His combined 40 goals/assists was the highest in Premier League history for a midfielder.
- Bruno capped off a brilliant season by winning the Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year award.
International Career with Portugal
- Bruno earned his first senior cap for Portugal in 2017.
- He was part of the Portugal squad that won the inaugural UEFA Nations League tournament in 2019 under manager Fernando Santos.
- Bruno scored twice in the Nations League semi-final win over Switzerland.
- He also represented Portugal at the 2018 FIFA World Cup and Euro 2020.
- As of January 2023, Bruno has 48 caps and scored 8 goals for the Portuguese national team.
Playing Style and Strengths
- Bruno Fernandes plays mostly as an attacking midfielder but can also play on the right wing.
- He has an incredible eye for goal and long-range shooting ability. Fernandes scores spectacular goals from distance.
- Bruno is an excellent set-piece taker, scoring and creating many goals from free-kicks and corners.
- His vision, passing range and crossing ability allows him to provide numerous assists for his teammates.
- Bruno displays great leadership skills on the pitch. He is United’s designated penalty and free-kick taker.
- His work ethic, tenacity and pressing from the front are invaluable assets that inspire those around him.
- Bruno has single-handedly transformed Manchester United’s fortunes with his performances, goals and assists.
- Fernandes met his future wife Ana Pinho at Pasteleira High School when he was 15 years old. The couple married in 2015.
- They have two daughters – Matilde (born 2017) and Gonçalo (born 2022). The family resides in Cheshire after Bruno’s transfer to Manchester.
- In 2022, Bruno and Ana launched their first business venture – a luxury fast-food restaurant in Lisbon called Bros Burgers.
- Bruno enjoys tennis, playing the piano, shopping and spending time with his family away from football.
- He is involved in several charitable endeavors – Bruno donated €250,000 during the COVID-19 pandemic to help people in Portugal.
Net Worth and Endorsements
According to reports, Bruno Fernandes has a net worth of around €28 million as of 2023. Here are details on his salary and endorsements:
- His current Manchester United contract pays him a weekly wage of £100,000 totalling around £5.2 million per year.
- Bruno signed lucrative endorsement deals with companies like Pepsi, Panini and KKD after joining United.
- He also has a boot sponsorship deal with Nike which pays him upwards of €2 million annually.
- Bruno’s restaurant business Bros Burgers adds to his growing business portfolio and income streams off the pitch.
- His net worth is expected to steadily grow in the coming years as he continues excelling on the pitch for United.
Records and Achievements
Some notable records and achievements of Bruno Fernandes’ career so far:
- 4x Liga NOS Player of the Month: Aug 2017, Sep 2017, Oct 2018, Feb 2019
- PFA Fans’ Player of the Month: February 2020, June 2020
- Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year: 2020–21
- Premier League Player of the Month: February 2020, November 2020
- First Manchester United player to win Premier League Player of the Month awards in successive months.
- Most Premier League goals by a midfielder in a season: 18 (2020-21)
- Most assists by a Manchester United player in all competitions in a season: 25 (2020-21)
- Only midfielder to record 10+ goals and assists in consecutive Premier League seasons.
Lessons from Bruno Fernandes’ Career
Bruno’s fantastic rise in European football provides some valuable lessons for aspiring footballers:
- Dedication – Bruno had immense dedication from a young age. Balancing studies and football developed his work ethic.
- Leadership – He leads by example on the pitch with his tireless work rate and tenacious approach. Bruno also steps up during difficult moments by taking responsibility.
- Continuous Improvement – Despite his success, Bruno has remained humble and hungry to improve. His ability to self-reflect and work on his game is exemplary.
In summary, Bruno Fernandes is one of the biggest superstars in the current game. His wizardry in midfield has made him a fan favorite and Manchester United’s driving force.
Still only 28 years old, the best is likely yet to come from Bruno at club and international level. He certainly has the ability and temperament to create even more history in the beautiful game.
What is Bruno Fernandes’ current salary?
Bruno Fernandes earns a weekly wage of £100,000 at Manchester United which works out to around £5.2 million per year. This makes him one of the club’s highest paid players.
How many trophies has Fernandes won with Manchester United?
Since joining Manchester United in January 2020, Bruno Fernandes has won four trophies so far – the EFL Cup, UEFA Europa League, FA Community Shield and EFL Cup in 2022-23.
What transfer fee did Manchester United pay to sign Fernandes?
Manchester United paid an initial fee of €55 million (£47 million) potentially rising to €80 million (£68 million) including add-ons to sign Fernandes from Sporting Lisbon in January 2020.