Bruno Fernandes was born on September 8, 1994, in Maia, Portugal. He grew up in a football-loving family and started playing the sport at a young age. His father, who was also a footballer, played a big role in his early development and helped him hone his skills on the pitch. As a child, Fernandes was known for his short and stocky build, which earned him the nickname “Cebolinha” (which means “little onion” in Portuguese).
Fernandes began his professional football career with Novara in Italy in 2012, where he played for two seasons before moving to Udinese. He quickly established himself as a key player for Udinese and caught the attention of several top European clubs with his impressive performances. In 2017, he signed with Sporting CP in Portugal, where he became one of the most prolific midfielders in the league and helped his team win the Taça de Portugal in 2018.
It was during his time at Sporting CP that Fernandes earned a reputation as a world-class midfielder, attracting interest from several top European clubs. In January 2020, he signed with Manchester United in a deal worth €55 million, making him the most expensive signing in the club’s history at the time.
Since joining Manchester United, Fernandes has been a revelation, quickly establishing himself as one of the most important players in the team. He has been instrumental in helping the club win several key matches and has been praised for his leadership and positive influence on his teammates.
One of Fernandes’ greatest strengths is his exceptional passing ability. He is known for his precise and creative passes, which often set up scoring opportunities for his teammates. He also has a keen eye for goal and is a prolific scorer himself, with an impressive record of over 40 goals and 20 assists in his first two seasons with Manchester United.
In addition to his technical skills, Fernandes is also known for his tireless determination and exceptional work ethic. He is a versatile player who can play in a variety of positions and is equally comfortable playing in a defensive or attacking role.
Off the pitch, Fernandes is known for his philanthropic work and has been involved in several initiatives to support underprivileged children in Portugal. He has also been actively involved in COVID-19 relief efforts, contributing to medical equipment and supplies to hospitals.
Fernandes is a talented and versatile midfielder who has quickly become one of the best players in the world. His exceptional skills on the field, combined with his leadership qualities and positive influence off the pitch, have made him a fan favourite at Manchester United and a respected player in the football community.
With his talent, determination, and commitment to excellence, the 28-year-old is sure to continue making headlines and achieving great success both on and off the pitch.
Here are 13 fun facts you need to know about Bruno Fernandes.
His connection with the number ‘8’ 🎱
Juan Mata’s number eight jersey became vacant when he departed from Old Trafford in the summer of 2022. Without thinking twice, Fernandes threw down his jersey with the number 18 to take the number 8 for himself.
There is some connection between Fernandes and the number eight. The deceased father of Bruno once wore the jersey while he was a player, and Fernandes even alludes to the number eight as his “lucky number.”
“My birthday is on the eighth!” he told the Manchester United website last year. “So much about me, my family, and my history are revealed by the number eight.
“That is why I enjoy using it. It is therefore my favourite number.”
Started out as a centre-back
While Bruno Fernandes has emerged as one of the brightest and most technically gifted midfielders in the Premier League, not many are aware about the fact that he started out as a centre-back in his early days. The Portuguese international’s youth career started at a club called Infesta, but Fernandes operated as a defender instead of playmaker at the local club.
When Fernandes turned 15, he was shipped on loan to a Lisbon-based club called Pasteleria where he got the opportunity to play in a much advanced role. Pasteleria’s team lacked a No.10 and therefore their coach at that time, Antonio Peres awarded Fernandes the opportunity to work his magic in the midfield.
He hasn’t looked back since.
Setting multiple records in Portugal
Before making the big-money move to Manchester United in January 2020, Fernandes had earned a name for himself playing as a midfielder for Sporting Lisbon. In the 2018-19 season the midfield wizard shattered records as he smashed 32 goals and bagged 18 assists in 53 appearances.
While the assists column might have not shocked many, the number of goals Fernandes scored playing as a midfielder was astonishing. He captured the award for Most Goals scored in a Calendar Year by a midfielder in European football history while also breaking Antonio Oliveria’s tally of most goals scored by a midfielder in a single season for a club.
He fell in love with Ronaldinho before becoming a supporter of Ronaldo 😇
While there’s no hiding the fact that Fernandes has been an ardent admirer of former Manchester United teammate Cristiano Ronaldo, not many are aware that the Portuguese international followed Brazil legend Ronaldinho in his early days.
“When I grew up, the first player I liked to watch was Ronaldinho,” Fernandes once said in an interview.
“He had this kind of magic that nobody else had. It was the way he worked every day. The mentality he had and the capacity to give one hundred percent in every game at a high level.”
After Ronaldinho retired, Fernandes’s sole attention was stuck on Portuguese teammate Cristiano Ronaldo who was smashing records all across Europe.
The 28-year-old also got an opportunity to play with Ronaldo at Manchester United when the latter joined the club in 2021 for a second stint at Old Trafford.
While the former Real Madrid man was shipped to Al-Nassr following a rather public spat with the Red Devils, the duo still weave their magic playing for A Seleção
Had a poster of a former Man City midfielder in his room 👀
Stephen Ireland was a former Manchester City midfielder who played for the Sky Blues for half a decade.
Despite some well-documented struggles, the Irish central player did manage to impress a young boy in Portugal who was Bruno Fernandes. While it might appear as a shock to many fans, Bruno had a poster of the 36-year-old hanging in his room despite being the captain of his former club’s arch-rivals.
The midfielder even signed the former Irish international while playing the famous game Football Manager and Ireland was shocked to hear these revelations.
“He told me that, as a kid, he had a poster of me,” Ireland told The Athletic. “He said that when he played Football Manager he always signed me.
“I was like, ‘You had me on a poster? And, seriously, you sign me for Football Manager?’ I mean, how weird is that?” Ireland asked when he was given the news,
A loyal Red Devils fan 😈
As a teenager at Sporting Lisbon, like many other Portuguese kids, Fernandes witnessed fellow compatriot Cristiano Ronaldo succeed at Old Trafford under the leadership of Sir Alex Ferguson.
The young playmaker witnessed the five-time Ballon d’Or winner turn into an unbeatable goalscoring machine, and soon narrowed his club loyalty to the Red Devils.
The midfield magician reportedly sobbed with joy when he learned he would eventually join United in January 2020 from Sporting Lisbon for a massive fee of €55m.
An angry Fernandes once tore up his Sporting contract 📰✂
When Sporting Lisbon didn’t make it into the 2018 UEFA Champions League, a group of 50 fans stormed into the team’s practice facility and assaulted the players. Bruno and multiple other footballers tore up their contracts following this episode.
Fernandes, along with nine players, were left in shock owing to the disturbing incident that took place with Dutch forward Bas Dost being injured and their dressing room being vandalized.
A month after the incident, the then-23-year-old returned to the Portuguese giants along with the other players to sign a new contract with the Green and Whites. The club guaranteed improved security and safety for the players and their loved ones as Fernandes put pen-to-paper on a deal until 2023 with an eye-watering release clause of €100m.
A family of football fanatics 👨👩👦👦
Born in Maia, Porto Metropolitan Area, Fernandes backed Porto because his mother was a fan of the team.
With his older sibling Ricardo, a competitive football player himself, he played football on the busy streets of Porto since he was a young child. Bruno’s father was a huge sports fan, just like his mother.
In fact, Bruno Fernandes’ father was also a football player but failed to make it.
The current Red Devils’ midfielder must have been given massive appreciation for what he has achieved in a family where football runs in the blood of the members.
Gives back to society 🆘
Fernandes is well known for his altruistic efforts and has taken part in a number of programmes to aid disadvantaged kids in Portugal.
His contributions have gone to a number of charitable organizations and foundations, such as Make-A-Wish Portugal and Casa Ronald McDonald, which offers lodgings to families with severely ill children.
The 28-year-old has supported these causes not only with money but also with his attention and abilities. He has met with kids in orphanages and classrooms and has taken part in fundraising activities and auctions to generate money for different purposes.
The midfield sorcerer participated in a number of programmes to assist those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, including giving medical gear and materials to institutions and helping with relief operations.
Aspiring to become a businessman 👨💼
He pursued his football career and finished his business coursework at the University of Porto. The midfielder has often spoken about the value of schooling and how it has benefited him in both his work and personal lives.
In addition, he has stated his intention to pursue his education in the subsequent years and his desire to enter the business world once he has wrapped up his career as a footballer. The player has also talked about his interest in owning a business and become an entrepreneur when he decides to hang up his boots.
Learnt Italian all by himself 🔠
The Manchester United midfielder spent almost half a decade in Italy playing for three different teams- Novara, Sampdoria, and Udinese. Fernandes was first introduced in Italy by Novara who signed the midfielder when he was just 17.
Despite being an influential playmaker, the teenager found it difficult to settle in a new place and felt homesick. The biggest barrier that he faced was his inability to speak Italian, but his determination and hard work turned the tide around for him.
Fernandes would often label the things in his room with their Italian translations including chair, table, and desk to speed up the process of learning the language. Within a few months of playing for the Serie B outfit, the central player became well versed in the language.
The former Sporting man is also fluent in Spanish and English, and can speak a bit of French too.
A nickname that’s stuck until now 🧅
Due to his short stature and slender build, Bruno Fernandes was given the nickname “Cebolinha” (which translates to “little onion” in Portuguese) as a young kid. Among football supporters, this childhood moniker has taken on a legend-like quality; some still refer to him as “Cebolinha” today.
The Portuguese playmaker has achieved enormous accomplishments as a football player at both club and international levels.
A fan of music 🎸🎵
Fernandes is well known for enjoying music. On social media platforms, he expressed his passion for rap music, and in 2020, he even collaborated on a rap song with the Portuguese artist Valete.
On his digital platforms, the Red Devils’ prodigy has also been spotted performing and strumming the guitar, demonstrating his musical abilities.
He has even mentioned in interviews how songs assists him unwind and concentrate, and he frequently plays music before sports to help her get in the right frame of mind. It is therefore evident that music is significant in his existence, both on and off the field.