“The reality is in these two matches he was not there.”
Jose Mourinho is the latest analyst to stick the boot into Bruno Fernandes’ performances for Portugal at Euro 2020 so far.
Fernandes, who arrived at the European Championships with plenty of expectation following an incredible season for Man United, has had little impact on his national team up to this point and the 26-year-old has come in for considerable criticism.
Hitting out at Fernandes’ tendency to behave petulantly on occasion, Graeme Souness suggested that the United playmaker “wouldn’t last more than five minutes” in his dressing room.
Fernandes’ fellow countryman, Mourinho, has now given his assessment of Portugal’s tournament so far and he didn’t hold back with his comments on the United talisman.
Mourinho remains confident that Portugal will progress to the knockout stages but the newly-appointed Roma boss insisted that Fernandes will have to raise his game after disappointing showings against Hungary and Germany.
“Because of the victory – 3-0 over Hungary – by that goal advantage even with three points, I believe we are going to qualify,” Mourinho told talkSPORT.
“The game against France is not the kind of game where we are desperate to get a victory or even a point because I believe that we are going to qualify by goal advantage but Portugal can also get points against France because Portugal, at their highest level, can beat anyone but we also need to play with 11 players.
Jose Mourinho on Bruno Fernandes
“In these two matches, Bruno Fernandes was on the pitch but not playing. We need the good players to perform and not to just be on the pitch.
“I hope he turns up against France. He is a player with incredible potential. He can pass, he can score, he can get penalties and score penalties, he can score free kicks. He has a lot to give but the reality is in these two matches he was not there.
“Portugal have three fantastic attacking players – Bernardo Silva, Cristiano Ronaldo and Diogo Jota. They are three very good players. We need that connection. Up to now, Bruno is not playing.”