Bruno Fernandes transcript from press conference for Atletico Madrid v Man Utd 22 February 2022

As one of the senior players and most influential players in the squad, can I ask you… there has been a lot of talk about unity or lack of unity and players maybe going in different directions. What does it feel like from inside, because clearly you need to be moving in the same direction if you’re going to have any chance of success?
“I don’t know what people mean by that, honestly. I was doing an interview now and they asked me about Jadon doing my celebration. I don’t think that is something that is going in different ways. I saw the game and the goal of Harry’s and I’m seeing Paul running behind him and sliding on his knees, happy for him. I was looking at his head and saying, ‘finally he has scored with that big head!’ I think honestly it is people trying to complain and making stories about this club, because we know when people talk about this club or about some player at this club, they go around the world with their voice and that is something that they want. For us it means nothing and for us, as I said before, if we stick to the plan and if we stick together, that’s the main thing. Sticking together and winning together.”

I wanted to ask you about your compatriot in the national team, Joao Felix. You’re going to face him tomorrow. He is not showing his true potential for Atletico at the moment so is it the club’s problem or the player’s problem and what advice would you give him?
“I don’t know what the problem is. What I know is he has unbelievable quality, he has huge potential and is still very young. So I think sometimes we forget the age of his players and at his age he is still in a phase of growth. When Atletico bought him, he had only played six months in the First Division of Portugal so that shows you the kind of quality he has because it is not just any club that would pay the money that Atletico did for him. We also know Atletico wasn’t the only club that was after him so they were really keen to get him as quickly as possible. Obviously then the qualities have to go along with the team itself and everyone knows what [Diego] Simeone asks you for, he likes aggressive players. We know that he [Joao Felix] is a very technical player, he can defend as well, I believe, I have played with him and I know he can do that. But I think he’s a player that needs to have a bit of freedom but I don’t know what is happening within the club so I can’t really comment on that.

“I can say what I have seen [of him] at Benfica. What I have seen at Benfica is a player that can get to a level that very few can get to. So I think he has all those necessary qualities to get there and I think later in the future, or sooner or later, he’ll do it, whether that’s at Atletico or another place. When I have spoken to him, I talk about his personal life with him, I don’t really talk about his footballing situation. I think when I speak to him it is just generally about personal things, how he’s doing and that’s it really. I don’t really go beyond that and speak about what goes on at the club and what he thinks, what he wants. But I know he’s a really good guy, he has great quality and I’m sure, whether that’s at Atletico or another club in the future, he will have a great career if he continues like he is.”

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