Bruno Fernandes finished the season trophyless for Manchester United and will not win international silverware with Portugal this summer either.
The reigning European champions were knocked out of Euro 2020 after a 1-0 loss to Belgium in Seville.
Fernandes started the game on the bench as Portugal boss Fernando Santos opted for a cagey, safety-first approach.
The playmaker has now broken his silence after the exit, sending a message to the fans on Instagram.
He wrote: “Together in victories and defeats… disappointed and sad, but very grateful for the tireless support of our fans.
“We have not managed to achieve what we wanted so much, but the sense of pride in being Portuguese remains intact. We’ll come back stronger!”
Portugal didn’t have an easy ride this summer. They were drawn against France and Portugal in the groups, which meant they came third and ran into Belgium.
Fernandes has the quality to unlock any defence, but Santos didn’t take the handbreak off until it was far too late.
Bruno makes an impact
Bruno’s desire and ability to make an impact is underlined by the fact he had more touches (40) than the man he replaced on 54 minutes, Bernardo Silva (29).
He also created two chances – only two Portugal players made more, and both Cristiano Ronaldo and Diogo Jota started the game – and had two shots.
His determination to make something happen was clear for all to see.
But he was hamstrung initially by his manager’s conservative tactics and perhaps by the fact he was coming off the back of a gruelling season at United, where he played almost every game.
Portugal’s exit at the round of 16 stage means he’ll get more rest this summer, which is a good thing for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, despite Bruno’s personal disappointment at being eliminated.
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