Fernandes and Ronaldo praised by local rival Cancelo

Manchester City defender Joao Cancelo has praised Manchester United pair Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo.

In an feature with City’s official YouTube channel, Cancelo picked his ultimate Portuguese Premier League XI of all-time.

Unsurprisingly, Ronaldo and Bruno were selected, despite both underwhelming days earlier in the 2-0 derby defeat.

Cancelo is of course an international teammate of both players and has seen up close what they can do.

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“He is a player with a very strong shot, very pragmatic and a strong personality,” said Cancelo of Bruno. “I like this kind of player.

“So I pick him in midfield alongside Joao Moutinho. On the left, Cristiano.

“Do I have to tell you why? I don’t need to! The best Portuguese player of all time. It was obvious that he would be in my XI.”

Ronaldo’s teammate Edinson Cavani also praised him in an interview with ESPN.

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“It’s a pleasure not only for the fact that he’s [Ronaldo] a football star, but also for the fact that I see the way he has to handle the brilliance of that star that he has forged in his career,” he said.

“And to see the way he faces each training day by day is a sincere pleasure. He is one of the great players that I have played with and that arouses admiration in me.”

Ronaldo and Fernandes will be looking to put the pain of the derby loss behind them by ensuring Portugal qualify for the World Cup in the days ahead.

Two wins against the Republic of Ireland and Serbia would do the trick, and they are both capable of making the difference at the crucial time.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.