Man Utd manager Erik ten Hag did not hesitate to “pull apart” Cristiano Ronaldo when necessary, Bruno Fernandes has revealed.
Ronaldo left the Red Devils last November after his contract was terminated by mutual consent.
Having returned late for pre-season and missing the club’s tour of Australia and Asia, the Portugal captain began the campaign on the bench, only making four Premier League starts before his exit.
The 38-year-old reportedly pushed for a transfer in the summer transfer window, but an exit failed to materialise.
Using the benefit of hindsight, I am sure Ronaldo wishes he didn’t ask to leave the club with it now abundantly clear Man Utd were by far the best side he could play for at this stage in his career.
However, he did leave, and now plays for Al Nassr in Saudi Arabia.
Ronaldo’s November exit came after his explosive interview with Piers Morgan.
Speaking to Morgan, the Portuguese superstar ripped Man Utd apart and admitted he does not “respect” Ten Hag because he does not feel like the Red Devils boss respects him.
The Dutch manager has been a huge success at Old Trafford in his short time in charge having replaced Ralf Rangnick in the dugout at the end of last season.
Previous boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer definitely adopted a more arm-around-the-shoulder managerial style, while Ten Hag has proven himself to be a lot more disciplined and no-nonsense.
Ronaldo is not the only Man Utd star to feel the wrath of the ex-Ajax manager.
In December, Ten Hag dropped the Red Devils’ player of the season, Marcus Rashford, before a huge Premier League match at Wolves after the England international arrived late for a team meeting having overslept.
Having joined the club last May, Fernandes was unsure if Ten Hag would single out big personalities like Ronaldo for criticism.
“He demands from people,” Fernandes told BT Sport. “He demands and you either do it, or you’re out
“In the beginning everyone was like: ‘Will he do that if a big player doesn’t do what he wants? Will he pull him apart or not?’
“And then he did it many times, he did it with Cristiano, he did it with Jadon [Sancho] and with Marcus also.”
Fernandes has wore the captain’s armband on several occasions this term with Harry Maguire out of favour.
The way the Portuguese midfielder has portrayed himself on the pitch has been condemned in the past, and he was eager to defend himself when speaking to Man Utd legend Rio Ferdinand.
Fernandes added: “Sometimes when I’m shouting, from the outside it seems like I’m saying something bad to my team-mates, but it’s the opposite way around. It’s the way I do it with the arms and everything. Sometimes I do it in a good way, but you see me waving my arms and you think it’s in a bad way.
“When I think they did something wrong and they had a better option and they didn’t because they want to get their goal, or get their skill done… I will shout at them in a bad way because we have to do things for the team.
“At the same time, if I see someone low on confidence and they miss a pass, miss a shot, miss a chance I will shout at them in an encouragement way.”