Cristiano Ronaldo ‘earned the right’ to leave Bruno Fernandes ‘angry’ at Euro 2024 – Football News

Cristiano Ronaldo ‘earned the right’ to leave Bruno Fernandes ‘angry’ at Euro 2024

Bruno Fernandes was subbed off early against France while Cristiano Ronaldo stayed on for the full 120 minutes (Image: Getty)

Wes Brown has admitted that Bruno Fernandes is likely to be “angry” after being substituted early in the game against France. But he insists that Cristiano Ronaldo’s presence on the pitch was non-negotiable for Portugal.

The ex-Manchester United star pointed out that despite Ronaldo’s less than stellar performances at Euro 2024, his status remains too much to warrant being subbed. Brown, who boasts five Premier League titles and two Champions League trophies, also dismissed any suggestion that Ronaldo’s missed penalty in the round-of-16 clash with Slovenia would have affected his confidence in a shootout.

He cited the forward’s unwavering mindset which he’s maintained since his time at Old Trafford. Speaking on Reach’s new Euro Thrash podcast – which you can find on YouTube, Apple and Spotify – Brown explained: “There is a lot of respect in that team for Ronaldo.

“There was one free kick that was not even of his side, but he took it anyway because he wants to score. I do think it comes to a stage and the lads will think ‘he’s not going to take him off, there’s no chance, this is going to be his last Euros’.”

Brown also suggested that Portugal coach Roberto Martinez was likely keen to avoid the media frenzy that would follow if he made the controversial decision to substitute Ronaldo. Confronted with the notion that not substituting Ronaldo might reflect weak management, Brown firmly disagreed, stating: “I don’t think it is. He is still that guy who can get you a goal. I don’t think there is anyone else in that team who has been scoring outright.”

“Yes, he wasn’t playing particularly well, but I don’t think the manager wanted that responsibility and the press that comes with it to take him off, that definitely would have come into it a little bit.”

Wes Brown

Wes Brown and Cristiano Ronaldo played together at United for six seasons (Image: Getty)

Discussing Fernandes’ potential disappointment at his early departure, the 23-cap England international added: “He would have been angry. He came off in the 75th minute and he was actually getting on the ball trying to create. You’re going to be frustrated. But if anything, Ronaldo has earned that. I know it is tough but he has 100% earned the right to stay on the pitch, because he can still get you a goal.”

He also reminisced about Ronaldo’s reaction to missed opportunities during his time at Old Trafford, asserting that the Portuguese star’s attitude hasn’t changed since his younger days. “He missed a couple when I was with him at Man United in important games, so he has been there and done it.

“It’s all about, will he step up again, but as any striker will tell you, it is your job,” Brown continued. “You want to take the penalty regardless of what happens. He would have been a little big disappointed that he missed that one, but he did get through anyway. It’s the personality of the player. Regardless, he will want to score, he will want to take it, even if there are some you might miss.”

Watch and listen to Euro Thrash on YouTube, Apple Podcasts and Spotify with regular new episodes throughout Euro 2024