Recent Manchester City signing Fernando has revealed that new teammate Yaya Toure is his football idol, and can’t wait for the chance to line up alongside the Ivorian on the Premier League stage.
Fernando made over 140 league appearances for Porto over the past seven seasons, winning four league titles, two Portuguese Cups, two Portuguese Supercups and the Europa League, before a £12 million move to the Etihad this summer.
Said to have been a long-time target of the club, the Brazilian joins a talented group of midfielders, including compatriot Fernandinho and recent arrival Frank Lampard, but picked out Toure as the name who he had most looked forward to linking up with.
I’ve always admired Yaya,’ the 27-year-old told the Manchester Evening News. ‘But the team is made up of great players.
‘When I was growing up my favourite players were Gilberto Silva and Mauro Silva, but now it is Yaya.’
Nicknamed ‘The Octopus’ in Portugal, due to the sheer amount of tackles he puts in over the course of a game, the former under-20 international is now looking forward to his English top-flight debut, after seeing significant minutes on the club’s pre-season tour of the USA.
‘It’s been a tough tour, it got easier as the games went along, but it was difficult,’ he said.
‘It has been more intense (than in Portugal) and the pace is quicker.
‘But I was expecting that having watched the Premier League before I came here. But I’m getting used to it, I’m adapting.
‘I knew I was facing great players when I came here, I just need to keep working hard and I’ll prove myself.
‘I win a lot of balls, like multi-legged, that’s where the Octopus nickname came from, and hopefully I can do well.’
With Fernandinho late back to City following the World Cup, Fernando could well get his first chance to impress supporters with a start in Sunday’s Community Shield against Arsenal.