Speaking to FourFourTwo (May 2021 edition, page 63), Raphinha has given his honest opinion on Manchester United star Bruno Fernandes.
The Portuguese star made headlines with his comments about the Brazilian last month, and Leeds fans weren’t best pleased with what he said about the winger.
“About Raphinha, unluckily for Leeds, I think maybe he will still be injured at the time. I hope not. I hope I can play against him but, if I have to put him down in the game, I will put him down!” Fernandes said ahead of Leeds vs Manchester United.
It seems as though those comments were all in good jest though as Raphinha has now spoken about their close relationship and how much he admires him as a player.
“Bruno was the first person to contact me before I left Vitoria Guimaraes for Sporting, where we were teammates for a season. So from my first day in Lisbon until the last, we were pretty close to each other, it was a brothers’ relationship with Bruno being my older brother. He’s always keen to help everyone and gave me some good advice,” Raphinha said.
The Leeds star was then asked what he thinks of Fernandes as a footballer, to which he replied:
“First and foremost he makes the most of his gifts. He’s a pure talent and an outstanding footballer. But we all know that talent isn’t enough nowadays in football. You also have to work hard.
“Bruno is an inspiration to me, because even being as talented as he is, he’s always looking to improve something in his game.”
It’s rare to hear a Leeds player talk about a Manchester United player in this way.
However, its undeniable that Fernandes is a real talent, and Raphinha knows that better than anyone.
Hopefully, we get to see the pair face-off next season after Raphinha was denied the chance to play against United at Elland Road due to injury.