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Bruno Fernandes injury record: How the Man United captain stays fit and can even play centre-back

Bruno Fernandes’ injury record at Manchester United is nothing short of remarkable.

The United skipper is yet to miss a game due to some form of injury since he arrived in England in the January transfer window of 2020, signing from Sporting CP for an initial fee of around £47 million ($60.4 million).

He has played over 200 matches, won the Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year award in his first season, and epitomises the definition of leadership in a squad often accused of lacking that particular trait.

Before kickoff against Liverpool on March 17, 2023, Fernandes was seen carrying one of the matchday mascots onto the pitch as the teams emerged from the tunnel at Old Trafford. It was a heart-warming gesture: the young boy had earlier been seen in tears, apparently frightened by the daunting prospect of walking out onto the pitch in front of more than 73,000 fans, before being comforted by the United captain.

During a gripping FA Cup quarterfinal, Fernandes played in multiple positions and endured 120 minutes of action despite clearly struggling with a knock sustained in the latter stages. His capacity to withstand the rigours of such a gruelling game and lead his players to a remarkable 4-3 victory won widespread acclaim. It also underlined just how amazingly fit he seems to be.

The Sporting News takes a look into his injury statistics along with insight into how he manages it, with input from the man himself.

MORE: How Man United beat Liverpool in seven-goal FA Cup thriller

Bruno Fernandes injury record

During Man United’s historic 4-3 victory over Liverpool in the FA Cup quarterfinals, Fernandes played the entire 120 minutes and even featured at centre-back for a large portion of extra time.

“I do what’s needed to win games,” he told journalists post-match. “I don’t mind. It wasn’t in the plan, it was trying to go man-marking on the pitch, but I felt at moments I could jump on their midfielders and at moments, I could drop a little bit to help H [Harry Maguire] because obviously, they have a lot of pace up front.”

Fernandes joked: “I don’t mind, but when I’m far away from the goal, I can’t get my goals and assists! But they can’t score anyway because I was a centre-half in my early career, so I still got something from that.”

During the interview, there was a pack of ice behind him, presumed to be his. When asked about the injury, he described it as a “dead leg” but in true captain fashion added “it’s part of the game”.

And that is part of Fernandes’ game at least. His injury record throughout his career is sensational.

The 29-year-old is yet to miss a match through injury for United and has only missed four games in his decade-long career, two of which were illness-related.

Season Injury Games missed Team
2021/22 Illness 1 Manchester United
2018/19 Leg injury 2

Portugal

2016/17 Flu 1 Sampdoria

Data via transfermarkt

This season in the Premier League, he has played in every game, and no outfield player has more minutes than him for United this campaign. What’s his secret? His family.

“I just have to be grateful for my father and my mum because they made me the right way, the strong way!” he said. “They’ve been here for the last two games and they give me that extra energy, with my kids and my wife, they always take care of me.

“My wife does a great job at home to give me as much rest as I can. It’s difficult when you have two kids at home and they want to play. My youngest one wants to play football all the time, but I get my rest, my naps, everything I need, because she’s there to help me. Part of this record is my family.”

Fernandes’ desire and unyielding passion not only attach him to United’s fan base but also incite disgust from rival fans across the league.

After United’s last-minute defeat to Fulham in the league last month, the Cottagers posted a video on TikTok mocking Fernandes, suggesting an injury suffered mid-game was feigned.

United manager Erik ten Hag called it “totally out of order” and claimed Fernandes plays through pain barriers because he has a high threshold.

“I don’t say what it is, but it was a serious injury. I see social media criticise him. It is pathetic,” said Ten Hag.

“He has a serious injury, he continued to play on and then also fought to be part of this game.”

While consistently playing every match for United is certainly commendable, to etch his name into Red Devils history as a captain will require Fernandes to win silverware. He currently only has the Carabao Cup to his name in a United shirt.

The Liverpool win keeps their chances alive, with the FA Cup standing as their sole opportunity this season. United will face Coventry City in the semifinal at Wembley next month.

Where to watch Man United in Premier League 2023/24

Region TV Streaming
Australia Optus Sport
Canada

Fubo Canada

India Star Sports Disney+, Hotstar,
JioTV
UK Sky Sports, TNT Sports NOW TV, Sky Go,
Amazon Prime
USA USA Network,
Telemundo, Universo
Fubo, Peacock

UK: Matches are carried across Sky Sports and TNT Sports streaming and TV platforms, with select matches on Amazon Prime.

USA: Select matches are televised on USA Network (English) and Telemundo or Universo (Spanish), and all three channels can be streamed on Fubo. The rest of the matches are streamed on NBC platform Peacock for subscribers.

Canada: Every Premier League game this season is live streamed exclusively via Fubo in Canada.

Australia: Fans in Australia can stream every match live and on demand on Optus Sport.

India: Star Sports network has the rights to show Premier League matches in India. As well as an English broadcast on Star Sports Select, select matches will be available via regional feeds on Star Sports 3 (in Bengali, English, Kannada, Malayalam), Star Sports 1 (Bangla) and Star Sports 1 (Tamil).

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