As a footballer aiming to get to the very top of the game, there are many different challenges along the way which ultimately steer you to where you deserve to be.
Only those who are willing to overcome everything that’s thrown at them on their journey can be regarded as truly elite players.
Man United midfielder, Bruno Fernandes, is well on the way to becoming just that, albeit at the moment he is having to drag along an under-performing Red Devils unit with him.
One of United’s best players since signing for the club earlier in 2020, he opened up to the UTD Podcast on the official Manchester United website about the day his dad sent him a message criticising the way he took penalties.
“The day after the Newcastle game, my dad sent me a message – and he never sends me a message, he always calls me the day after the game, always,” the Portuguese said.
“And this message says, ‘Congratulations on your goal, but from tomorrow I will start to explain to you how to take penalties!’
“I was like, ‘Hey, I’ve missed one penalty in 11 and he’s talking to me about this’, because he never scored a penalty in all the years he was playing football! But this kind of situation helps you improve because all the time you know you have people behind you who will always ask more and demand more from you.
“I also have one friend who is normally that type of guy who will come to you and say, ‘If I have something to tell you, I will tell you […] I’m like, ‘Ok, but sometimes you could just say you played really well today! You don’t need to point out every time I make a mistake – I know I made a mistake, I was playing!
“But it’s really nice to have those kind of friends. My brother and my dad are two of the people I listen to the most after games because they’ve played football in the past, they know the way I feel, they understand football, so I like to hear the things they have to tell me.”
At least one can see from the way in which Bruno reacts to criticism from those closest to him, that’s he’s made of the right stuff.
Football is a game where you can’t afford to be a shrinking violet or else the opponent will exploit the weakness.
Listening to his words and witnessing his deeds, you’d be hard pressed to disagree with anyone who says Bruno will be just fine.