Bruno Fernandes has been named in the PFA Team of the Year, off the back of a Premier League campaign which saw him score 18 goals and assist 12.

Speaking with the official club site, Bruno reaffirmed the impact former Manchester United player Cristiano Ronaldo had on his mentality.

Growing up, everyone knows Cristiano was my favourite player. I think it was a little bit of everything. When Cristiano began to take his first steps in the national team, it was in the Euros in our home country [Euro 2004], so I was nine years old. That year stays with everyone because we lost the final in Portugal, we saw him crying after the final, he was a young boy who was starting to shine and from there I started to watch him. It wasn’t because he plays in my position because that wasn’t the case, but it was the way he worked every day, the mentality he had, the capacity he had to give 100 per cent in every game at a high level, for me it was like a motivation, like you always have to do better. He was scoring goals every game, but game after game he was still trying to improve, get better.

My mentality comes a little bit from understanding what sort of player you want to be. Do you want to be that player who has a good season, and maybe goes up and down, up and down, or do you want to be the player who always wants to be at the top? Okay, you will have bad games for sure, everyone has – Cristiano has had bad games, 100 per cent – but the point is, coming back from a bad game. Coming back with the mentality that is, ‘okay I didn’t play well in that last game and I really need to do well in this one’. The mentality to do better day after day is really important for me. I’m improving a lot because of this, and that was my biggest motivation.

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Fernandes studies the game and watches plenty of matches, but the one that stands out for him is the Euro 2016 final which Portugal won 1-0 against France. Crictips will have plenty of bets available for this summer’s tournament, as Portugal look to escape ‘the group of death’.

There are a lot of matches that have inspired me. If you watch, in the world of football, the final of the Champions League, of the Euros or the World Cups, it’s difficult to choose one. But I think, for me, as a Portuguese, the final of the 2016 Euros is an inspiration for every kid. At that moment, I was not a kid anymore but the inspiration for every Portuguese player, for example, because we’d never won anything in the national team. We arrived at that moment against every chance to win that Euros so, as a Portuguese, I’m really proud of that and it’s one of the games I remember more.

I think we have a tough group but, at the same time, we know Portuguese people like that the biggest moments are for us because, as a small country, we like to beat the biggest countries we have to beat. I think we have the same chances as them, before the game starts it will be 50-50 but, of course, we know the group is tough. We will do our best, we have good players and a good team and also know what we can do and what we can achieve. We will try, as always to win every game we play.