Bruno Fernandes’ former coach says Man Utd star ‘didn’t even look like a footballer’

Yes, that really is Bruno Fernandes...

Bruno Fernandes is now recognised as one of the best midfielders in the world.

Despite his tepid start to Euro 2020 with Portugal, the Manchester United's man quality is undeniable, especially after his sensational start to life with the Red Devils.

In the 2020/21 season, Fernandes played 58 games across all competitions, netting 28 goals and contributing 17 assists - returns befitting of a world-class striker.

The 26-year-old really is a supremely-gifted footballer and one of the men responsible for his successful footballing journey is Mauro Borghetti.

Back in 2012, the former defensive midfielder convinced Italian minnows Novara - where he was part of the coaching staff - to sign the Portuguese midfielder from Boavista in a deal worth a reported €40,000.

But when he arrived at the Serie B side, Fernandes looked nothing like a professional footballer, something Borghetti made very clear when talking about the United ace.

"Humble and never banal, he matured late," Borghetti told Gazzetta earlier this year.

"When he arrived he didn't even look like a footballer."

If you want to know exactly what a teenage Fernandes looked like when he arrived at Novara, then check out the images below.

Fernandes rocking long hair

Yeah, he's changed quite a lot in nine years...

But despite his questionable appearance and small stature, Fernandes' personality and work ethic set him apart from the rest.

Borghetti previously told Football Italia, per The Sun: "Above all, he had a great personality which is what distinguishes him now that he is playing football at top levels.

"As far as I know, we were the only club that wanted to sign him at that time and he immediately accepted our offer.

"He worked hard, trying to learn Italian right away, he joined the group and was immediately welcomed because he was able to establish good relationships with his team-mates.

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"He had excellent relations with all the figures inside Novarello. Sometimes his mother or his girlfriend came to visit him. He was a person of some depth. Notoriety and celebrity haven’t changed him.

"His skills are mainly technical and mental. He must have worked on his physical abilities, which were the only things below average.

"Not from an athletic point of view, he’s always had endurance and aerobic abilities. I speak of his structure. He turned 18 during the season he spent at Novara, he has now improved his physical structure."

Fair play, Bruno.

Fernandes signed for Udinese after just a year with Novara, before joining fellow Serie A outfit Sampdoria in 2016.

Fernandes in action

In 2017, he returned to his homeland with Sporting Lisbon, where he transformed into a world beater and earned a big-money move to United in 2020 as result.

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