Ronaldo's coldness with Fernandes ISN'T a United rift, says Mario

Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal team-mate Joao Mario insists his coldness with Bruno Fernandes ISN’T a Man United rift… and instead it’s just ‘a joke’ about the midfielder’s late arrival

  • Joao Mario lifted the lid on Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo’s exchange
  • The two United stars had an awkward exchange on international duty 
  • It comes after Ronaldo’s bombshell interview criticising Manchester United
  • But Mario claims their tense meeting was just ‘a joke’ ahead of trip to Qatar 
  • Click here for the latest World Cup 2022 news, fixtures, live action and results

Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes’ awkward exchange in the Portugal dressing room was just ‘a joke’, according one of their national team-mates.

The Manchester United duo had a frosty encounter as they linked up with the national side shortly after Ronaldo’s bombshell interview, where he slammed the current state of the club.

Despite a cold reception from Fernandes towards his team-mate, Benfica and Portugal midfielder Joao Mario insisted that there is no rift between the two players.

Cristiano Ronaldo asked Bruno Fernandes if he’d travelled by boat, according to Joao Mario

The Man United duo seemed to have a frosty encounter when they arrived for Portugal training

Benfica and Portugal star Joao Mario denied suggestions there was a rift between them

Speaking at Portugal’s press conference on Tuesday, Mario said: ‘I was in the locker room at that moment, I saw pictures. 

‘It was a joke between them because Bruno was one of the last to arrive and Cristiano asked if he had come by boat. It was a joke between them, they play together’. 

The United duo both made the journey from Manchester to Portugal as the national continue their training in Oeiras before they travel to Qatar later this week.

Mario claims that Fernandes’ late arrival was what prompted a confused look on Ronaldo’s face, as opposed to an awkwardness caused by the latter’s tell-all interview. 

Cristiano Ronaldo on the pitch in Oeiras as Portugal continue their World Cup preparation

The Portuguese duo have played in the Red Devils’ side together for the past two seasons

Ronaldo’s extremely high-profile falling out with Manchester United appeared to have spoiled his relationship with Fernandes after the two had a seemingly frosty encounter on Monday.

In a clip, Fernandes put an arm on Ronaldo as he walked past him to put his bag down in the locker before trying to turn away and face the rest of the dressing room. 

Ronaldo very clearly offered out his hand first – which Fernandes, after a brief second of seemingly wondering whether he should accept it, meets with his own before saying something to him and turning away. 

The forward was left standing there and appeared confused as Fernandes quickly went and greeted some of his other national team-mates.

Ronaldo offered his hand to Fernandes – who had initially just patted his team-mate’s back 

In the interview, among other claims, Ronaldo said he did not ‘respect’ current United boss Erik ten Hag while also taking aim at the club’s facilities and their place in the football pecking order.

He claimed they had fallen below the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City and also expressed a belief that he had been ‘betrayed’ by the club. 

Ronaldo also took aim at the role of United’s owners and urged fans to continue their protest against the Glazers.

He said: ‘The fans, they’re always right. I think the fans should know the truth – should know that the players… we want the best for the club.’

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