Bruno Fernandes’ apparent frostiness towards Cristiano Ronaldo has been played down by Portugal teammate Joao Mario.
The Manchester United pair were involved in an awkward exchange as they met up on international duty in the wake of Ronaldo’s bombshell interview.
Red Devils striker Ronaldo slammed the state of the club to Piers Morgan, where he stated he feels ‘betrayed’, doesn’t ‘respect’ Erik ten Hag and hit out at the Glazer family.
His comments were made public just hours after United’s dramatic 2-1 victory against Fulham on Sunday, where he failed to be named in the matchday squad.
And a video has now emerged of Fernandes and Ronaldo meeting for the first time since his bombshell interview ahead of the World Cup.
But Mario, who is part of the Portugal squad, has insisted the exchange was ‘just a joke’ due to Fernandes arriving late.
Speaking in Tuesday’s press conference, the Benfica midfielder said: “I was in the locker room at that moment, I saw pictures.
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“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.”
Fernandes took to his Instagram story to comment on Mario’s explanation, where he joked: “There you are, ruining the covers of newspapers.”
Mario, who previously played for West Ham, also insisted that Ronaldo remains focused on helping Portugal win the World Cup.
He remarked: “He is always happy when he is with the national team.
“So I see him yesterday, and he is quite fine as always. As I said before, for him it is always a pleasure to be here.
“He is totally focused on the national team and for sure, he is going to be a big help for us this World Cup.”
Questioned about the timing of Ronaldo’s interview, Mario stated: “For us, it is the same.
“The headlines is always about him. For us, it is quite the same. So I don’t see a problem with the timing.
“Everyone always talk about Cristiano, so it is fine for us.”
Portugal begin their World Cup campaign in Qatar when they take on Ghana on November 24, a match you can listen to live on talkSPORT.
Watch ‘Piers Morgan Uncensored: 90 Minutes with Ronaldo’, 8pm on Wednesday and Thursday on TalkTV. Find TalkTV on Sky 526, Virgin Media 606, Freeview 237, Freesat 217 and Sky Glass 508, live and on demand on the TalkTV app, streaming services and at Talk.TV.
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