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Fernandes' message for fans after Euros exit.

Byline: AARON CATTERSON-REID sport@men-news.co.uk @MENSPORTS

UNITED star Bruno Fernandes has sent a message thanking Portugal fans after they were knocked out of Euro 2020 by Belgium on Sunday night.

The 26-year-old was named on the bench as A Selecao were defeated courtesy of a marvellous first-half Thorgan Hazard strike.

Fernandes came on for City playmaker Bernardo Silva in the 55th minute, but struggled to impose himself on proceedings in a game that featured very few clear-cut opportunities.

The result condemned the holders to a bitterly disappointing early exit after they clinched the 2016 trophy thanks to a 1-0 extra-time victory over France in the final.

Fernandes voiced his disappointment on Monday afternoon while thanking the Portugal fans for supporting the team.

"Together in victories and defeats", he wrote on his Instagram page.

"Disappointed and sad, but very grateful for the tireless support of our fans. We couldn't achieve what we wanted so much, but the feeling of pride in being Portuguese remains intact. We will come back stronger!"

Former United captain Roy Keane admitted he has been left unimpressed with Fernandes' performances, citing his body language as a cause for concern in recent weeks.

"No, [I'm] not really [surprised] because of the other options. He's not really been in top form in the tournament.

"His body language is not great and he's not performed," Keane told ITV Sport ahead of the game.

"The beauty of it for the manager is you look at the Portuguese players and the options he's got. The plus for Portugal so far is they've scored seven goals, but they've conceded six.

"The worry for Portugal with the way they play, and particularly for the attacking players, if this turns into a shoot out I think they'll suffer today. But no surprise with the changes he's made."

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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Sport
Author:AARON CATTERSON-REID sport@men-news.co.uk @MENSPORTS
Publication:Manchester Evening News (Manchester, United Kingdom)
Geographic Code:4EUPR
Date:Jun 29, 2021
Words:304
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