Fernando: 8 things you should know
- 28 June 2014 16:06
- Posted by @_GoncaloLopes
Portuguese journalist Goncalo Lopes gives us the lowdown on what you can expect from City's newest signing, Fernando...
Fernando is a fantastic player, in my opinion one of the best in the world in his position, and I don't see many like him around. He can be everywhere - for instance, you'll see him breaking up opposition moves or taking charge of the ball to create goalscoring opportunities. And he does that from the first minute to the last!
Fernando has an inexhaustible lung capacity and can perfectly support the defence, making amends when his fellow midfielders go forward up the pitch. He's the kind of player that plays better alone in the defensive midfield than with a colleague near him. With Fernando, City could, for example, free up the other midfielders to operate higher up on the pitch comfortable in the knowledge the defence remain well protected.
He also knows how to position himself well, playing so smartly without the ball - when the ball is recovered by one of his colleagues his primary concern is to create better passing options, moving into space quickly and easily to offer a route up the pitch.
He's always one step ahead, he thinks about his next move and works exhaustively for the team. But don't think that because he plays defensive midfield he lacks technique – wrong. He has plenty of it, and is a very accomplished passer of the ball, particularly short, quick passes.
One of his best weapons is tackling. He's brilliant in this role, particularly adept at the slide tackle and rarely puts a foot wrong when trying to win the ball. He had incredible stats when playing for Porto, winning more than 70% of his duels in defensive midfield, across the Portuguese League, Champions League and Europa League.
We don't see him score a lot – he scored just eleven goals during his seven years in Portugal - but he does like to support the attack when appropriate, especially when his midfield colleagues drop back.
Physically, he's also impressive. In six years at Porto, he played almost every game and had very few injuries.
Portugal attempted to secure Fernando’s services for their national team, but he has been denied the chance by FIFA. His qualities would really improve Portugal, and everyone in the country knew that, shown by the fact that the Portuguese were very keen to see the midfielder represent their national team, despite the fact he was born in Brazil!