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Man Utd star Bruno Fernandes had posters of STEPHEN IRELAND on his walls as kid, claims ex-Man City midfielder


Jun. 24, 2020

STEPHEN IRELAND has emerged as a shock childhood hero of Manchester United star Bruno Fernandes.
From the likes of Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard in the Premier League to the Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo in Spain, idols for aspiring teenagers were not in short supply during the late 2000s.
But United ’s £55million January buy from Sporting Lisbon appears to have ventured away from the pin-up superstars worshipped by the masses.
In fact, it was a midfielder for the Red Devils’ bitter rivals and neighbours Man City that he used love.
Former Republic of Ireland international Ireland, aged 33 and currently without a club, claims the Portuguese attacker had a poster of him and used to sign him on Football Manager.
The two men now live just three doors apart on the same road and have become good pals since Fernandes arrived in England.
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Ireland, who spent nine years at City earlier in his career, told The Atheltic : “He (Bruno Fernandes) told me that, as a kid, he had a poster of me.
“He said that when he played Football Manager he always signed me.
“I was like, ‘You had me on a poster? And, seriously, you sign me for FM?’ I mean, how weird is that?”
Despite his ties to United’s local rivals, Ireland also revealed how they had helped each other to keep fit during lockdown.
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And Fernandes, 25, even offered to have a future kickabout with Ireland’s son Jacob.
Ireland enjoyed a fine run of form after breaking into the City first-team in 2005 and went on to join Aston Villa in 2010.
But he has struggled with injuries since he left Stoke in 2018 after they were relegated from the Premier League.
Fernandes is looking to extend his unbeaten start to life at United tonight when they welcome Sheffield United to Old Trafford.
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