Bruno Fernandes has billed Cristiano Ronaldo as “the most skilful player [he has] ever seen”, while the Manchester United midfielder has also recognised the “amazing” qualities of club-mate Marcus Rashford.
A Portugal international on the books at Old Trafford has been piecing together his perfect player.
The 25-year-old was asked to make his selections for that dream performer from those he has played with and against over the course of his career to date.
It comes as no surprise to see five-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo get the nod, with Fernandes having worked alongside the Juventus superstar at international level.
He acknowledges that an all-time great has changed his game down the years, having morphed from a tricky winger into a devastating goal-scoring frontman, but still considers him to be the most testing talent on the planet for opposition defenders.
Fernandes told BT Sport: “Cristiano – more in the first years of his career he was one of the most skilful players in the world.
“I think he changed his game a little bit, but he’s still a player who is really difficult one against one to defend against.
“For me, for everyone I have played with and against, I think he is the most skilful player I have ever seen.”
Another attribute that Fernandes’ perfect player needed to have was blistering pace, with United forward Rashford picked out in that department having shown a January arrival in Manchester what he is all about in a campaign which has delivered a career-best return of 21 goals.
“Rashford, I think he can have amazing pace but with amazing quality,” added Fernandes.
“It is difficult sometimes going at that velocity and still have the quality to do the right things – the right time to shoot, to pass, the skills.
“He surprised me a lot. Of course I already knew his quality because he is one of the best young players in the world.”
When it comes to leadership skills, Fernandes opted to go with Juventus’ legendary goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon – who is still going strong at 42 years of age.
He selected Chelsea midfielder N’Golo Kante for his work rate, while another couple of World Cup winners were chosen for their footballing brains – with Italy icon Andrea Pirlo and Barcelona great Andres Iniesta completing Fernandes’s selection.