Throughout the long Bruno Fernandes to Manchester United saga there were repeat comments from some questioning his actual level as a footballer.
Despite him building up an amazing record of goals and assists at Sporting, doubts were sent his way because he was getting the numbers in Portugal, rather than another big European league.
There’s been multiple successful signings from Portugal in recent years, with Fernandes at Old Trafford, Ederson and Rúben Dias at Manchester City, Leicester City’s Ricardo Pereira, and a whole group of Wolves players among them.
Still, perceptions among some have been hard to shift, and they’ll point to less successful moves to back themselves up, with Portugal tending to get this dismissive treatment more than other countries.
Fernandes feels that’s starting to change and that his Premier League contribution, and that of Dias at Manchester City, has improved the standing of Liga NOS, and the desire to sign players from there.
Speaking to Expresso magazine, and quoted by O Jogo, the Manchester United star said: “The perception has changed a little, which can be good, because the championship could aim for more significant sales in the future. After all, buying players from the Portuguese league might not be that bad.
“In the past they looked, perhaps, with some suspicion. They said: they come from a weaker league, less intense, with less quality, they will need time.
“Both Rúben Dias and I helped to change that idea a little. The quality and intensity depend on the player himself.”