Bruno Fernandes’ old Udinese coach, Andrea Stramaccioni, revealed he pressured him to get married during the player’s time in Italy.
Fernandes previously played in the Serie A for four years with Udinese and Sampdoria before joining Sporting CP in his native Portugal in the summer of 2017 for €9.69m.
The midfielder also played under Stramaccioni during the Italian’s sole campaign in charge of Udinese in 2014/15, managing four goals and three assists in 34 appearances.
Despite their limited time together, however, Stramaccioni’s influence on Fernandes led the Portuguese to pop the question to his high school sweetheart, Ana Pinho. The couple later married in December 2015.
“I was pushing him a lot to get married,” he said to Sky Sports.
“You love this girl, you need to marry her’ and when he did marry her he called me to say: ‘Coach I did it.’ It was funny, it was a way to joke with him.”
Fernandes, meanwhile, has developed exceptionally well since leaving Italy and is now a star performer for Manchester United in the Premier League.
But while Stramaccioni is surprised at Bruno’s progress in Manchester since his January arrival, he noted how 25-year-old’s work ethic and intelligence could have played a part in his fast transition.
“Bruno was one of the talented young players of Udinese,” said Stramaccioni. “He was playing but not established. He was learning a lot and growing up and was very shy.
“He’s a good person and a hard worker. His approach was always positive, even in a bad situation. He never came with the nose up and his team-mates appreciated that.”
He continued: “I didn’t expect such a quick impact at Manchester United, but they are different from the past. There are many young players and he was clever and earned his leadership.
“He was such a hard worker. Every training I said you have to come back this afternoon and do extra and he always did.
“He did two or three extra training sessions per week and worked hard on his technical side, and his strength in the gym. He is so strong mentality. He never said: ‘No, why do I have to come back’.
“Look at videos of him six years ago and look at him now. It’s all from his work and his mentality. I am very happy for him.”