Fernandinho played the full 90 minutes as Manchester City beat Everton 5-0 on the final day before winning the Premier League trophy – supporting both Sergio Aguero’s goals
Fernandinho could end his Manchester City career at its highest in Saturday’s Champions League final against Chelsea – if he decides to leave.
When City signed a 28-year-old midfielder who had spent his entire career in Brazil and Ukraine in 2013, people might have wondered how much value they would get for the £ 30million fee they gave Shakhtar Donetsk gave.
But he’s been an unconditional success in eight seasons at Manchester – he won the Premier League Cup for the fourth time (and for the first time as a permanent captain) on Sunday.
“It was a very special moment,” he told BBC Radio Manchester. “When I look back eight years ago when I signed here and said, ‘Oh, I’ll be captain one day to get this trophy,’ it would never have crossed my mind.”
He hasn’t played that much football this season – but still played a big role on and off the pitch. His contract ends next month with no decision made about his future.
How Fernandinho turned early doubts around to become legend
Fernandinho on the United Nations from Manchester City
Fernandinho recently won his fourth Premier League title and won the League Cup together six times (equivalent to Sergio Aguero).
Boss Pep Guardiola called him one of the best player in the club’s history last year.
His former Manchester City teammate Micah Richards said on BBC Radio 5 Live: “I remember when Fernandinho first came to City from Shakhtar.
“We did a ridiculous run last season and he was sick. So we thought about how your midfield maestro might throw up after a run?
“Sometimes when people come they are the center of attention – they can be very judgmental. Sometimes they look for the strengths, but also for the weaknesses. Then we said, ‘We signed someone else who won.’ can’t keep up ‘.
“And then we took the balls out and I was like ‘wow’ and immediately I knew he was going to do what he did. He’s 35 now and he still reads the game the way he was when he went to first came. He’s such a smart footballer and he never gives the ball away. “
Fernandinho has won more Premier League games than anyone since moving to England (171 of his 245 games). He has also completed more passes (13,896).
He is only behind the Chelsea couple Cesar Azpilicueta and N’Golo Kante in tackles with 577 and in fourth place in tackles won (400). His 18,909 touches are only behind Azpilicueta.
The Brazilian is fifth for winning duels (1,413) and eighth for the times he won possession (1,383). Only five players were involved in more goals (71).
Fernandinho is ninth in interceptions (372) and has conceded more fouls than anyone in the Premier League since his debut (345).
“I don’t think there is anyone in world football who can do a tactical foul better than Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets,” said Rory Smith of the New York Times on BBC Radio 5 Live Monday Night Club.
One of the many attributes of Fernandinho is its versatility. He is a sustained midfielder by profession – but has played in every position except goalkeeper and striker under Pep Guardiola.
He also poses a threat if he moves forward in 245 Premier League games with 18 goals and 18 assists, including two for Sergio Aguero on the final day.
The moment that turned City’s season?
Manchester City were 3-0 ahead after 36 minutes in the first game after the crisis meeting at Stamford Bridge – they beat Chelsea 3-1
Captain Fernandinho – although he was no longer a regular in the first team – had a large part in their revival this season.
City was in eighth place at the end of 2020, seven points behind Liverpool.
He called a players meeting at 7 a.m. on New Years Day.
“It’s not easy to find those words in moments like this. It was a really frank conversation – no speech – and I think they got it because I am one of them too,” he said.
“I have the same problems they sometimes have – the same doubts they have – the way I always tell them, ‘I’m in the same boat as you’. I think everyone got this because of the quality they have have, and that was what was missing – some kind of good behavior and attitude and some actions.
“After that everything changed and the result speaks for itself.”
City won the next 18 games (after winning the last three before the meeting), taking the title, and being in the Champions League final. Of the teams in the five best leagues in Europe, only Bayern Munich and Real Madrid have had a longer winning run in all competitions.
Ex-Manchester City defender Nedum Onuoha said: “He’s a serial winner and the type of player you want to play with. The respect he has – there are certain people I’ve played with who try to meet crisis levels and people laugh at them. ” out of the room.
“But here’s a guy, when he speaks, people listen. He’s a big part of the football club’s identity.”
City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan said: “I really can’t express how important Fernandinho is to us as a group.
“He’s immense. Of course he doesn’t have as much playing time as others in the squad this season, but he knows his role, his responsibilities and what he has to say at the right time.
“A leader may not be the one who scores the goals, plays every minute or with the best pass rate, but the one who knows what to say in the bad moments and understands his personal role.”
Will he stay in town?
Fernandinho has won six league cups in eight seasons – no other teams than City and Liverpool (eight each) have won that many
Fernandinho, now 35, has made the fewest appearances for City in one season (even when playing against Chelsea). He has played 35 games in all competitions but only managed 1,181 minutes in the Premier League. Last season he played 2,398 minutes in the league.
He said: “My contract ends next month but I spoke to the club beforehand and we both decided to talk about my contract again after the season is over. We’ll see what happens.”
“I try to live day in and day out so I don’t think it’s fair for me and everyone around me to think about the future and make plans, but you never know what might happen tomorrow.”