‘Tells you everything’: Stelling drops bold Euros claim after slamming manager’s treatment of United star

Jeff Stelling, like the majority of fans watching across Europe, was taken aback at Roberto Martinez’s decision to substitute Bruno Fernandes last night.

The Manchester United skipper was withdrawn from Portugal’s quarter-final tie around the 75th minute in place of 21-year-old Francisco Conceicao. At the time of his exit, no player had taken more shots (3) or created more chances (2) than Fernandes during the cagey affair.

After both the Portuguese and France were unable to break the deadlock following 120 minutes of action, the semi-final place had to be decided through a penalty shootout, which was the case for Martinez’s side in their last-16 win over Slovenia. Fernandes was one of three penalty-takers that night, converting from the spot to help seal his nation’s progression.

Yet, he was unable to do so this time around. Joao Felix’s effort slamming off the woodwork, followed by Theo Hernandez’s strike to make it 5-3 in the shootout, confirmed Portugal’s exit from the tournament.

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Fernandes’ withdrawal was an eyebrow-raiser for everyone watching

Stelling has since rued Martinez’s management on the night, expressing his disbelief that a hardworking, creative midfielder like Fernandes was taken off, while Cristiano Ronaldo, who has overseen a particularly lacklustre campaign, played the entirety of the match.

“Bruno Fernandes off while Ronaldo – who has jogged around without impact – tells you everything about who calls the shots for Portugal,” Stelling declared on his X (Twitter) account.