It looks like the decider between Portugal and North Macedonia in World Cup qualifying will be a showdown with a special kind of star, Bruno Fernandes.
Bruno Fernandes, the Manchester United star, prepares with Portugal for one of his biggest games on Tuesday, when his team hosts North Macedonia in the European qualifying final for the 2022 World Cup.
Fernandez will have a date with one of his closest friends, defender Stefan Ristovsky, who helped North Macedonia topple four-time World Cup winner Italy and deny them access to the 32-team tournament.
Ristovsky spoke about his relationship with Bruno Fernandes, who played with him at Sporting Lisbon, Portugal, saying he feels he has Portuguese citizenship, noting that he did not expect to one day face the “Brazil of Europe”.
“I feel that I have Portuguese citizenship in many ways, and I never imagined that I would be in such a position and have to face Portugal in such an important match,” Ristovsky told the Reuters news agency on Monday.
He added: “I have a strong relationship with this country, Portugal has influenced me a lot, I know the Portuguese players well and I have given my coach as much information as possible to help my team win.”
On his relationship with the Manchester United star, the Macedonian player said: “Bruno Fernandes is one of my closest friends, but this is football, we’ll put friendship aside, it’s hard for your brother to get in the way. of your big dream. .”
He added: “I’m proud of our relationship, it’s good to see but football will go on without us, our personal lives don’t matter when the match starts so I’ll do my best to win and take my country to the World Cup for the first time.” time”.
Ristovsky, the Croatian player for Dinamo Zagreb, played 3 seasons in Lisbon before moving to Croatia last year, after playing more than 80 games for Sporting, he captained the team in some games and had a close relationship with the fans of the equipment.
Ristovsky and Fernández made 64 appearances together for Sporting Lisbon between September 2017 and January 2020, winning the Portuguese Cup once and the League Cup twice.