Specialist Bruno Fernandes attributes his penalty kick technique to Bas Dost

Bruno Fernandes has revealed a story about Bas Dost. The two played together at Sporting Portugal, and the Dutchman helped Fernandes improve his penalty kick technique.

Specialist Bruno Fernandes attributes his penalty kick technique to Bas Dost Embed from Getty Images

Bruno Fernandes has become a pivotal figure at Manchester United, not just for his leadership and playmaking skills but also for his exceptional ability to convert penalties.

With 29 successful penalties to his name, Fernandes stands as the top penalty scorer for the club, boasting an impressive ninety percent success rate throughout his career. His journey to becoming a penalty specialist is a testament to his dedication and the refinement of his technique over several years.

Fernandes' technique development began during his tenure at Udinese, where he experimented with his penalty approach. "During my time at Udinese, I would halt my run-up, take two additional steps, and then strike the ball," he shared in an interview with A Bola. What set his method apart early on was his tactic of observing the goalkeeper's movements well before taking the shot, allowing him to make a more informed decision on where to place the ball.

However, it was at Sampdoria under coach Salvatore Foti that Fernandes' penalty technique underwent significant scrutiny and evolution. Foti suggested a drastic change: Fernandes should reduce his steps after stopping to just one and delay his observation of the goalkeeper until the very last moment before the shot. This advice, aimed at improving the unpredictability and accuracy of his penalties, initially did not sit well with Fernandes. He found the adjustment uncomfortable, as it disrupted his balance and precision. "The balance of my body wasn't right, and I couldn't place my foot where I wanted. As a result, I also didn't have time to look at the goalkeeper," Fernandes recounted.

The turning point in Fernandes' penalty mastery came during his time at Sporting Portugal, where he played alongside Bas Dost. Observing Dost's technique, which also involved looking at the goalkeeper at the last possible moment, Fernandes noticed a critical difference. Dost's longer legs allowed him a unique advantage in the timing and execution of this technique. Inspired, Fernandes closely studied Dost's approach, receiving tips and integrating them into his practice. Dost's influence was crucial in helping Fernandes optimize his penalty technique, adapting it to his own physical attributes and style of play.

Fernandes' meticulous attention to detail and willingness to adapt and learn from his teammates have been instrumental in his development into one of the most reliable penalty takers in football. His journey reflects a blend of personal innovation and collaborative learning. Today, as he continues to shine for Manchester United, his penalty-taking prowess remains a significant asset, underlining the importance of technique, mental strength, and continuous improvement in achieving sporting excellence. Fernandes' story is a compelling narrative of evolution, showcasing how a player can transform an aspect of their game to reach new heights of performance.

Updated: 10:49, 21 Mar 2024

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