THANK BRUNO JAMES MADDISON has credited Bruno Fernandes for his World Cup call-up.
The 25-year-old midfielder hasn’t played for England since his debut in the 7-0 win over Montenegro in 2019.
Maddison watched Man Utd’s Fernandes closely when he was trying to get back in the England squad.
He missed out at Euro 2020 and was snubbed in the last two international breaks.
But the all-important Three Lions call-up came for the world’s biggest football showcase.
Many were demanding Maddison’s inclusion in the Qatar-bound squad after he played a part in 27 of Leicester’s goals in 2022.
And the Foxes playmaker has credited a Premier League rival for giving him the inspiration to succeed.
Maddison said: “A couple of seasons ago, when I wasn’t in the England squad, Bruno Fernandes was playing very well for Manchester United and putting up ridiculous numbers in terms of goals and assists.
“So I probably watched him a bit closer at that time. ‘How is he scoring so many goals? What runs is he making that I’m not?’.
“If that makes me a student of the game, then that’s what I am.”
The former Norwich dynamo explained that his partner goes mad at him for watching studying so many matches.
He added: “I watch every game. My house is football mad.
“My girlfriend goes crazy because I watch so much. During the lockdown, when there were four games a day, I had them all on.
“I don’t think that there is a player now that I model my game on – maybe when I was younger. I appreciate all the good players in the Premier League.
“I try and take something from each of the players I watch, whether they are a higher level, the same level or lower. If I’m watching a game on TV, I’m often watching players in my position.
“I’m a football man. I’ve said that many times. Because I just love the game.
“In my head, I’m still that little boy who is kicking the ball around in the garden on or with [England] face paint on.”