An awkward handshake between Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes was the result of a joke between the Portugal and Manchester United teammates, Portugal midfielder Joao Mario said on Tuesday.
The cold interaction between the pair on Monday was caught on camera and went viral on social media, sparking talk of a broken relationship following Ronaldo's explosive interview with Talk TV in which he said he felt "betrayed" by United.
The video shows Fernandes touching Ronaldo's arm as he walked past him in the changing room, prompting an offer of a handshake which was eventually accepted, but only briefly, with little eye contact between the two. "I was there and saw everything, it was a funny moment that was misinterpreted on the outside," a laughing Joao Mario told a news conference in Lisbon on Tuesday.
"It was a joke between them because Bruno (Fernandes) was late, one of the last to arrive, and Cristiano (Ronaldo) asked him if he had came by boat. "I understand that the images can be interpreted in many ways, but it was a joke between them. They have a great relationship because they play together, I saw them all day yesterday. There is no problem between them."
Joao Mario does not believe Ronaldo's interview will be a distraction in the changing room and that the time he spends with the national team is a safe space for him. "There is no added pressure," Joao Mario said. "We are all used to dealing with great pressure because we play for big clubs.