Ronaldo’s Old Trafford contract was terminated with immediate effect on Tuesday as a result of the damaging tell-all interview in which he criticised both the club’s hierarchy and manager Erik ten Hag.
The 37-year-old has left United without a pay-off and will now play alongside international team-mate Fernandes as a free agent in Portugal’s opening World Cup game against Ghana on Thursday.
Fernandes will return to Old Trafford after the World Cup in Qatar without his compatriot but said that he does not feel under pressure to side with either Ronaldo or his club in the dispute.
“I don't feel uncomfortable. I don't have to pick a side,” he said.
“It was a privilege to play with Cristiano at the club, a dream and I've always said that. Cristiano has always been an inspiration for me.
“It was a dream come true to be able to play with Cristiano, it was great for me and good while it lasted. Cristiano took a different decision for his life, his career and we have to respect such decisions.
“Every decision has to be respected. We as players but also as parents, brothers, we know it might be difficult to take some decisions but these decisions have to be for the wellness for ourselves and our families.”
The news of Ronaldo’s departure from United was followed by the Glazer family confirming that they have commenced “a process to explore strategic alternatives for the club”, effectivley putting the club up for sale.
Fernandes insisted that he is not concerned about the state of the club he will return to. “I'm not in the least worried about the club's future or the club's decisions,” he said. “My focus is here, on the World Cup, and I want to do my best to represent my country.”