Sporting Lisbon re-sign Bruno Fernandes after he quit following attack by fans
Bruno Fernandes, one of nine players who quit Sporting Lisbon last month after an attack by angry supporters, rejoined the club on Tuesday.
Fernandes, 23, signed until 2023 with a release clause set at €100 million and revealed that, despite receiving better offers from other club, he chose to return after Sporting guaranteed improved security for himself, other players and their families.
He said an invasion of the club's training camp by armed supporters in May, in which Dutch forward Bas Dost was injured and the dressing room was vandalised, "left its marks" -- but says things were now looking up.
"It doesn't matter who is to blame, now it is over. Sporting are opening a new page and I believe it will be very good," he told a news conference.
Fernandes, who was part of the Portugal squad at the World Cup, would not confirm or deny media reports that he had doubled his money under his new contract.
"What I said was that I did not want to improve the contract -- I have done no blackmail. If it were for the financial side, I would not be here," he said.
Last month, Sporting members overwhelmingly voted to remove former president Bruno de Carvalho, whom the nine players had blamed for stoking anger among fans with his public criticism of the team over their performance last season -- though, Carvalho will still run for club presidency in September.
Interim club president Jose Sousa Cintra lauded Fernandes over this attitude as "a case apart -- the best as a player and a person."
Fernandes did not rule out the possibility of other players returning to Sporting, but said he could only speak for himself.
Most have already been signed by other clubs, including Portugal goalkeeper Rui Patricio, now with Wolves.
Dost also quit the club, as did Argentina midfielder Rodrigo Battaglia and Portuguese players Daniel Podence, Gelson Martins, William Carvalho, Rafael Leao and Ruben Ribeiro.