Bruno Fernandes’ desire to inherit the No. 8 shirt from the departing Juan Mata went far beyond just footballing reasons.

It’s the Portuguese playmaker’s preferred number everywhere he goes.  

For Bruno, the number and the letters ‘B’ and ‘F’ — as can be seen on the tattoo on his right arm — are a lot more than just his commonly presumed initials. 

The ‘B’ stands for Borges, which is the last name of his mother. The ‘F’ — naturally — stands for Fernandes, his father’s name. 

Bruno also revealed that wearing the No.8 has plenty to do with his father, his dreams, and the sacrifices he made for their family.  

“That shirt means a lot to me,” Fernandes said in an interview with MUTV.

“My father quit football because he had an offer from work. Obviously at that time, for me and my brothers and for all the family 

“The number eight is the number he was using for two years when he was playing and because it was also his dream to be a footballer, it makes my dream a little bit of him.”

Bruno also added that the eighth is the day of his birthday on 8 September — making his relentless pursuit of the shirt justified, even while Mata was still at the club. 

Fernandes was asked about that and his relationship with the recently departed Spaniard.