All the attention may be on one Portuguese star involved in the Manchester derby, but City’s Silva is pushing the champions and appears ready to take over Old Trafford.
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“He was the best player in England,” Pep Guardiola said when discussing Bernardo Silva’s efforts in the 2018/19 season.
He didn’t get major individual awards, but that sums up the Portuguese superstar. Unpretentious, no interest in the limelight, just doing his job.
Little has changed after more than two years.
You can learn a lot from our club’s best player award winner.
City’s title defense that year was seen by some as Raheem Sterling’s year, with the England star named Footballer of the Year.
But it was Bernardo who won the Indoor City award.
He was forced to take his time after signing from Monaco in 2017 for £43m. French football experts were befuddled by the playmaker’s sporadic use early in the union, after seeing him conduct the free-scoring orchestra at Stade Louis II just months ago.
Kylian Mbappe was the star of the A-list, teen phenomenon. But it was Bernardo who made everything around him tick.
Guardiola took on the Portuguese star in the Champions League as Monaco ousted City from Europe and it’s fair to say he made an impression.
Bernardo said: “After the first match, I was doing some interviews and I saw Pep (Guardiola), he came to talk to me and congratulated me on the match.
“Maybe it was that day that slightly changed my career and my life.”
City’s number 20 is this combination that you don’t get in any player. He has the quality to carry like Lionel Messi but has instead opted for a floor covering like N’Golo Kante.
In the decisive match of the 2018-2019 season, City’s 2-1 win over Liverpool on January 4, Bernardo scored the highest level of the season at 13.7 km. A third of a marathon is in 90 minutes.
“He’s anything but a fancy player you’d expect from someone as skilled as him,” Portuguese football expert Tom Konendert previously told Sky Sports.
Bernardo’s quality is demonstrated by the diverse roles that the City boss has handed to him. He played on the wing and in the midfield three and as a false nine.
It’s crazy to think then, given his request, that the 27-year-old thinks he wants to walk away from the union.
A move to Barcelona was supposed to be on the table last summer before it fell apart. Talk of a switch to Atletico Madrid appears to have gained momentum this year.
Despite this, few clubs, in a post-Covid world, will pay the money that City wants for the playmaker, which is part of the reason why he continues to wear the color blue. Guardiola knew he was eager to move, but with no buyers at the table, he was happy to keep him. why not.
Players whose minds reside elsewhere will be discovered, regardless of the individual. Whether you are Paul Pogba or Harry Kane.
It seems, then, that Bernardo is, once again, the exception to the rule. That is why Guardiola is keen to retain the player, because he knows there will be no withdrawal – and it has not.
The Portuguese superstar appears to have returned to the No. 8 role alongside Rodri in midfield. The Spaniard undoubtedly appreciates his teammates’ desire to run.
With this defensive insurance, Bernardo was able to pull the strings. The way Liverpool’s defense played, including that of Virgil van Dijk, will remain one of the highlights of the current season.
He’s still pretty weak – and that’s what counted against him at boyhood club Benfica – but his size doesn’t hold him back.
Guardiola, due to his star-studded squad, admitted that Bernardo had to work in roles he was not very fond of.
“He wasn’t in the position he’d prefer but now he’s back,” the Catalan said. It is definitely back.
Bernardo suits City like few other players, putting players who need systems to match – like the other Portuguese in Manchester – in the shadows. In the win over Brighton at the Amex, the former Monaco man was instrumental once again.
Phil Foden has grabbed everyone’s attention lately and earned an arc on the south coast.
Exceptional young English talent is something we’ve always been guilty of exaggerating, often unnecessarily, but this time every inch seems like the real deal.
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Foden scored his first Premier League goal against Tottenham in April 2019, but Bernardo was named Man of the Match that day.
After the match, the Portuguese star said he instead wanted to give the award to Foden, insisting he deserved it against his teammate’s will.
At present, Foden has received individual awards and post-match praise.
Bernardo will never want to return the favor to him, but those who keep a close eye often see the remaining 21 players playing for the man of the match award.
There are players that come and go from these beaches and only once they leave we look back to see what talent we were able to see.
Once upon a time, a Spaniard who wore the name Silva was overseeing the union and it seemed hard to believe that anyone would be any good.
The city now has a Portuguese of the same name and has a similar influence.