Mens Team

Bernardo: Lisbon hosting Champions League an 'extra special' motivation

Bernardo Silva says the prospect of winning the Champions League with City on home soil has fuelled an 'extra special' incentive.

With the knock-out rounds of the 2019/20 tournament hosted in Lisbon, the midfielder has returned to his hometown, hopeful of home comforts.

Bernardo celebrated his 26th birthday on Monday, travelling to Portugal with the squad and gave a speech, declaring his ideal present would be success in the competition.

Our 2018/19 Player of the Year was delighted to have the opportunity to spend his birthday at home and says it has provided extra personal motivation to help City to a first Champions League triumph.

“For me, it's amazing to be in my city, returning back for such an important competition,” he said.

“My birthday was great. We travelled to Portugal on the day of my birthday. It was good to be able to spend the last part of the day here in my city.

“I'm very happy and looking forward to the game (against Lyon in the quarter-finals) to arrive. It's great to be able to play in a competition like the Champions League – it's a special competition and we want to give everything to get as far as possible.

“The Champions League is the only competition we still haven't won at this Club. Manchester City has never won this competition and most of our players haven't won it yet, including me.

“Of course, winning this competition has always been a target for the players and the Club. It will be very special to win it. For me, even more so because it's my city and it's an extra motivation to fight for the trophy here.

“It would definitely be special to win the Champions League in Lisbon. We play every competition to win – we try to give our best in every competition.

“This one is the only one we haven't won at City. There is an extra motivation to give our best and try to go as far as possible.

“It's a goal for the Club, the fans, the staff, everyone. If we could do it this year, it would be a proud moment and we would include our names in the history of the club.

“I love being at Manchester City. When I arrived, I was lucky to be surrounded by a fantastic group of players and staff.

“Also, the fans welcomed me in a great way. So, I feel it's my home now.”


Reflecting on his personal journey with the Club, Bernardo also expressed his desire to see Guardiola lift the coveted trophy, adorned with sky blue ribbons.

The Portuguese playmaker says he has loved working under the Catalan boss, adding he hopes to repay his manager’s faith in him by helping City to European glory.

“I think there is no secret: Pep Guardiola is one of the best managers in the world,” he continued.

“To me, it's been a privilege and a pleasure to work under his tutelage every day for the last three years.

“I have learnt a lot with him. I had to adapt to his style of play but it's been an absolute pleasure.

“The number of trophies we won in the last three seasons shows how successful it has been during his time here. I'm very proud to be part of his team.”

While many are pitting City as ‘the favourites’ ahead of Saturday night's quarter-final clash, Bernardo warned of the dangers of such talk, highlighting the threats posed by Lyon – a very familiar opponent he from his time at Monaco.

“I know Lyon very well, having played for three years in Ligue 1 where I played many times against them,” he added.

“Also here at Manchester City, we faced them last season and it wasn't easy. We didn't manage to beat them in either of the two games. That shows how difficult a team they are.

“Not only Lyon but all the French teams are very physical, very strong and in just one game, it's unpredictable. It's going to be very difficult.

“We are going to try to prepare ourselves the best way we can but we know it's not going to be easy.

“They knocked Juventus out of the competition and it's not going to be an easy task for us.

“It's going to be a completely different game than Real Madrid because they both play different ways and with a different style of players.

“Anything can happen. We have seen lots of surprises in the competition over the last years.

“Juventus were knocked out by Lyon. We lost against Tottenham last year in the quarter-finals. It's very difficult to predict the games and the results in this competition.

“The fact that Liverpool are out and Real Madrid are out is not going to make our path easier. That would be a wrong thought.

“We need to go game by game; be very focused, knowing that every game is going to be very tough.

“All the teams in Lisbon are here because they deserve it. We need to be at our best level to win the games and try to reach the Final.”