Bernardo Silva says City’s ‘unbelievable’ support has been crucial to our incredible success over recent years.

The Portugal international has been a pivotal part of the most trophy-laden era in the Club’s history, winning 17 major honours under Pep Guardiola.

The 29-year-old has been the most used player by Guardiola at City, making 353 appearances in his seven seasons in Manchester.

With his mix of industrious work ethic and incredible technique on the ball, Bernardo is a fan favourite at the Etihad Stadium.

Speaking on the latest episode of the Official Man City Podcast, he told hosts Rob Pollard and Paul Dickov that he never takes that support for granted.

“In my first six months I didn’t play that much but then from the second season the connection became very strong,” he began.

“The fans everywhere, what they want, is the team to show passion and fight for your club. That’s the most important thing.

“We try to represent them well because football without the fans is nothing. They understand that even when we lose we give our all.

“We got knocked out of the Champions League by Madrid but they were still clapping us after the game because they understood that we gave everything that we had in our bodies to try and go through. We didn’t but that’s football.

“This connection is very important to help us win titles. The support is unbelievable and they help us massively.”

Reflecting on the Club’s success since his arrival in 2017, Bernardo is clear about his feelings.

“A dream come true. I couldn’t expect to have won so many titles,” he said.

“To win so many Premier Leagues is the most difficult. I couldn’t have asked for more in terms of the Club, staff, fans. It’s a special time for me and I couldn’t ask for more.”

For many City fans, their first memory of Bernardo will be seeing him star for the Monaco side that knocked us out of the 2016/17 Champions League.

The tricky midfielder shone in a 5-3 thriller at the Etihad before Monaco turned the tie around with a 3-1 win at the Stade Louis II.

While it no doubt alerted City fans to the quality of the player that would arrive at the Club a few months later, Bernardo remembers just how much fun that tie was to play in.

“I remember very well that game” he said.

“Our team, in moments, we were a bit irresponsible, we didn’t control games and we wanted to attack very quick.

“That’s why we lost that game because we were winning and City scored four goals.

“After that game, we felt so disappointed but then on our way to the airport we thought it’s not over and the next day we thought we could make it. It’s good memories for me.”

Bernardo’s world-class ability is now indisputable.

However, it wasn’t always a given that our No.20 would make it in the professional game.

As a smaller player, Bernardo remembers times in the youth ranks at first club Benfica when he would lose some belief he could reach the top.

“There were some doubts because between 13-18, I would not be picked or even on the bench,” he stated.

“Benfica wanted to loan me to a smaller club in Lisbon. I was smaller, thinner and slower than other players. Then I fought and I tried my best to keep going.

“I had inspiration because there was that team at Barcelona with Messi, Xavi, Iniesta, Pedro – all the small guys together. If they do it, I can also do it. Even with David Silva at City, when you are younger you try to grab these hopes.

“From the moment I signed my first professional contract, that’s when I started playing again. I moved to Monaco and I thought I was in a good level and I started believing I could reach that very good level.

“I never gave up because it was my dream but when people doubt you at 14, you get doubts. I couldn’t expect reaching what I did until now and I am very happy with my career so far.”


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