Men's Team

Bernardo: ‘The games against City changed my career’

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Bernardo Silva says the two Champions League games he played for Monaco against City in 2017 took his footballing life off in a new, exciting direction.

City beat the French champions 5-3 at the Etihad, but lost 3-1 in Monaco and, as a result, exited the competition at the Round of 16 stage

“Those two matches changed the course of my career,” said Bernardo.

“I saw Pep outside at the mixed zone where we were both giving interviews and he came up to me and said, ‘Congratulations on the match’.

“It was that tie that made me want to play in the Premier League and at the end of the season, City asked me if I wanted to come and so it was a dream come true – and it was an easy answer.

“It took me some time to adjust to my new team-mates. It was a new style of playing, a new city and a new league, but Pep’s demands when I first arrived were something I really liked.”

Bernardo believes joining City also changed the way he played and thought about the game.

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An out-and-out No.10 with Monaco, he has developed into a player who can play in many different roles over the past few seasons.

“A player who understands the different phases of the game can play in various positions,” he said.

“Here at Manchester City, I feel like a better player every year, mainly because of how I understand the game, of how I understand what is needed for each phase of the game…

“Sometimes the team needs to speed up the game and having a coach like Pep, who likes to control the rhythm of the game by dominating possession, drives us all to win every year.”

 

The popular Portuguese also admits that the pain of losing to Chelsea in last season’s Champions League final is driving the team on this season to try and go one better.

“Unfortunately, in the Champions League, we have not achieved our aim which is to win the competition,” he said.

“Losing in that final was not easy, but that’s football.

“In the Champions League, small details can make the difference and one mistake can knock us out.

“Now, in the last game against Brugge, we were able to make a great game and achieve a convincing win.

“We’re now in a good position to qualify for the next phase.”

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