Mens Team

Bernardo on his debt to Guardiola and coping in lockdown

Bernardo on his debt to Guardiola and coping in lockdown
Bernardo Silva has hailed the huge impact City manager Pep Guardiola has had on his own career, saying three seasons playing under the Catalan have helped elevate his game to new levels.

Since moving to City from Monaco in the summer of 2017, the midfield marvel has gone from strength to strength, establishing himself as one of Europe’s most talented players – and won eight domestic trophies with the Club.

Bernardo believes City manager Guardiola’s impact has been felt not just in that dazzling collection of silverware but also in the way he makes great players even better through his day-to-day work with them.

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Asked to describe the influence of Guardiola on his career since he joined City, Bernardo – who has spent much of the lockdown period back home in his native Portugal - was effusive in his praise for the boss’s individual and collective impact.

“(His influence is) Huge. It is not just me but on the whole team,” said the 25-year-old.

“I know (with) my team-mates, the influence that he has since he arrived at Manchester City is huge.

“You could see it with the results, with the titles in the last three seasons. Since I have arrived, we have won plenty of trophies.

“It is not just that, it is the way we play.

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“We think that we make our fans enjoy the way we play; offensive football, creating chances, scoring goals, (playing) attractive football.

“Personally, I have learned a lot not only from him, but all my team-mates, since I arrived at Manchester City.

“He is one of the best managers ever; it is great to have him with us.”

With his tactical adaptability and acumen, Bernardo has deservedly secured a reputation for being one of the game’s most thoughtful as well as exciting midfielder operators since making his move to the Etihad.

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For his part, Bernardo believes that playing under the Catalan – and adhering to his demanding, exacting standards - has only served to ensure he has become an even more intelligent player.

And he says that coping with the tough mental demands of the game has now become a vital component for players if they are to thrive at the highest level.

“I think football is about intelligence more and more and it is about how you understand the games,” Bernardo added.

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“Of course, the technique and the physicality are important, but the way you understand the game is the most important thing.

“Especially when you play for a team like ours, that demands these players to stay in the position, wait for the right moment, be patient, to play between each other and collectively

“It is very demanding in terms of understanding the game and in terms of the intelligence of the game.”

When the lockdown kicked in, City of course had already claimed the Carabao Cup for a third successive season as well as retaining the Community Shield.

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The Club are also still in the hunt for both the FA Cup and Champions League.

And though there are some formidable opponents still involved in both cup competitions, Bernardo says as and when action resumes, he will draw huge confidence from the formidable array of talent alongside him in the City dressing room.

“Some games you are more confident than others (but) I always have one thing in my mind,” Bernardo added.

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“I say: ‘Bernardo, if one day you are not feeling confident about something, just look to your left side and right side’.

“When I am not feeling confident about a game, I go into the tunnel, we are almost going out on to the pitch, I look around and I see Aymeric Laporte, Ederson, Fernandinho, Kevin (De Bruyne), David (Silva), Kun (Aguero), whoever.

“I look around and I think why am I afraid? That is the good thing about having such amazing team-mates.”

Bernardo also provided an insight into his routine and how he had been coping since the hiatus began two months ago.

And he revealed the enforced break had seen him brush up on both his cooking and piano skills!

“Personally, for me, my family and my close friends, we have been lucky with this terrible situation,” Bernardo added.

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“My family and close friends, I haven’t had any cases around me.

“I went to Portugal for a month and I spent it there with my close friends and family and, it is a terrible situation, but it was quite good being there and resting and being able to be with them.

“My cooking has been going very well so far. I have been doing a few things a bit more often than before all this. I have been cooking every day and I am getting really good at this.

“I started learning the piano a bit before this situation but now it is a good time to practice because I have plenty of time and I started reading, I like to read and write a lot.

"You have to try to find things to do to spend your time and it has been nice.”

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