In Manchester City, the number 1 fan of Bernardo Silva is called Pep Guardiola

51 matches with Manchester City, involved in eleven goals (five goals, six ists): these are Bernardo Silva’s figures this season, and this is probably what least describes the player he is, and the season which he accomplished. The one who best describes him is most likely his coach, Pep Guardiola, who sang his praises after the victory in the quarter-finals. against Bayern Munich (3-0, April 11)one evening when he took out Kevin De Bruyne during the match, much to the anger of the Belgian: “He is one of the best players I have coached in my life. He is special. Bernardo is such an important player in these type of matches, he can play in midfield, false 9, he has scored a lot of goals recently. You can ask him to play in such a position, he understands everything… Bernardo is a footballer. What does it mean ? He will play everywhere because he understands the game. Bernardo has the ability to read it. »

There was a time when Guardiola was already very much in love with the former AS Monaco player, and there were a few months last season when this love was a little more episodic, at a time when Riyad Mahrez started in big matches on the right side. But in six common seasons, it only lasted long enough for the Portuguese to breathe a little. Of course, when he speaks publicly, Guardiola manages his stars, he has only positive words for them, most often, like Arsène Wenger, who only underlined the qualities of his players.

But when it comes to the Portuguese, Guardiola always takes the compliment one step further. As he did in January, for example, when he was asked about the possible departure of Bernardo Silva at the end of the season: “He is a key player, very important on and off the pitch. A boy you can talk to, you always learn about his humanity, his vision for the club. He’s an incredible player against the top teams, incredibly reliable. In the decisive matches, he is always there. »

He has played in six different positions this season

He has played 90 minutes in each of Manchester City’s Champions League knockout ties since leaving the group stage. For versatility, Guardiola sometimes pushed a bit, which he admitted: this winter he had asked him to play left-back in a four-man defense when City did not have the ball, and midfielder in a 3-2-4-1 with the ball, and it was not a triumph, especially at Arsenal despite the victory (3-1) in February.

Guardiola kept that idea, but asked John Stones to switch from defending four to midfield two, when City have the ball, and Bernardo Silva regained his influence in all other areas. He has played in six different positions this season, but for a few weeks now that the Catalan has not deviated from his typical team, Bernardo Silva is a theoretical right winger, with this improbable ability to dribble also outside while his right foot not much use to him. What he likes the most? Freedom. We will see it on Wednesday evening, at the Etihad, and perhaps next season at the Parc des Princes.

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