Contact Us

Happy 25th Birthday to Bernardo Silva: Man City's Mercurial New Genius

Bernardo Silva turned 25 today; is the Premier League’s latest footballing genius. The Portuguese plays in midfield or as a winger for English champions, Manchester City.

Ishaan Dutta
Last updated: 10.08.2019
Bernardo Silva: Man City's Mercurial New Genius | Sports Social Blog

Bernardo Silva, Manchester City’s Portuguese wizard, is quite frankly, developing to be one of the best players in the world right now. The left-footed winger was in the form of his life last season, winning four trophies in Manchester, before inspiring his country to win the inaugural UEFA Nations League. 

At the start of the season, when Pep Guardiola remarked that Bernardo was the first name on his team sheet, it seemed the manager was just lavishing praise on the 24-year-old. But the diminutive midfielder has repaid his manager’s faith with a string of eye-catching performances that also earned him the club's Player of the Year award. Yet, he was just getting started-



Silva first shot to prominence as one of the main members of Monaco’s breakout 2016-17 team, where he predominantly operated on the right-wing. He was the fulcrum of their attacks, opening up defences for forwards Falcao and Mbappe, or even scoring brilliantly himself with his delightful left foot. His performances caught the eyes of many teams, but it was City who moved fastest for him. 

So, in the summer of 2017, the Portuguese arrived at the Etihad for a fee of £43.5 million. He wasn't filling a problem position but Guardiola knew he would fundamentally improve the team. In a transitional first six months, he became a squad favorite with his attitude in training and the dressing room. "I love to work with him, especially because he never makes a bad face if he doesn’t play, or plays five, 10 or 20 minutes like last season, always a big smile," said Guardiola.

Even during that time, “Bubblegum”, as he was nicknamed, because of his touch quality, quickly became a fans' favourite as he combined amazing confidence on the ball with a furious hunger to retrieve possession whenever it was lost. Despite not starting week in week out, he did a commendable job whenever called upon, be it at the center of the midfield or wings. He became a vital part of the squad quickly, contributing 6 goals and 4 assists. It was clear he would be a very important player for Manchester City in the years to come. How he has lived up to that!

The past 12 months have been a display of a string of outstanding performances to help City to four trophies. Last summer, after the Community Shield victory against Chelsea, Guardiola said the team was “Bernardo and ten others”, such was the level of his performance. With injuries to Kevin de Bruyne, he was the man who needed to step up and did so in style. Tenacity, nimble footwork, killer passes as well as the ability to retain possession, he showed it all, inspiring City to the Premier League title with 7 goals and 7 assists and also the FA Cup, before being crowned their Player of the Season. Guardiola claimed he was the best player in the division ahead of individual award winners Virgil van Dijk and Raheem Sterling, and also declared him the best Portuguese player.

Silva carried his domestic form to the UEFA Nations league with Portugal, where he won the Player of the Tournament as well. He distinguished himself throughout the tournament, and it was his pass to Guedes which provided the winning goal in the final, through a Dutch defense of Van Dijk and de Ligt. Cristiano Ronaldo may still be the headline-grabbing superstar, but this little magician showed he is a definite leader for his country and the man to take them forward in the years to come.  It came as a shock when Silva did not make the shortlist for the Ballon d'Or, considering the brilliant season for club and country he had.

Manchester City are a special footballing team and Bernardo Silva has been the latest gift to the Premier League. Over the course of two years, a prospect who arrived at the Etihad under the radar has more than tripled his value and become one of the outstanding players in the game. City haven’t been short of excellent signings over the course of the last three years, but Bernardo is one of the best.

Chase Your Sport

Stay up-to-date on the latest sports news, stats, expert analysis and trends, including cricket, football, wrestling, tennis, basketball, Formula One and more. Find previews, schedules, results of upcoming events, and fantasy tips on Chase Your Sport.