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Dublin: 18 °C Sunday 31 May, 2020

Guardiola labels Bernardo Silva Portugal's 'biggest star' ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo

Silva has been a standout performer this term with Guardiola suggesting he has usurped Ronaldo in Portugal.

Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva
Manchester City midfielder Bernardo Silva

PEP GUARDIOLA FEELS Manchester City playmaker Bernardo Silva is one of the best three players in the Premier League and Portugal’s star performer.

Former Monaco favourite Silva joined City in May 2017 and has taken his game to new heights this season, staring in both central midfield and wide attacking roles.

Cristiano Ronaldo has not featured for his country since the 2018 World Cup but remains in prolific form for Juventus, meaning Guardiola’s observation that Silva is now his country’s main man might raise some eyebrows.

Speaking ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League last-16 meeting with Schalke, Guardiola was asked whether the 24-year-old would be the next big star of Portuguese football.

“He is the biggest star already,” he replied. “He’s a lovely person. I love to work with him, he never makes a bad face when he doesn’t play. Always the biggest smile. He is the guy in the locker room who is most loved.

Portugal v Italy - UEFA Nations League - League A - Group 3 - Estadio da Luz Silva in action against Italy in the UEFA Nations League. Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

“He is one of the most talented I’ve ever seen in my career as a manager and a football player. He can play three or four positions, he’s always eight or nine [out of 10] but know when he doesn’t play well it doesn’t matter because he runs the most.

“You cannot play every single game every three days at the top level, but he runs and runs. Maybe this season he’s been one of the best two or three players in the Premier League.

“Look at how he celebrates the goals with his team-mates, he’s a joy. I’m an incredibly lucky guy to have him in my hands, I enjoy every training session and every single game.

“Portugal is fortunate to have him, the manager [Fernando Santos] will use him every time more and more. He is a lovely guy -  I love him, it’s simple like that.”

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