Bernardo Silva The Portuguese Magician
Born in Lisbon Portugal on August the 10th in 1994. Bernardo Silva grew up as a part of a football mad family. His father’s family were passionate Benfica fans but his mother’s side of the family supported at rivals Sporting Lisbon. Bernardo chose Benfica and grew up trying to emulate Rui Costa whom he described as his hero growing up.
He was an intelligent kid with a high IQ and was sent to an English-Speaking school in Lisbon at the age of just six. Which is one of his reasons his English is so impressive at the same time Bernardo Silva was scouted by SL Benfica Scouts and was invited to join the club’s Academy.
But his parents thought he was too young and wouldn’t let him join. However on his 7th birthday Silva’s grandfather gave him a carrot which contained a Benfica badge inside and a message saying “Happy Birthday you’re going to play for Benfica”. Silva’s grandfather was actually a lifelong Sporting fan. But put rivalry aside to help his grandson achieve his dream.
Silva joined the Benfica Academy but struggled to make an impression as coaches always felt he was too small. He remembers thinking about leaving at the age of 16 as he was struggling to get a game, but former Portugal winger Fernando Solano convinced him otherwise. Solano was a youth coach at SL Benfica and told Bernardo he was the best player in the academy even nicknaming him Messi Zinio.
Because he was also small and technically gifted with his left foot on July 28th 2013 Bernardo Silva represented Portugal at 2013 EURO U19. He played every game at the tournament scoring in the semi-final clash with Serbia which Portugal lost eventually on penalties. At. the end of the tournament Silva was named among the top 10 player U19 talents to watch in Europe.
Then on August 10th 2013 the day of his 19th birthday Silva was handed his first appearance for the Benfica B team. He played 38 games for the Benfica B side during the 2013/2014 season scoring 7 goals & 7 assists. Which led to him being named Segunda Liga breakthrough player of the Year. During the same season he was handed a senior debut on October 19th 2013.
He came off the bench in the 88th minute of a 1:0 Cup win he would only go on to make one league appearance that season. For the first team playing 8 minutes in a 2:1 loss to FC Porto. On the final day of the season the result didn’t matter though, as Benfica had completed the tribble winning season.
Bernardo Silva was the youngest player to feature for Benfica tribble winning squad that season.
Bernardo Silva knew he had to make the difficult decision to leave Benfica. He was being used as a left back in training and wasn’t allowed to progress. But his love for SL Benfica is highlighted by a tattoo under his left arm.
On August 7th 2014 he joined AS Monaco on a season-long loan deal, leaving home for the first time to go and live in France. On his own he made his debut on August 17th 2014. Coming off the bench in the league on lost to Bordeaux. He featured regularly from Monaco and on January 28th 2015 Bernardo Silva’s moved to Monaco was made permanent. With the french Club paying $18M he made 45 appearances during the 2014/2015 season scoring 10 goals and 4 assists.
On March 31st 2015 Silva made his senior debut for Portugal starting in shock lost to Cape Verde. He then featured for Portugal U21, at the EURO U21 Championship in Czech Republic in June 2015. Assisting the only goal in the opening 1:0 win against England u21. The British team managed by Gareth Southgate. He scored his only goal of the tournament in the impressive 5:0 semi final win vs Germany. Before Portugal lost the final on penalties to Sweden.
He continued to shine from Monaco during the 2015/2016 season scoring 7 goals & 3 assists. However on the final day of the season Silva picked up a serious hamstring injury and was ruled out of EURO 2016. As a result Portugal will go on to win the tournament beating France in the final. Despite helping the national team for the tournament. Bernardo Silva was left to watch the final from Monaco’s pre season training camp in Switzerland.
But he bounced back well in the 2016/2017 season with AS Monaco. This season turned out to be the biggest of Silva’s career. On September 1st 2016 Silva scored his first goal in a 5:0 win vs Gibraltar. He also added two assists in that game. Two weeks later on September 14th 2016, Silva scored the opening goal as Monaco beat Spurs 2:1 at Wembley.
In the UEFA Champions League he went on to help Monaco reach the Champions League semi-finals. That season beating Man City in the round of 16 where he first met Pep Guardiola. AS Monaco had an exciting youth squad that defied expectations by beating PSG to win the Ligue 1 title. It was the first time for 17 years.
Bernardo Silva scored 8 goals and assisted 11 more in the league. Earning him a place in the 2016/2017 Team of the Year it turned out to be his final season with Monaco. As his performance has earned him a $57M transfer to the Premier League Champion Manchester City. He signed a 5 year deal on May 26th 2017 before flying off to Russia with Portugal team for the 2017 Confed Cup.
Where he played 3 times scoring in a 4:0 win over New Zealand. He made his Manchester City debut on August 12th 2017 coming on 2:0 win at Brighton on the opening day of the Premier League season. He was mainly used as a substitute during the 2017/2018 season. But he made a total of 53 appearances scoring 9 goals and assisting 11 more.
He ended his first season in England with an EFL Cup as well as the Premier League title. He then traveled to the 2018 World Cup in Russia with Portugal. Playing in every game before being knocked out by Uruguay following 2:1 loss in the round of 16. Bernardo Silva became a more important player to Man City for the 2018/2019 season .
Despite the fierce competition for places on August 5th 2018 Silva assisted beat Chelsea 2:0 to lift the Community Shield. Silva then scored in the 2:0 opening day win at Arsenal. On February 24th 2018 Bernardo Silva played 120 minutes at City beat Chelsea who lifts the EFL Cup for the second successive season.
He took City’s 4th penalty during the shootout scoring against Kepa. Before Raheem Sterling sealed the victory. Silva scored his 11 goal of the season in a 2:0 win at Fulham on March 30th. Here also picking off his 12th assist of the season and the same match matching his previous career best tallies for both goals and assists.
Do you think Bernardo Silva can become one of Europe’s greatest players ? Will he become a Premier League legend with Manchester City ? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.