Pep Guardiola has been on a lookout to find his own magician since he left FC Barcelona in 2012 and joined Bayern Munich. He won the treble with the Catalan giants in 2009 and won the Champions League with Barca again in 2010-11 season. Since Guardiola left Spain, he hasn’t been able to taste European success in a while.
With Bayern Munich, he won the Bundesliga title for five straight years and since joining Manchester City, the Spaniard won the Premier League in his second season and is on course of defending his title successfully.
However, it has been a while in the making but Guardiola may have found his ‘Xavi’ in Bernado Silva. Xavi’s attributes on the field made him the best in his generation and for FC Barcelona. The same playmaking skills and vision for play have been seen in Silva who led Manchester City to victory over their neighbours United in the Manchester derby.
SIlva’s stats against United – 1 goal, three shots on target, had a pass success of 79% and had a 67% shot accuracy.
The Portuguese has been a man on a mission and has filled Kevin de Bruyne’s boot well in his absence. Silva joined City from Monaco and often found himself as a substitute, but on being given the chances, the winger has grabbed them with open arms and has delivered for Pep, reminding the footballing world of the Spaniard’s tactics he used in Barcelona.
He has been regularly praised by Guardiola for his work and has taken the team forward in crunch situations. The Portuguese ran around the United defence and struck a neat finish near the right post to beat keeper David de Gea.
“Bernardo is having an incredible season, incredible,” Guardiola told reporters. “In the second half [against United] he played like a holding midfielder.
“A holding midfielder…Bernardo. It doesn’t matter, he fought with Paul Pogba and everyone. It’s not just [against United], it’s not just his goal, it’s all the season, it was a masterclass, a masterpiece every single game. It was incredible.
Guardiola doesn’t often praise an individual unless it’s a player who has blown his mind with a match-winning performance.