Bernardo Silva says Pep Guardiola’s football philosophy was a key factor in his decision to sign for Manchester City.
The Portuguese midfielder joined the Blues from Monaco this summer having helped the French side to the Ligue 1 title and a place in the semi-finals of the Champions League.
A player with an exquisite first touch and eye for a pass, many feel he is tailor-made to excel under Guardiola’s guidance, and City’s open, attacking brand of football was a major reason he decided to make the move to the Etihad.
“I am happy to be part of this group,” he said. “I am still getting to know my team-mates, but it has been very good so far and I am looking forward to the season.
“City were very interested in me, but it was many things that made me sign.
“I like the way the team plays, the coach, all the players, and I wanted to come here and learn from them and become a better player.
“That's why I came here.”
Bernardo was part of the Monaco side that knocked City out of the Champions League at the last-16 phase of last season’s competition.
His display in the first leg was one the the best any opposition player has delivered at the Etihad in recent seasons, with his ability to retain possession and create chances for his teammates carving City open on a number of occasions.
He believes that night was a crucial juncture in his career and one of the main reasons he is now a City player.
“Of course, playing against City in the Champions League may have helped,"
“It's a big competition, lots of people and watching, so maybe it was an important match in my career.
“Looking back, maybe that game made City watch me more often and made them want to buy me.”
After the 3-0 win over West Ham in Iceland last week, Guardiola thanked the board for securing Bernardo’s signature ahead of City’s rivals, a clear sign he feels the former Benfica man can have a big impact this season.
The Blues boss believes the Portugal star has an innate understanding of the game – and says his insatiable appetite for football is something he admires.
Bernardo admits he does have an obsessive love of football, something he feels he shares with his new manager.
“Pep is right – I love football and I have always loved football,” Bernardo said.
“That's why I came here. I know that the manager is the same and that I will learn a lot from Guardiola and the other players.
“I know how much football means in England. They love it. That's why it’s great to be here."
“I am looking forward to play in the Premier League for one of the best teams in England and I will do my best to help the team achieve their goals.
“I am crazy about football. When I am not playing or training, I watch football all the time.
“It has been the same since I was four or five and a young boy growing up in Lisbon."
Find out if Bernardo makes his City debut tomorrow at Brighton by following the game right here on mancity.com!