Bernardo Silva is the player of the Nations League - could he be the next Manchester City captain too?
Portugal beat Netherlands 1-0 in Nations League final as a familiar face stood out once again...
By Adam Bate
Last Updated: 10/06/19 7:38am
Bernardo Silva was named player of the Nations League finals after Portugal's 1-0 win over Netherlands . Check out the stats behind his success, the views of our pundits and the reflections of the man himself...
Bernardo Silva's domestic season with Manchester City began with a Community Shield win at Wembley and finished in FA Cup success at the same venue. In between, he won the Premier League title and was man of the match in the Carabao Cup final victory. Now, he has capped the campaign with a fifth medal by winning the Nations League with Portugal.
It was Bernardo who set up Goncalo Guedes for the only goal of the game in Portugal's 1-0 win over Netherlands in Porto and he was duly named player of the tournament for his role in the success. While Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat-trick in the semi-final win over Switzerland, it was Bernardo's prompting throughout both games that stood out.
The awareness that he showed for the winning goal was extraordinary. All the talk in the build-up had been of the battle between Ronaldo and Virgil van Dijk but it was Bernardo who got the better of the Dutch defender when it mattered. One-on-one with Van Dijk, he had a clear picture in his mind and was able to reverse the ball into the path of Guedes.
"There are only a few players who can play that pass," Jamie Redknapp told Sky Sports. "I don't think Van Dijk realised how quickly Bernardo Silva had assessed the situation.
"To have the peripheral vision and the awareness to know the weight of pass, where and when to pass it, because when that ball is played to him he has no clue who is around him really, but he understands where his teammate is going to be. It's a brilliant pass."
As well as the vital assist for Guedes' second-half goal, he created four other chances for his teammates - more than anyone else on either side. He also completed six dribbles, which was three times as many as any other player on the pitch.
"He now looks like one of the top players in Europe," Jamie Carragher told Sky Sports.
Redknapp agreed with the decision to name Bernardo as the tournament's outstanding performer. "I'm not surprised Silva's won player of the tournament," he added. "He's so intelligent, he's got such good awareness, he never stops running and he's the perfect foil for Ronaldo. I could watch him play all day. The enthusiasm he shows, the desire."
With Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany departing, there is a vacancy there and while David Silva was the club's vice-captain this past season, perhaps there could be another player in the frame. Given his excellent attitude and the apparent maturity beyond his years, Redknapp's view is that Pep Guardiola would not regret turning to the Portuguese.
"I would not look much further than him," he said. "I think he might be in with a chance. Kevin De Bruyne seems a quieter sort of guy. He looks like he has got those leadership qualities. Pep Guardiola always seems to want to talk to him."
Speaking afterwards, Bernardo was typically modest about his efforts. "I am very proud," he told Sky Sports. "The most important thing is that Portugal won. Of course, if I can add the award that I have just won then even better. After this amazing season, to finish this way, I am so happy. Now it is time to rest and prepare for next season and do even better."
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