Monday, May 27, 2024

Chance to do treble again an ‘inspiration and motivation’ – Bernardo Silva

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 16 Apr 2024

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Bernardo Silva is motivated by the prospect of making history as Manchester City chase an unprecedented second successive treble.

City have put themselves in a strong position to retain the three trophies they won in glorious fashion last year after taking control of the Premier League title race at the weekend.

Pep Guardiola’s side are now two points clear of rivals Arsenal and Liverpool with six games remaining.

Their attention now switches to the Champions League and the second leg of a quarter-final tie against Real Madrid at the Etihad Stadium on Wednesday that will begin with the aggregate score at 3-3. They then head to Wembley on Saturday for an FA Cup semi-final date with Chelsea.

Midfielder Silva said of City’s triple target: “Of course it’s obviously (an) inspiration and motivation.

“We want to create that legacy and win another Premier League, to do six in seven years and four in a row, and we want to win the Champions League, to do two in a row, that only Madrid did (with) three in a row. No-one else has won consecutive Champions Leagues, if I am not mistaken.

“If we can win two trebles in a row, that no-one did, that would be legacy. That is definitely motivation.

“It’s very difficult as in one week we could be out of all the competitions, but we are fighting for it and going to do everything in our power to be, each day, a step closer that goal.”

Manager Pep Guardiola, who was speaking alongside Silva at a press conference, was more circumspect in detailing his ambitions but made clear his team will be giving everything to achieve the maximum.

He said: “I am not going to say don’t feel this to my players when they feel this, but I have a different opinion. We are far away from those hypothetical dreams.

“When we are in the final of the FA Cup, and (have) two or three games (to go in the Premier League) with an advantage, and in the final of the Champions League, I will start to think about that. But not before a game against Real Madrid.

“We have a lot of difficult games. It is one game at a time and it is Real Madrid tomorrow. I started to think of the treble last season when we beat (Manchester) United in the FA Cup final.

“The success for me this season is that we are still there, in this position four or five weeks away, still in contention. It’s incredible.

“Now, extend the chance one more week, then one more week. This is what we try to do tomorrow and Saturday and the next games.”

Guardiola, as a former Barcelona captain and manager, has had a fierce rivalry with Real Madrid throughout his career.

This is the third successive year his City side have played Real in the Champions League knockout stages, with the Spanish side going through in 2022 but the Premier League outfit prevailing a year ago.

And after last week’s pulsating draw in the Bernabeu Stadium, Guardiola is relishing another contest against Carlo Ancelotti’s team.

Guardiola said: “Real Madrid in this competition is always a big game. It’s been special for me as a player and manager, but that doesn’t count. What counts is what we have to do to win tomorrow.

“I don’t fear them but I respect them a lot.”

City hope to have Kyle Walker back after five games out with a hamstring injury.

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