If you ask a hundred Manchester City fans who have been the two best players in Pep Guardiola’s squad this season, chances are most of them name Bernardo Silva and Joao Cancelo.
The duo, who are also both Portuguese, have been at the center of almost every victory for their side for almost three months now.
But – as Bernardo Silva pointed out when addressing the club’s official website this week – they have known each other for much longer than the two years Joao Cancelo has lived in Manchester.
In fact, their friendship dates back to before Bernardo Silva was even a teenager.
Both players came through the academy of SL Benfica – the Lisbon-based giants.
“I met him when we were 12, we played for seven years together at Benfica. “
Bernardo Silva continued: “He’s someone I know very, very well. He knows me very well. It’s definitely a good relationship!“
Although the careers of the two players took very different paths after leaving Portugal, they have now been reunited at the Etihad Stadium to resume this good working relationship.
Silva was loaned to Monaco, which quickly made the deal permanent. He helped them win a Ligue 1 title in 2017 before joining Manchester City for what now looks like a £ 43.5million windfall.
Meanwhile, Cancelo swapped Lisbon for Valencia in 2014. He helped the club qualify for the Champions League, but left fans upset by silencing them to celebrate a goal after they criticized him for some defensive errors.
The versatile full-back then spent a season each with Serie A giants Inter Milan and Juventus, before being signed by Manchester City where he operated extensively on the left side of a full-back.
Both players played on Saturday in the 2-0 away win over fierce city rivals Manchester United, where it was Joao Cancelo’s cross that was used by Bernardo Silva to secure the three points from Manchester City.
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