Bernardo Silva is a Manchester City legend in the making, says Vincent Kompany, with there no reason why he cannot become a serious contender for the Ballon d’Or.
The 25-year-old playmaker has become a key part of Pep Guardiola’s plans after initially being eased into the fold at the Etihad Stadium following a 2017 arrival from Monaco.
Alongside David Silva and Belgian star Kevin De Bruyne, the Portugal international has become one of the most creative influences in the Premier League.
Kompany believes his game can be taken to even greater heights, with a standing among City’s all-time greats there for the taking if Silva decides to remain in England for the foreseeable future.
The former Blues captain has said in his new book ‘Treble Triumph’: “I think everyone looks at Bernardo as a top player.
“He's still so young, having only turned 24 during this amazing season. I believe he's at the start of something very special for City.
“He's been at the club for two seasons and everything he has done so far has been tremendous. He's going to go from strength to strength. When you look at Bernardo, you can recognise all the signs of a future City legend, depending on whether he decides to stay for that long or not. It's all in his hands.
“What makes him a special player, and not just a gifted player, is he's such a positive guy. It's very natural to him.
“I also call him a leader. I've told him that and he laughs at me when I say it. There are so many different types of leadership. His natural ability to be positive all the time, and to influence the group by being like that, makes such a difference.
“He'll come to training, or the dressing room, always ready for action. He trains at 100 per cent and he does it with a smile. It's infectious. That's a very important quality to have as a leader.
“When he's on the pitch, he's one of the most talented players and yet he always works as hard, if not harder, than anyone else. That's another side of leadership. He might laugh at me but maybe that's the next step for him to realise what he needs to do to be in the highest category of leader one day.”
Kompany claims Silva could one day be considered one of the finest talents in world football, with it possible for him to top the achievements of other City icons and challenge for a prestigious Golden Ball.
The Belgian added: “Bernardo is an artist as well. his positive energy and personality turns into creativity when he is on the pitch. He's like a kid. He plays more football than anyone I know. He plays football in the dressing room.
“I'm not saying that senior pros lose that but sometimes you start to look after your own body in different ways which can mean you don't always get as much joy out of the extra football you play. All the extra bits 'mess with your programme' but he doesn't care. His ability and creativity make him do stuff that not many people can do, if I'm being honest.
“He's walking in the footsteps of some unbelievable players at the club such as David Silva, Samir Nasri in terms of the sort of player he is. If he can carry on like he was when I was playing alongside him at City, there's a chance for him to be on a par with the greats of this club.
“Could he one day win the Ballon d'Or? Of course. He could achieve anything but the problem for Bernardo is that he's so humble. He'll always drop a couple of places in the contenders' list just because of that. There will always be guys that are better at self-promotion and have better PR machines around them.”
Silva has taken in 120 appearances for City to date, recording 27 goals while helping the Blues to two Premier League titles, an FA Cup triumph and two League Cup successes.