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'No Messi or Ronaldo is good for Man City' - Silva sees collective strength at the Etihad

11:06 IST 11/04/2019
Manchester City celebrate 2018-19
The Portuguese playmaker plays alongside a global superstar at international level, but feels his club side benefit from having no obvious focal point

Bernardo Silva claims Manchester City’s strength is “not having a player like Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi” within their ranks.

Few teams in world football could consider themselves to be better off without a five-time Ballon d’Or winner at their disposal.

The exploits of eternal rivals Ronaldo and Messi over the course of the last decade and beyond have seen them raise the bar of individual excellence to never before seen heights.

City, though, place greater emphasis on collective spirit over personal brilliance, with Pep Guardiola having pieced together a squad that is littered with talent without having one obvious focal point.

Silva, who turns out at international level alongside Juventus forward Ronaldo, considers the Etihad Stadium methodology to be perfect, telling GQ Portugal: “The captains, mainly [Vincent] Kompany, has obviously a big impact within the group, Fernandinho, who talks a lot, even in the hardest moments, David Silva and [Sergio] Aguero, older players, all strong names, especially in the difficult times of the season.

“I believe, though, that the strength of our team is not having a player like Cristiano or Messi, who by themselves make a difference. 

“Every player has their place on the team and all players feel equally important. I think that is the main strength of our team.”

Silva added on that assessment, with the 24-year-old eager to point out that he is merely suggesting that City do not have a single player that they always look towards for inspiration: “That is not really what I mean. I mean that we don’t have a Messi or Cristiano, that clearly is above everyone else, who you pass the ball to and they score. 

“When you have someone like Cristiano, you know sometimes he wins games by himself, we don’t have that in Man City.”

City do have plenty of match-winners on their books and remain in contention for an historic quadruple this season as a result.

Their Champions League bid did suffer a blow when suffering a 1-0 first leg defeat to Tottenham at the quarter-final stage, but they still have a home date to come in that contest.

They are also through to the FA Cup final and well placed to defend their Premier League title, having already tasted Carabao Cup glory with a penalty shootout victory over Chelsea.