Silva is a 22-year-old who came through the ranks at Benfica, in his home city of Lisbon. He made his debut for the Eagles aged 19 in his only appearance in the 2013-14 season, before moving on loan to Monaco the following campaign.
Silva was nicknamed ‘Little Messi’ or Messizinho when he coming through the Benfica academy as a schoolboy. Despite being voted Portugal’s Breakthrough Star of 2014 following an impressive season in the Portuguese second division with Benfica B, Silva left the club after playing just 31 minutes of first team football.
“When they put me training at left-back at Benfica I realised I had no future at the club,” said Silva. Former Benfica boss Jorge Jesus is blamed for failing to keep the talented playmaker at the club. The diminutive ace scored ten goals in 45 games over the course of 2014-15, doing enough by the half-way point to convince the French side to shell out around £14million to make his move permanent.
While Kylian Mbappe has grabbed all the headlines, Silva proved just as integral to Monaco’s first league title triumph in 17 years. The 22-year-old scored eight goals and laid on nine assists as the Cote D’Azur club finished top of the table for the first time since the year 2000, eight points clear of PSG. Along with fellow winger Thomas Lemar, Silva made up a crucial part of Leonardo Jardim’s devastating attacking line-up that managed to score the highest number of goals in Europe’s top five leagues.
He was a regular at under-19 and under-21 level for his country, making his full debut in 2015. Portugal boss left him out of his Euro 2016 squad, but it drew little criticism by the end of the tournament after they went on to lift the trophy by beating hosts France.
Bernardo Silva’s Style of Play
He is a playmaker best utilised in an advanced role. At just five-foot-eight-inches tall and with a slender build, Silva is not going to be of much use defending set-pieces. But his array of skills and dribbling ability make him a formidable asset in attack. Silva’s quick feet and a short stride are reminiscent of Lionel Messi, especially given his left foot is his strongest.
Like his namesake, David Silva, the former Benfica starlet is renowned for his ability to keep possession in pressurized situations – ideal for Pep Guardiola’s obsession with ball-retention.Silva stood out as one of Monaco’s star players during their epic 5-3 defeat to Manchester City in the quarter-finals of the Champions League. In one particular passage of play, Silva picked up the ball in his own half, beating David Silva and Leroy Sane with a neat pirouette before nutmegging Yaya Toure and threading a pin-point 30-yard pass through to Kylian Mbappe. It’s likely he will prove to David Silva’s natural heir at Man City, with the Spanish international turning 32 in January.
Former Barcelona and Portugal playmaker Deco has tipped the 22-year-old to be go on to be one of the world’s best players. “I think Portugal now have a good generation with lots of good young players in midfield mostly but I think Bernardo Silva, who plays for Monaco, could be one of the greatest players in the world. He has a lot of quality. “He is a good player. He takes risks. That’s why I like him. He can be the No 10 of the national team for years.”
We also like to end this article with a skills and goals video of him in 2017.