Manchester City star Bernardo Silva – ‘This Real Madrid are better than last year’

Manchester City star Bernardo Silva has declared that Real Madrid have improved from last year, ahead of the return leg of their Champions League quarter-final clash against Los Blancos. The game is delicately poised after a 3-3 draw at the Santiago Bernabeu, although naturally Real Madrid will be wary of Manchester City’s strength after being thumped 4-0 following the same result last season.

“It is a very dangerous team because it is a team that plays in a very different way from ours. You feel like you have control of the game, and you never do… and they score two goals in one moment. It is a very strange feeling and that is why they have won that competition so many times. Individually they are the best team in the world, so we have a lot of respect. We play at home and we have a lot of confidence, but maximum respect.”

Since last season, the major change to Real Madrid is that Jude Bellingham has come into the side, while Karim Benzema has exited, with Rodrygo Goes also playing more regularly. Silva was of the opinion that Carlo Ancelotti’s team had improved.

“It is a different team because they have changed the way they play. Before they sort of played 4-3-3 most of the time. Now I feel like they play a little more like a 4-4-2, with Jude who plays as a false 9 and moves inside very well. Rodrygo is playing more regularly. Two different teams… but they will no doubt come here hurt by what happened last year. We hope to take what went wrong on our part in the Bernabeu game, we didn’t play our best, fix it and try to be better.”

Manager Pep Guardiola was not so sure they were facing a better team though.

“I wouldn’t say I disagree with him, but I’m not sure I totally agree with him either… but last year, with different players, they had a great team. Benzema, Modric, it is an exceptional team. I know that when I say positive things about Madrid, people don’t believe me. But I have always had respect for the club, the history, the players. When I was a footballer or now as a coach, people look at my comments and I can’t control that.”

Certainly Real Madrid have improved considerably at the back this season, with Antonio Rudiger anchoring a much better defence, at least statistically. That is despite the injuries to David Alaba, Eder Militao and Thibaut Courtois, but with Nacho Fernandez looking likely to start against City on Wednesday, it will face its hardest test of the season.

Tags Bernardo Silva Champions League Manchester City Pep Guardiola Real Madrid
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