Bernardo Silva has told talkSPORT Manchester City are desperate to make amends for years of European disappointment by winning the Champions League this season.
Admitting that defending their Premier League title is now ‘very difficult’ with rivals Liverpool full-steam ahead at the summit, the Portuguese ace has suggested the Champions League is now the team’s primary goal for the rest of the campaign.
Manager Pep Guardiola has conceded the league title may now be out of reach as City sit 14 points adrift of runaway leaders Liverpool, who enjoyed a remarkable 2019.
Bernardo admits the first half of the new season was tough for the Blues, after a gruelling previous campaign that saw them become the first team to win the domestic treble of the Premier League title, FA Cup and Carabao Cup.
While their standards may have slipped in the league – they have already lost more games and conceded as many goals as they did over the whole of last season – they are undefeated in Europe this term and sailed through to the last-16, where they will face Real Madrid.
Being drawn against the 13-time European champions is enough to make any team doubt their future in the tournament, but Bernardo insists City are determined to finally give their fans the European glory they have always wanted.
Speaking ahead of Manchester City’s New Year’s Day clash against Everton – LIVE and EXCLUSIVE on talkSPORT – the midfielder said: “There’s still a lot to play for this season.
“Not only in the Premier League but also the cups, the FA Cup, the Carabao Cup and the Champions League, we need to try and play 100 per cent in those competitions because the Premier League now is very difficult.
“We need to try and do better and try to improve. We don’t need any more motivation that playing better for our fans, because they deserve it.
“The first half of the season wasn’t an easy one for us, it was difficult.
“We need to put on some good performance, and we need to try and give more to the fans.”
Asked about their goals for the rest of the season, then, Silva said: “We want the Champions League, there’s no doubt about that.
“It’s a very tough competition and it’s very difficult [to win].
“We play now against Real Madrid who are one of the toughest opponents that we could face in this competition but it’s a goal, not only for the club but for all the players personally.
“I think in this squad only one or two players have won it, Claudio with Barcelona and I think that’s it.
“So we want to do better in the Champions League knowing in the last two years we haven’t done as well as we wanted to.”
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