Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has again jumped to the defence Bernardo Silva against accusations of racism following a controversial tweet to club team-mate Benjamin Mendy.
Portugal international Silva, 25, posted pictures on social media on Sunday comparing Mendy, with whom he also played at Monaco, to the character on a packet of Conguitos chocolates.
Anti-discriminatory body Kick It Out has called on the Football Association to take action against Silva, referring to the contents of the post as a racist stereotype, while the governing body has written to City requesting their observations.
But Guardiola has once more stood up for his player, saying: “The people who judge Bernardo don’t know him. He is an exceptional person.”
In his press conference ahead of City’s clash at Everton on Saturday – a clash you can listen to LIVE on talkSPORT from 5:30pm – Guardiola also spoke of what his players can expect from their trip to Goodison Park.
Here’s everything he had to say about all of that, plus more…
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On Bernardo Silva’s tweet
“Bernardo, or anyone else in my squad, do this thing for a joke. Benjamin is like a brother to Bernardo, that is what I see every single day here.
“We spoke many times about what happened in stadiums, regarding Bernardo I was incredibly clear.
“If the people believe Bernardo is this type of person they are completely wrong. They judge one joke I judge three years with him.”
On the reaction to Bernardo Silva’s tweet
“If someone feels bad for that tweet it can happen, but the people who judge Bernardo don’t know him.
“He’s an exceptional person. He likes to be involved in different situations.
“It looked the same, it happens a thousand, million times with white people.”
“They’re an incredible team, top manager. It’s one of the toughest games you can play during the season, we know it.
“We’ve prepared, the players know how difficult it is.”
On Gabriel Jesus’ first-team chances
“He’s special, I read the interview [when as asked for more first team chances] and he was perfect, he has incredible respect.
“He wants to play, he’s the No.9 for Brazil. He’s maybe the only striker in the world at this level that has this mentality.
“If he plays one second or 90 minutes he plays his best. I understand completely.”
On availability in defence
“I knew they [Eric Garcia and Taylor Harwood-Bellis] were ready. They train with us, they play with us.
“If they weren’t ready they wouldn’t play with us.”
Saturday is GameDay on talkSPORT as we bring you three live Premier League commentaries across our network. You can hear live and exclusive commentary of Everton vs Manchester City on talkSPORT 2 this Saturday at 5:30pm.