Bernardo Silva says Manchester City ‘do not fear’ Real Madrid ahead of their UEFA Champions League semi-final clash on Tuesday evening.
City are set to reignite their UEFA Champions League rivalry with Real Madrid this week, having faced Los Blancos at the semi-final stage last season. On that occasion, Pep Guardiola’s side were held to a draw thanks to three late goals from Rodrygo and Karim Benzema at the Santiago Bernabeu.
A sensational first leg at the Etihad Stadium ended 4-3 in City’s favor and they extended that advantage until the final minutes in Madrid – Rodrygo dramatically scoring two goals in two minutes to send the game into extra time.
Benzema then converted the penalty to book Real Madrid a place in the final, from which they would emerge triumphant against Liverpool thanks to Vinicius Junior.
A year on, Silva, who is on the radar of Real’s rivals Barcelona, reflected on the defeat but is adamant City are not afraid of their famous rivals despite the pain of last season.
“We have a lot of respect for them, yes, but no fear,” said the 28-year-old. “Why should we be afraid of them? We will try to maintain the momentum we have built in the two months to arrive very confident and beat them because we know they won the UEFA Champions League last season for a reason.”
“It’s not about the badge, it’s never about the badge. It’s about the players who are on the pitch. If Madrid didn’t have [Luka] Modric, [Toni] Kroos, Vinicius, Benzema – I could say all of them – they wouldn’t have won anything because the shirt alone he’s not about himself. We’d be stupid not to respect them, but we have that goal because we know we lost in tough circumstances last year.”
“We’re going to try to do it differently this time.
The Citizens go into the tie as one of the most in-form sides in Europe, having won their last 10 Premier League games and enjoying a 20-game unbeaten run in all competitions.