Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal team mate Bernardo Silva believes Man City's strength is centred around the collective rather than individual brilliance.
Since the arrival of Pep Guardiola in 2016, Manchester City have become of the most potent forces in Europe, playing a fluid, open and attacking brand of football synonymous with the former Barcelona coach.
After having one the Premier League title last season with a record 100 points, City are chasing a historic quadruple this season, with FA Cup, Premier League and Champions League honours still on the card for Guardiola’s side, after having won the Carabao Cup in February.
While City have some top-quality players, Guardiola has managed success without having a player of Lionel Messi’s stature in his team -- a luxury he enjoyed while managing Barcelona.
And the Blues’ Portuguese midfielder Bernardo Silva believes that not having a Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo figure in the team is one of the strength's of the Premier League champions, whom, he says, depend on the collective rather than individual brilliance.
“I believe our strength is not having someone like Cristiano Ronaldo or Messi, who make the difference individually,” Silva said in an interview with GQ Portugal.
"Each player has a place in the team and all players feel equally important, I think that is the main strength of our team."
Silva: City doesn't have a player who wins games alone
Silva went on to further explain the benefits of not having a superstar individual that can often carry the rest of team.
“I mean we do not have a Messi or a Christian, who care clearly above all the rest, to whom you pass the ball and they score. Someone like Cristiano, you know that sometimes he wins the games alone, we do not have that in the City,” said the 24-year-old, perhaps drawing on his own first-hand experience of playing alongside Ronaldo with Portugal.
Silva has been one of the standout performers for City this season, scoring 11 goals and providing 12 games in 43 games across all competitions. Despite his side's 1-0 away defeat to Spurs in the first leg of the Champions League quarter final on Tuesday, the Sky Blues remain third favourites to take Europe’s top honours, according to oddschecker.com.