Oh Bernardo. It’s very hard not to wonder how you’re doing. How do you find space so effortlessly, so often, so naturally? One flick of that left boot to lift the ball over Thibaut Courtois. A perfectly weighted head to drop the ball into the net for the second time. The shortest man on the field, with a shirt that always looks a size too big.
Seriously, is it just an innate gift? That movement, that appreciation of space, the anticipation of knowing where the ball will land. And then the composure to make sure that, if Toni Kroos doesn’t follow you, or Luka Modric freezes, they don’t get away with it.
This isn’t the first time that Bernardo, who has been granted a roaming permit, has manipulated a major event. Never before, however, has this small, elusive player been so effective among a Who’s Who of the Champions League’s elite.
We were reminded in the process why Bernardo is a Pep Guardiola favourite. Take the ball, cherish it, treat it like a friend. Pass it to a teammate, keep moving, make yourself available to take it again. And repeat. Make an impression, get behind the opposition lines. It’s a simple formula, but it also takes something special to perfect it at this level. And Bernardo is clearly special.
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