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Silva says double treble an ‘inspiration’ for Man City

By AFP - Apr 16,2024 - Last updated at Apr 16,2024

Manchester City’s Norwegian striker #09 Erling Haaland (centre) scores their third goal from the penalty spot during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Luton Town at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, northwest England, Saturday (AFP photo)

MANCHESTER, United Kingdom — Bernardo Silva says an unprecedented double treble is an “inspiration and motivation” as Manchester City prepare to host Real Madrid on Wednesday with a place in the Champions League semifinals at stake.

Last season, Pep Guardiola’s men became just the second club in English history to win the treble of Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup — 24 years after neighbours Manchester United achieved the feat.

City drew the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final with 14-time European champions Real 3-3 at the Bernabeu last week.

As the finishing line of the 2023/24 season approaches, they are two points clear at the top of the Premier League with six games to go and face Chelsea in the FA Cup semifinals this weekend.

Silva told reporters on Tuesday he was not surprised by City’s relentless success but said there was still a long way to go.

“Obviously it is an inspiration and motivation because we know how well this team has done since I’ve been here — this is my seventh season,” he said. “We want to create that legacy.”

The Portugal attacking midfielder added: “We want to win another Premier League to do six in seven years and to do four Premier Leagues in a row.

“We want the Champions League twice in a row... and if we can do that and two trebles in a row that no one did, that would be a legacy so that’s definitely motivation, knowing that it’s very, very difficult.

“Because in one week we could be out of all the competitions but we’re fighting for it and we’re going to do everything to be a step closer to that goal.”

City are playing Real in the knockout stages of the Champions League for the third successive season.

After defeat in 2021/22, Guardiola’s side demolished the Spanish giants last season with a stunning 4-0 second-leg victory at the Etihad Stadium.

Guardiola cautioned City were “far away from hypothetical dreams” as he prepared to face Carlo Ancelotti’s team.

“There are six games [in the league],” he said. “We have a lot of difficult games home and away with opponents, we have, they have.

“It’s just one game at a time. That means Madrid tomorrow, what you have to do to beat them, and step by step,” explained the City manager, who made his name as a player and coach with Real’s arch Spanish rivals Barcelona.

“I started to think of the treble when we beat Manchester United in the FA Cup final last season... but the success for me this season is that we are still there.

“So after winning the treble, still being in that position with four, five, six weeks [to go] is hats off, incredible.”

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