Bernardo Silva has insisted that the looming threat of a European ban will have no impact on Manchester City ’s bid for Champions League glory.
If they manage to overcome Real Madrid in their last-16 second leg Pep Guardiola’s men will head to Lisbon in August for a 12-day mini-tournament that has been arranged in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic.
By then, City bosses will know whether their appeal to the Court of Arbitration over a two-year suspension for Financial Fair Play offences has succeeded.
Silva said: “Of course, what happens with UEFA is an important matter. No one knows what is going to happen, so we must only think about what we can control now.
“What we can control is to play the competition in the best possible way. We must put all of our energy into trying to win the Champions League.
“I think all of the players are with the club and support what they are saying. We will try to do our best this year and not worry about anything else.”
City will face Real Madrid on either August 7 or 8 as hot favourites to book a place in the quarter-finals after winning the first leg in the Bernabeu 2-1.
It’s a homecoming that Lisbon-born Silva wants to savour as Guardiola looks to guide City to their first European triumph in 50 years.
Silva, whose side play Burnley in the Premier League on Monday night, said: “For me personally, it is an extra motivation to try to do well in the Champions League.
“It is a special competition and it is going to be a unique event in my home city.
“To fight for the title in my city would mean a lot because I missed out on the Euros four years ago when Portugal won the trophy and I was hoping to play in this summer’s tournament before the pandemic.
“We know we are no longer fighting for the Premier League – that is impossible. Of course, we want to defend the FA Cup, but we all know what the Champions League means.
“This club has never won it, I’ve never won it and most of the players haven’t won it. Our goal is to really go for it because it’s a big opportunity to win the biggest competition.”