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Pep Guardiola draws Lionel Messi comparisons to Manchester City star



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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has compared Bernardo Silva to Barcelona and Argentina legend Lionel Messi.

Messi, who won the prestigious Ballon d’Or award for an eighth time in midweek, finished ahead of seven current Manchester City players in the overall rankings, following the publication of a 30-man shortlist.

Erling Haaland, Josko Gvardiol, Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, Ruben Dias, Julian Alvarez and Rodrigo were all nominated for the award and attended the flagship event in Paris on Monday evening.

Four of Manchester City’s nominees featured during Saturday’s 6-1 thrashing of Bournemouth in the Premier League, as 21-year-old Jeremy Doku stole the headlines with five direct involvements.

The Belgium international played an emphatic role in the Blues’ victory, as Manchester City returned to the top of the Premier League table, registering a 22nd successive win at the Etihad Stadium.

Bernardo Silva scored twice during Saturday’s sweeping win over the Cherries, with the Portugal international netting in both the first-half and second-half, to help Manchester City to a fourth straight win.

The 29-year-old also impressed against Manchester United in the derby last weekend, and signed a new deal at the Etihad Stadium in August, following speculation surrounding the midfielder’s future.

Speaking after Saturday’s win, Guardiola compared Silva to footballing legend Messi, who worked under the Catalan at Barcelona.

“The goal reminded me of [Lionel] Messi, I saw many times Leo in that position and did this chip in. He’s an extraordinary player.”

Silva has scored three goals in 12 appearances for Manchester City so far this season, and netted a brace in the UEFA Champions League semi-final second-leg against Real Madrid last season, as the Sky Blues lifted a maiden European trophy.

Manchester City are bidding to retain their Champions League title, and could reach the knockout stages in midweek, with a victory over Swiss side BSC Young Boys.