Bernardo Silva's First-Half Brace Against Real Madrid Equals Lionel Messi's Record
Manchester City superstar Bernardo Silva matched a record held by Lionel Messi and Robert Lewandowski after scoring a first-half brace against Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League semifinal second leg at the Etihad on Wednesday (May 17).
Silva is now only the third player to score at least twice against Real Madrid in a Champions League semiinal game. Lionel Messi did so when he netted a brace in the first leg of the 2010-11 Champions League semifinal at the Santiago Bernabeu, thanks to a close range effort and a magnificent solo goal.
Robert Lewandowski is the other player to do so. He bagged four goals in the first leg of the 2012-13 Champions League semifinals at Signal Idula Park. The Polish striker led his former club Borussia Dortmund to a memorable 4-1 first-leg win at home.
Bernardo Silva, meanwhile, opened the scoring at the Etihad in the 23rd minute with a smashing left-footed effort at the near post. That came after a period of sustained pressure from the hosts, with Real Madrid barely seeing the ball in the opening stages.
Silva doubled his team's lead in the 37th minute with a header. Madrid trail 3-1 on aggregate at half-time and need to score twice without conceding to force extra time.
Manchester City's Bernardo Silva recently named Lionel Messi, Erling Haaland, and Vinicius Junior as his favourites to win the 2023 Ballon d'Or. Messi is one of the contenders for coveted prize once again.
The Argentine led his team to glory at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar and is a strong contender to win a record-extending eighth Ballon d'Or award. Silva told L'Equipe:
"If Haaland wins the league and the CL, you can put him in the Ballon d'Or discussion, and you can also talk about Vini Jr. if Madrid win the CL, but in general, it is between Messi and the winner of the champions, and so far, I will give it to Messi."
Messi last won the award in 2021. Real Madrid's Karim Benzema is the current holder of the award, winning it in 2022.