BERNARDO admits his information of the town of Brighton was, till not too long ago, restricted to native movie star Fatboy Slim.
However the story of how the Brazilian got here to be proper right here, proper now – about to face Manchester United on the Amex Stadium on Sunday – shouldn’t be what you may anticipate.
Bernardo, 23, mentioned: “I knew a bit about Brighton as a result of I performed a number of Fifa. I do supervisor mode and prefer to get groups from the second division in England.
“I feel I did a recreation with Brighton already.
“Final season they have been within the Premier League so I noticed a couple of matches However I didn’t know a lot about Brighton the town.
“After I requested individuals in Brazil about it, they’d go: ‘Oh my God, man, it’s worthwhile to see this DVD I’ve of Fatboy Slim on the pier at Brighton.”
The defender’s journey from Sao Paulo to Sussex by the Sea shouldn’t be the rags-to-riches story of many Brazilian gamers.
Bernardo Fernandes da Silva Jnr, son of the previous Brazil worldwide of the identical identify, gave up life at college, not in a “favela”, to hit the large time.
And his upbringing, – going to personal faculty however taking part in soccer with youngsters from the slums – gave him completely different alternatives and views.
The 23 yr previous mentioned: “I feel I’ve a Brazilian soul – you see me laughing and joking.
“However I had a special training from most gamers as a result of my dad might afford to spend money on sure issues for me.
“In my faculty, I used to be the one black man. Everybody all the time handled me actually, rather well.
“However after I went to coaching I might see the opposite actuality. It was fairly surprising.
“That was actually good for me as a result of I might hold my toes on the bottom.
“There have been youngsters in my faculty who had a chauffeur, inside a tinted bullet-proof automotive, and also you go from your own home to your faculty, house to the shopping center, and generally you don’t realise or need to realise what is admittedly occurring round you.
“My greatest mates have been those I had within the soccer membership, within the youth staff.
“Typically I went to their houses, getting the bus or prepare to cross the town and sleeping in homes that didn’t have the most effective situations in comparison with mine.
“It’s one thing that bothers me so much.
“It’s one thing unhappy, it shouldn’t be like that, particularly when some individuals have a lot cash.
“For positive it’s one thing I want to assist change someday.”
For now although Bernardo will concentrate on the subsequent stage of his journey in soccer, which began from the day he was born – due to his father.
Bernardo senior was not too long ago inducted into the Sao Paulo Corridor of Fame. He gained the Brazilian championship in 1986, with Careca amongst his team-mates, and once more in 1991 earlier than incomes a transfer to Bayern Munich.
He additionally gained six worldwide caps and simply after his solely little one was born, took the household to Japan the place he represented Cerezo Osaka within the J League,
Bernardo, who went to the World Cup in Russia as a Brazil fan, mentioned: “My dad retired in 1998 after I was three years previous. However he would take me to stadiums and folks would recognise him on the street.
“My dad being a footballer by no means bothered me. One thing I heard generally in Brazil is about my dad retiring to grow to be an agent.
“Then individuals would say ‘Ah, he’s there as a result of his dad is an agent’. That bothered me.
“This was one thing constructive as a result of I needed to point out my worth as a participant. I understand how laborious I labored and the way laborious it was for me to get right here.”
Bernardo’s journey to Brighton was given wings by the corporate behind a sure power drink.
He mentioned: “After I was 18 I needed to play professionally and it didn’t appear to be my membership have been going to make use of me that yr.
“I had already met Crimson Bull’s sporting director [the company has a club in Brazil] after I was taking part in for a small staff in Sao Paulo.
“They mentioned: ‘You’re a younger participant, you could have a European profile and now we have golf equipment in Austria and Germany, so should you get some minutes they may name you to do some coaching there.’
Positive sufficient, Bernardo was requested to go for per week’s trial at Crimson Bull Salzburg and was instantly provided a deal.
He put his journalism diploma on maintain and inside months of arriving in January 2016, he was a part of the aspect which gained the Austrian double.
However when Salzburg did not qualify for the Champions League group stage, sister membership Leipzig swooped.
In Germany, Leipzig are arguably hated much more than serial winners Bayern due to the best way Crimson Bull has discovered a manner around the league’s possession guidelines and bankrolled an increase from regional obscurity to the Bundesliga.
Shortly earlier than Bernardo joined the membership, Dynamo Dresden followers even threw a bull’s head on to the pitch and it was not the one alarming episode of Leipzig’s debut season within the prime flight.
Bernardo mentioned: “We have been a really younger staff. The blokes have been like between 20 and 25, so we have been taking a number of this as humorous stuff, like when individuals threw balloons at our bus.
“We weren’t scared – aside from the Dortmund episode. This was horrible, the followers from Dortmund threw rocks at our followers.
“However I actually don’t perceive the hate for Crimson Bull. It’s nearly being the brand new membership that in two years turned higher than the normal golf equipment.
“In the event you see Leverkusen, they’ve Bayer behind them. Even Bayern have T-Cellular and Adidas. Wolfsburg? Volkswagen. It’s not one thing new in Germany.”
Leipzig and Bernardo had the final giggle, at one level main the Bundesliga and ending the 2016-17 season as runners-up to Bayern.
Bernardo mentioned: “It was loopy. The primary video games, you don’t know what to anticipate. However issues have been flowing and we actually thought we may very well be champions at a sure level.
“However second place in Germany, behind Bayern, is identical as being champions.”
Bernardo discovered his alternatives at Leipzig extra restricted final season.
And when Brighton confirmed curiosity, he fortunately gave up the possibility to play Europa League soccer once more as a way to transfer to England.
Bernardo mentioned: “In Brazil I all the time used to get up on a lazy Sunday, activate the TV at 11am and there’d be an incredible match like Arsenal v Manchester United or Chelsea v Liverpool.
“On these lazy Sundays I used to be all the time dreaming about taking part in in opposition to Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea.
“Simply because we gained final season doesn’t imply we are going to win the subsequent match.
“However for positive, there are some classes, some great things, that we will analyse, see what we did good within the final match and attempt to do it once more.
“I’m actually excited.”
As Fatboy Slim may say of Bernardo’s journey from Sao Paulo to Brighton, through Japan, Austria and Germany: you’ve come a great distance, child.