Pep Guardiola defends 'exceptional person' Bernardo Silva over controversial Benjamin Mendy tweet
Silva posted pictures on social media on Sunday comparing Mendy, with whom he also played with at Monaco, to the character on a packet of Conguitos chocolates
Pep Guardiola has defended Bernardo Silva against accusations he posted a racist tweet aimed at Manchester City teammate Benjamin Mendy.
Midfielder Silva posted pictures on social media on Sunday comparing Mendy, with whom he also played with at Monaco, to the character on a packet of Conguitos chocolates. The post has since been deleted.
Anti-discriminatory body Kick It Out called on the English Football Association to take action, referring to the contents of post as a racist stereotype. The governing body has also written to City requesting their observations.
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Guardiola was asked for his opinion after his side cruised to a comfortable 3-0 win at Preston North End on Tuesday evening to kick off the defence of their League Cup title.
Guardiola said: "I don't know what is going to happen but they should put the focus on other issues. Bernardo is one of the most lovely people I have ever met in my life.
"He speaks four or five languages - that is the best way to understand how open-minded he is - and one of his best friends is Mendy. He is like a brother for him. The image for the two is not about the colour of the skin.
"If they want to do that, to ask Bernardo, we'd be open to talk, but first to do that you want to know exactly which person are you talking about.
"If something happens it would be a mistake because Bernardo is an exceptional person."
Silva scored a hat-trick in City's 8-0 win over Watford on Saturday in which Mendy also made his first Premier League start of the season after being ruled out for most of the last campaign through injury.
Silva started and Mendy appeared as a second-half substitute in what was a routine City victory in the third-round tie at Deepdale.
Teenagers Eric Garcia and Taylor Harwood-Bellis shone in defence while Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus struck before Ryan Ledson turned into his own net.
City have not lost a tie in the League Cup for almost three years, lifting it for a second season in succession last term as part of their unprecedented quadruple along with the Premier League, FA Cup and Community Shield.
Updated: September 25, 2019 09:46 AM