Pep Guardiola was thoroughly impressed by Fernandinho following the win at Arsenal. The Brazilian put up a vintage performance on Sunday to help Manchester City get closer to the Premier League crown. The Blues secured a vital 1-0 victory over the Gunners to match on toward a remarkable third league title in four years.
Fernandinho’s performance in the middle of the park brought back memories of his significant role in the 2018/19 campaign when the team made a clean sweep of the trophies on offer in England.
The City boss was seen clapping for his captain in appreciation and made some glowing remarks about him after the game.
“What a game he played without the ball, winning duels. He has been injured and Rodrigo was superb - but what a game he played today,” Guardiola said.
“I will always remember him. I have been together with him since day one [at City] and he has been so, so important.
“He knows his body perfectly and knows what he has to do in each moment. He knows when to talk, the rhythm we have to play. He is so clever in these terms. For 35, he plays just one game a week, it’s perfect for him.”
It is not surprising that the manager will lavish so much praise on a player who has cemented his legendary status at City. Former teammate Pablo Zabaleta had this to say about him:
“Fernandinho is like a fine wine. He gets better as he gets older.”
The Brazilian, whose contract expires at the end of the season has revealed that he won’t decide on his future at City until the end of the campaign.
Guardiola has no doubts that the midfielder can continue to play at such a high level for at least another year, but no decision has been made on his future yet. There have been speculations he will return back to Brazil to see out the remainder of his playing career. But the 35-year-old recently revealed that he has received an offer from City to become an employee once his playing days are over.
However, he wants to wait until the end of the season before making a decision.
“I’ve been focused on Man City, I know how much my teammates need me,” he told journalist Fred Caldeira.
“I know how much my teammates need me. I made a decision to only decide my future when the season is over. I already had an offer, not to be part of Pep’s staff, but to be an employee of the club.
“I was flattered, after eight years at Man City and the respect I have gained here, but it is a decision that I put aside.”
Still able to deliver top-notch performances, it remains to be seen what the £34 million acquisition from Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk back in 2013 will do at the end of the campaign. Extend his contract with City for another year after clocking eight years at the Etihad Stadium? Take up the job offer and work behind the scenes? Return back home to bring his career full circle at his boyhood club Atletico Paranaense? Or call it quits altogether?
It is never easy for a player to hang up his boots especially when they are still able to perform at the highest level. And working with a manager that believes so much in you can only make the decision harder to make.
We will have to wait and see what he decides to do in the end. The season ends just a few months from now.