Everton forward Bernard says that his father’s support from Brazil is a motivating factor in improving his performances in a Blue shirt, and revealed a link to Everton from his past.
Bernard’s father was a big fan of former Everton striker Wayne Rooney, and the diminutive Brazilian was able to swap shirts with England’s all-time leading goalscorer when he played against Manchester United for Shakhtar.
Today he will once again face United, with his Everton side still favourites to win the game, at 43/20 for the match at Goodison Park.
Bernard himself is a respectable 12/1 to score the first goal, but his main aim is to win the match and make sure he continues to add consistency to his performances this season.
“We would get up every Sunday morning in Brazil, because of the time difference, and watch the Premier League games. It was almost like a tradition,” Bernard revealed to the Telegraph.
“My dad was a big Wayne Rooney fan so when I played for Shakhtar against Man United in the Champions League, I managed to swap shirts with Rooney and that was a very welcome present to my dad, to make him happy.
“My dad has framed the shirt, it’s in the living room. Without a doubt on Sunday he will be there on the sofa cheering me on as always. I think that gives me an extra boost, an extra motivating factor, that I can show my dad I deserve to be playing in the best championship in the world.
“Being here I’m not just living my dream, but the dream of my family and my father.
“He maybe had the opportunity to become a professional footballer himself, but they say it wasn’t possible because my grandad didn’t want him to leave home. They lived in the countryside, two-and-a-half hours away from Belo Horizonte, and were a family of humble means so it wasn’t really possible for him.”