Bernardo's big goal is to play for Brazil.

He thinks he can achieve this while playing for Albion, which will be well received by the fans who shared the tube with him at Wembley.

A couple of hours after giving Manchester City a run for their money in the semi-finals of the FA Cup and further enhancing his reputation by the way he dealt with Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva, Bernardo was on the London Underground with supporters.

"I had my dad and his friend, my friend and my girlfriend," he explained. "We had a table booked at a restaurant and the tube was the fastest way to get to our hotel.

"They (fans) were really respectful. A few of them asked for a picture and then, when I went inside the tube, they were singing songs and everything, I don't know what, about Bernardo. I couldn't really understand!

"Thank God the fans had a good sense of humour. They were not p..... that we lost the match. It was quite a nice experience."

Generally speaking, Bernardo's move to Albion from Germany has been a nice experience.

Some ups and downs but rich in promise for the athletic and articulate 23-year-old - fluent in several languages - in the bigger picture.

Five days on from Wembley, Bernardo, the knees of his tracksuit bottoms dirty from the morning's training session, discusses in the upstairs gallery at the training complex in Lancing his hopes.

He signed a contract until 2022 when he arrived from Bundesliga runners-up Red Bull Leipzig for approaching £9 million.

"First I want to do my stuff at this club," he told The Argus.

"Obviously I have my goals - my main goal in my career is to play for the Brazilian national team - and I believe it is still possible to do that being in this club.

The Argus: "In football especially you have to go step by step. And the next step for me is to be important for this club, to be a main player, to have more numbers (of matches) and that's what I am looking forward to next season, to be a main player, to have more minutes, to have more assists maybe, to maybe score one goal or two.

"That's what I want for a short period and then long term I don't know. Obviously maybe one day I want to play for one of the massive clubs but for now it's step by step and next season I am looking forward to being here, improve and give a bit more."

Bernardo talks in the same assured manner as he performs. He has become Chris Hughton's first-choice left-back, recovering from a sticky start to overtake experienced Cameroon international Gaetan Bong.

The Argus: After a difficult debut at Watford on the opening day, Hughton did not turn back to Bernardo in the Premier League until the beginning of November.

He has been a regular since then, apart from a spell out in January with a hamstring injury.

"At the beginning it was a bit shocking," Bernardo said. "I wasn't as prepared as I thought I was.

"Not in the sense of quality but being used to the league. I thought things would work out maybe a bit easier.

"I had to take a break and adapt myself. Since that I think I have done a good job.

"The type of player I am, I think I can fit quite well into this league.

"So now, looking at the season from my individual perspective, I think I am quite satisfied, being my first season.

"Obviously, when you arrive at a new club, a new league you have plans. I wish I could have had more minutes.

"I haven't played as much as I wanted to but I think as an introduction I'm satisfied."

Bernardo has faced the same challenge as the rest of Albion's many overseas signings since promotion, adapting from top leagues abroad to the Premier League where there is more depth.

"Much more, 100 per cent," Bernardo said. "There is no easy game. In Germany there are kind of easy games sometimes.

"When you play at home against a team at the bottom you kind of know that you are going to win.

"Obviously it's football, you never know, but you think you are going to win, and you win 3-0 or 4-0.

"Here, there is no easy game. There is no team that will come to the Amex and we'll have an easy afternoon.

"For sure here it's much more equal, the game is much more competitive."

Bernardo has passed the test and earned the trust of his manager, not just as a full-back but as a potential multi-tasker.

The game before Wembley, at Chelsea, Bernardo was brought on as a left-sided midfielder.

Hughton said: "Longer term he's got that flexibility definitely. The reason we brought him in was as a left-back. That's where we see him but he can play at right-back.

"They're the positions I see but there is flexibility in where he can play - a midfield role or wider or higher on that left-hand side."