David Silva: My Manchester City highlights and the best players of my career

The Etihad genius talks of his greatest memories before summer departure

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David Silva has spent the last decade as Manchester City’s quiet creator, exerting a huge influence on the pitch but saying little off it.

The captain has won four Premier Leagues, two FA Cups, a record five League Cups and has played in the only team to get 100 points in an English season and the lone one to get a domestic treble, while retaining an air of mystery.

Ahead of his summer departure, the World Cup winner nominated some of the best, toughest and funniest he has come across in his career.

The best passer I have played with

KIEV, UKRAINE - JULY 01:  Cesc Fabregas of Spain battles for the ball with Giorgio Chiellini of Italy during the UEFA EURO 2012 final match between Spain and Italy at the Olympic Stadium on July 1, 2012 in Kiev, Ukraine.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

At City, of course we have Kevin de Bruyne, and in past years Samir Nasri and Yaya Toure. In the Spanish national team, Xavi Hernandez, Santi Cazorla, Andres Iniesta, and Cesc Fabregas. Cesc in particular I mention because he provided so many assists, and in his career overall.

Who I have admired the most

My idol when I was young was [Michael] Laudrup, I always watched him closely when I watched games he played in. And also, I always watch Juan Carlos Valeron, a player from my city. And then I always watch many other players in my position to always improve my game.

The best player at Manchester City

Manchester City's Argentinian forward Carlos Tevez (L) celebrates with Spanish midfielder David Silva (R) after scoring against Notts County's during the FA Cup fourth round replay football match between Manchester City and Notts County at the City of Manchester Stadium in Manchester, north-west England on February 20, 2011. AFP PHOTO/ BEN STANSALL RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE Additional licence required for any commercial/promotional use or use on TV or internet (except identical online version of newspaper) of Premier League/Football League photos. Tel DataCo +44 207 2981656. Do not alter/modify photo (Photo by BEN STANSALL / AFP)

That is a hard one, isn’t it? Because I’ve played with so many. Of course, De Bruyne. For importance in these years, I can say Yaya, Kun [Sergio Aguero], Vinny [Kompany], Joe Hart in his time. They were really the spine of City, and then many more important players came. Also, Carlos Tevez, who for me is one of the best to ever play. There are so many. [Edin] Dzeko too. I could keep going, there are so many.

The toughest player I've played against

There are so many who are so good in opposition, so it’s hard to name someone specific. I’m going to say one of my friends with whom I grew up in the academy, [right-back] Manuel Ruz, who later played at Valencia. He was very strong and he was always difficult to pass around.

Best Premier League player of my era

BARCELONA, SPAIN - APRIL 24:  Frank Lampard , Branislav Ivanovic , Ramires and John Obi Mikel of Chelsea celebrate victory during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final, second leg match between FC Barcelona and Chelsea FC at Camp Nou on April 24, 2012 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

There have been many, but I’ll say Frank Lampard, especially because I played at the same time as him for many years. Apart from the statistics he racked up and how he played, he’s an incredible person.

Player I wish I had played with for Spain

Raul. We did end up playing at the same time in La Liga, but we never got to play together on the national team.

The best player in the world

In the whole world, it’s easy — [Lionel] Messi is the best. In England, I think it would be Sadio Mane at Liverpool. He’s doing really well.

My toughest game

With Spain, it was against Italy in 2008 in the Euros. We went to penalties and we won, but it was a really tough game. With City, there have been a lot of tough games, but to pick one — against Hull City away in the 2013-2014 season. Kompany was sent off [after 10 minutes], and we really needed to win the game to win the league, so we did it [2-0], but it was tough to do that with 10 men.

My funniest team-mate

epa07565268 Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany (C) celebrates with teammates John Stones (L) and Sergio Aguero after the English Premier League match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Manchester City, Brighton, Britain, 12 May 2019. Manchester City won 4-1 and won the Premier League title.  EPA/JAMES BOARDMAN EDITORIAL USE ONLY.  No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.

It’s hard to pinpoint one because I’ve played with a lot of players, but I think right now at City Kyle Walker and John Stones are some of the funniest, and before, in Spain too, [Joan] Capdevila, who played on the national team with me, and Santi Cazorla and Nolito.