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
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
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
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
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.