Silva has won 11 trophies in 10 seasons with City, including four Premier League titles, since arriving from Valencia in 2010.

The 34-year-old Spaniard, who has scored 60 goals in 308 league appearances, will depart the Etihad Stadium when his contract expires at the end of the season.

“When I look back at everything, I could never in my wildest dreams have imagined what I would achieve,” Silva said. “When you are young, you don’t dream about all of this,”

You dream about becoming a footballer, a professional footballer, you dream of playing in the top flight – but you never think about all the things that you could possibly achieve.

Silva has won the Premier League’s Player of the Month award just once despite being one of City’s most consistent players but he is unconcerned with the lack of personal accolades.

“I would like to be remembered as a good guy, who enjoys football. I hope the people enjoyed my football as well. It’s simple,” he said.

Silva will be remembered as one of the Premier League’s greatest ever footballers.

Since arriving at City from Valencia in 2010, Siilva has won two FA Cups and five EFL Cups to go with the four league titles. For the national team he has won two European Championships (2008 & 2012) and the 2010 World Cup.

The one trophy that eludes him is the Champions League, but City are very much in contention for that with the tournament to be concluded in Lisbon, Portugal next month.

Last August, Guardiola described Silva as “one of the best players I’ve ever seen”. So what is it that makes Silva so special?

Silva, alongside Joe Hart, Vincent Kompany, Yaya Toure and Sergio Aguero, forged the spine for one of the most dominant teams in Premier League history and no small part of that is down to the man from Gran Canaria.

Silva is the reference when people speak of the modern number ten because of his ability to pick up the ball in compact spaces (think centimetres), distribute and has a history of contributing vital goals. His close ball control is simply mesmerising.

Standing at 5ft 7″, the diminutive midfielder’s ability to create chances in the world’s toughest league for such a long period of time is what makes him unparalleled. Consistency and longevity cannot be forgotten when debating the Premier League’s greatest imports.

Silva has thrived under three different managers and has faced radically different playing styles. Roberto Mancini, Manuel Pellegrini and Guardiola all knew he was the player they could rely on for any challenge.

Silva has only been in the PFA Team of the Year twice in ten years, the last time coming in 2018, and – as stated above – has only been a player of the month once back in September 2011.

His game cannot be defined by goals and assists, but any statistician with a plethora of software tools available to them will show you he has been involved in more than a fair share of Manchester City’s goals in the last ten years.

Sit back. Watch a YouTube highlight reel of Silva in action and you will remember that football can still be about the intangibles. Continue reading

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