David Silva sits comfortably in the top five of the greatest players to have ever represented Manchester City, says Pep Guardiola.
The 34-year-old midfielder is approaching the end of a memorable spell at the Etihad Stadium and it has been confirmed that he will be walking away when his current contract expires in the summer.
A year on from seeing Vincent Kompany head for the exits, City are preparing to bid farewell to another icon.
Silva is already assured of a place among the club’s many legends, with the last 10 years having seen him become a talismanic presence.
The World Cup winner has taken in over 400 appearances for the Blues, while helping them to 10 major trophies, including four Premier League titles.
English football will remember him as one of the finest creative imports of the modern era, while City supporters can offer him a standing alongside the very best to have graced their books.
Guardiola is a big fan of a fellow Spaniard and has told a documentary about the player’s life produced by City TV called ‘Made in Gran Canaria’: “I’d only say that he has to be proud for all that he has achieved in football because he has been consistent and, especially at this club, he will be always remembered as one of the biggest, biggest, biggest players ever to wear the Man City shirt.
“If we’re talking about the top five, David is one of them, and I don’t say that lightly.”
The current City boss added on a man who has remained dedicated to his craft throughout a memorable career: “He’s not interested in giving interviews, social media, Twitter, Instagram, any of that.
“And it seems like people like David get less recognition than people who do that all day.
“But I’ll tell you something that he does have, and that’s the respect of his fellow professionals – of his team-mates, his rivals, his managers, managers he’s played against. And he has earned all of that.
“Some have all the respect outside but inside the changing room they have none. David is exactly the opposite and that’s the best legacy he could have.”