Pep Guardiola has no doubt David Silva belongs in the top five of Manchester City’s greatest players.
Spanish playmaker Silva is set to leave City at the end of the season after a glittering 10-year spell at the club.
The 34-year-old World Cup winner has helped City to 10 major trophies, including four Premier League titles, since joining from Valencia in 2010.
Speaking in a new documentary about the player’s life, ‘Made in Gran Canaria’ by City TV, City manager Guardiola said: “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.”
Silva, who made his 400th appearance for City last August, keeps a low profile off the field.
Guardiola feels that has probably affected the levels of praise he receives from the outside, but he is hugely admired by those in the game.
Guardiola said: “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.”
:: From 10am on Thursday, fans can access the full ‘Made in Gran Canaria’ documentary exclusively with CITY+, City’s brand-new subscription service, which provides unrivalled access to exclusive Manchester City content. Available on mancity.com, Man City app and smart TV.