Perfect 10 exit for City maestro Silva

LONDON • David Silva, together with Sergio Aguero, were the only two to have been a part of the Abu Dhabi revolution from the start, when Manchester City were nothing more than cash-rich upstarts trying to end Manchester United's Premier League hegemony.

When the Spanish midfielder joined from Valencia in 2010, the club were in the infancy stage of their project to shake up English football's established order.

By the end of his first season, City had won their first major trophy in 35 years, the 2011 FA Cup, and since then, they have gone on to lift four league titles, four League Cups and another FA Cup with Silva at the heart of it all.

But after almost a decade of unparalleled success at the Etihad, he told reporters in his native Gran Caneria he will be leaving the English champions at the end of next season: "It's the perfect time for me."

Asked if he would be committing his final years to stay at City, Silva, 33, added: "No, this is the last one. Ten years for me is enough.

"Initially, City were talking about two years, but I decided to sign (for) another one, so I finish at 10 years.

"It completes the cycle. It's a nice round figure. I can never see myself playing against City for another team. So 10 years, that's it."

TEN IS ENOUGH

It completes the cycle. It's a nice round figure. I can never see myself playing against City for another team. So 10 years, that's it.

DAVID SILVA, Man City midfielder, on his decision to leave at the end of next season.

One of the club's most decorated players, the Spaniard has scored 70 goals in 395 appearances and been a mainstay under Roberto Mancini, Manuel Pellegrini and current manager Pep Guardiola.

While Silva is expected to return to Spain, having previously spoken of his desire to go back to his homeland for family reasons when his City career ends, he feels they will be in the good hands of a natural successor - Phil Foden.

Of the England Under-21 midfielder, he said: "I'm sure he's going to be a fantastic player. He's a very nice man and he will be a good replacement for me.

"I've given him lots of advice, like how to move on the pitch. He's taken the information in and he's getting better, day by day.

"He reminds me of myself when I was young - especially how he is as a person. He's very quiet but always there, competing. He hates losing."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 27, 2019, with the headline 'Perfect 10 exit for City maestro Silva'. Print Edition | Subscribe