Premier League is, by far, the most popular footballing league on the planet.
World-class teams, managed by finest managers, cheered on by some of the most passionate supporters on the planet — it’s almost impossible to go wrong with this combination, and the Premier League most certainly has benefitted from the trifecta of magnificence.
Ignoring the temptation of being a Premier League superstar has always been a daunting task — which is why we continue to enjoy so many A-grade stars on the pitch, every matchday.
Playing for a top Premier League club is one of the toughest hurdles in the world; being at the same champion club for a decade is close to impossible.
Yet, the man we’re heaping praises on today not only managed to be a top player at one of the best teams in the world, but he also emerged as one of their most consistent performers.
David Silva — The magician
The player, who had won the World Cup with Spain that summer, had a stellar reputation to live up to and prove that City were right to go after a physically “inferior” midfielder.
Under Manchester City boss, Roberto Mancini, the left-footed midfielder took a little time to settle in.
He was a Spanish attacking midfielder, who didn’t have the pace or the physicality to put opponents under pressure. He needed to be creative, he needed to make out the spaces, and exploit them with precision.
On 17th October, the magnificent David Silva scored the first Premier League goal for the Sky Blues. Leaving two defenders for dead with two delicate feints, Silva nestled the ball in the far post, rendering Blackpool’s defence and stopper helpless.
The match ended 3-2 in favour of Mancini’s side and Manchester City fans had a new favourite to sing about.
Next season, Manchester City recorded a historic 6-1 win over cross-town rivals Manchester United, and David Silva was at the heart of every glorious passage of play.
He was a crucial cog in the first two goals, set up Edin Dzeko for his second of the night, and finally pitched in with the fifth goal of the night.
The annihilation marked the beginning of an era at the Blue side of Manchester, and David Silva was set to be the unabashed orchestrator.
Manchester City, of course, won the title on the last matchday in the most dramatic way possible, and Silva had his first taste of the coveted Premier League trophy.
David Silva added three more Premier League titles — 2013-14, 2017-18, and 2018-19 — to his tally in the next eight years, playing sublime football and enticing each viewer.
The greatness of Silva cannot be summed up without showing how great a character he is, how capable he was when the odds were firmly stacked against him.
The Spaniard, who was named in the PFA Team of the Year in 2017-18 after Manchester City’s record-breaking campaign, had to juggle family and football for weeks.
He flew back and forth between England and Spain, nursing his premature, newborn baby. His son, Mateo, spent five months in a hospital incubator fighting for his life — before being declared healthy in May 2018.
On the first home match of the 2018-19 season, David Silva introduced his son to the world, cradling him to the pitch before kickoff. The midfielder marked the occasion by scoring a delightful free-kick.
Four Premier League titles and 152 goal contributions in 309 appearances — these numbers alone can make any footballer blush.
However, for Silva, these numbers don’t even come close to telling the full story. He didn’t score like Sergio Aguero and he didn’t assist like Kevin De Bruyne. He wasn’t a mesmerising leader like Vincent Kompany and didn’t have the explosiveness of Raheem Sterling.
Yet, despite his “shortcomings”, David Silva will arguably go down as Manchester City’s most influential players of the last decade. He was the touch of elegance amidst the brashness of the English top-flight, a dash of poise in the middle of breathless Premier League fixtures.
He didn’t need to score or assist to change the course of the tie. He just needed to be there, in the middle of the park, drifting into pockets of space, and finding his mates with unmatched precision.
The chapter has ended for David Silva in England. Now, the attention turns to Europe, where the former Premier League champions would go toe-to-toe with Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid.
It won’t be an easy task, for sure. But with David Silva’s brilliance at their disposal, Manchester City just might have the quality to climb this mountain and, ultimately, go the distance — win the Champions League for the first time in their history.