After ten years, eleven major trophies, and 400 appearances, Manchester City legend David Silva is leaving the Etihad.
The Spanish midfielder has managed to win an impressive four Premier League titles, two FA Cups and five EFL trophies.
It remains to be seen, however, whether he will leave the club with a Champions League winner’s medal in his hand, the only major honour missing from his time at the club.
It would certainly be the best going away present for the Spanish international, who also has two wins at the European Championships and a World Cup to his name.
Such success is above and beyond what Silva ever thought he would enjoy in his career:
“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.”
While it may seem a distant memory in the face of all that he has achieved in Manchester, David Silva’s transfer to the Citizens was largely down to the financial troubles of his former club, Valencia.
“Why did I leave Valencia? Because the club needed me to,” Silva admitted, not long after he joined City.
“I was happy there and wouldn’t have left, but the situation the club was in demanded it.”
In the end, the Spanish club in the end accepted a bid of £25m for Silva.
Given his success in the last ten years, this seems like a a bargain price, but even in 2010 it was a massive steal for City.
Pep Guardiola has called Silva “one of the best” players he has ever known. And this is coming from a man who has worked with too many world-beaters to count.
Premier League players, both past and present, have also sung the praises of the little midfielder known as El Mago (the magician).
Jamie Carragher, back in 2017, called Silva City’s “best ever player” and Alan Shearer put the Spaniard in the same bracket as “Thierry Henry at Arsenal, Manchester United’s Eric Cantona or Silva’s Manchester City teammate Sergio Aguero”.
Peculiarly, despite these plaudits, Silva has, surprisingly, received few individual awards during his time at City.
The 34-year-old has won only one Premier League Player of the Month award and has appeared in the League’s team of the season only twice.
For the fans, some believe the Spanish maestro is destined to remain dwarfed by the likes of modern City legends such as Kompany and Aguero.
The founder of CityXtra, Freddie Pye, told The Manc that Silva “will always be in the shadow of the likes of Kompany, Aguero, and Yaya Toure in the eyes of other football fans, purely down to these players having scored goals that ultimately won trophies.”
Freddie believes that when it comes to standout moments for Silva, it is not about goals.
“City fans will fondly remember the assists, the moments of magic, the gliding across the surface effortlessly,” he argued.
There have been many of them.
Silva’s sumptuous through ball to Edin Dzeko set up City’s sixth goal in their famous 6-1 thrashing of United at Old Trafford; voted one of his best moments at the club.
Another fond memory was his assist against Wigan back in 2011, where he managed to bypass three opposition players with ease to slide a perfect ball through to Aguero to bag his hat-trick.
And, of course, who could forget Kompany’s winning header against United back in April of the 11/12 season? A goal, which effectively won the blues their first Premier League title, came from a Silva corner.
Despite the standout moments, many recognise Silva’s biggest contribution to the team was his consistency and his ability to control a match despite having played under different systems, under three different managers (Roberto Mancini, Manuel Pellegrini and Pep Guardiola).
Supporters are also passionate about making sure Silva’s contributions to club are recognised. Some are asking for statue of Silva to be placed outside of the Etihad, with a petition set up in aid of this mission close to 1000 signatures.
It is unclear what the future holds for the Spanish star.
But, for now, Silva is only thinking about the Champions League.
What a way to go out…
The five-a-side app that’s helping people find pick-up football games in Manchester and all over the UK
Having a kick about is one of life’s simple pleasures. Just grab a ball, your boots, some mates and you’re good to go, right? That is until the inevitable excuses pop up on WhatsApp with an hour to go and suddenly you’re scrambling for a ringer to keep your so-called ‘weekly’ five-a-side match alive.
Another night is followed by the usual “Sorry, maybe next week” message and you’re left wondering why getting a footy game going with few friends isn’t as easy as it was when you were younger. If only there was an app for that…
For those in the know, there is one name that’s actually helping make sorting a regular five-a-side night or even a quick pick-up game in and around Greater Manchester that little bit easier and more social than ever.
Footy Addicts, the football-based social networking platform, are on a mission to make the beautiful game easier and more inclusive across the region and the UK at large.
The app, founded by self-proclaimed footy addicts Konstantinos Gkortsilas, Danny Taeidy and Jonathan Suarez, aims to make quality football matches — be it a straight-forward five/seven-a-side game or a bigger affair — happen across Great Britain and, if they carry on how they’re going, the world.
When you sit and think about it, it’s one of these ideas where you wonder, ‘How hasn’t this been thought of before?’ From the first unofficial pick-up game back in 2010 to what has now grown to a community of over 210,000 users across 140 active locations, the proof is in the pudding.
Not only is the demand obviously there but it just goes to show how important opportunity and accessibility are when it comes to playing the game so many of us love.
Footy Addicts’ biggest goal is ensuring that wherever you are, you’ll only be a button away from a game — and the stats don’t lie. Now growing by a rate of more than 5,000 new users each month with players from over 200 different countries, it just goes to show how a simple kickabout can help enrich diverse communities a game at a time.
Whether you are a first-timer, Sunday league Messi or ‘could’ve gone pro if it wasn’t for my knee’, there’s a spot on the team sheet for all abilities.
Just to highlight some of the regulars in the Manchester scene, this could be your squad lining up alongside you next time you stick a bib on under the lights: lifelong Burnley supporter James is still going strong at 70 and nutmegging students. You can’t drag him away from the pitch.
Marc used to ply his trade in the Premier League but now gets his football fix in a more casual setting and Nadia is a semi-pro female footballer who’ll happily show up the best of them.
The importance of running around after a ball for an hour or so is far more than the scoreline; it’s like therapy for the mind and body. The escapism, confidence and community that blossoms when you step on a pitch is what keeps the world hooked on the beautiful game. And, that’s not to mention the obvious physical benefits.
Available to download from the Google Play and Apple App Store, or by simply using their website, it’s not quite as easy as clicking your fingers but it’s close enough.
It goes without saying that Footy Addicts organise games all over Manchester. Just whack in your postcode and see if there is a place and time that suits you. It’s also pay-as-you-play, with no monthly subscriptions or signing-on fees, just dust off your boots and head down.
Prices start at only £3.50 a game with the average price of around a fiver, which in this day and age is great value for footy.
See you on a pitch in Greater Manchester sometime soon.
André Onana’s emotional reaction at full-time turns fan frustration into sympathy after another Man United UCL collapse
André Onana has had a rocky start to life at Manchester United and while supporters have been left swearing from the stands and at their TV screens several times already this season, his reaction at full-time following his latest howler has seen much of that frustration turn to sympathy.
The Cameroonian goalkeeper made yet another costly error on Wednesday night when his lack of concentration saw Man United’s 2-0 lead, thanks to two very fine finishes from Alejandro Garnacho and Bruno Fernandes, somehow turn to 3-1 and eventually 3-3 — two of which were very preventable.
Onana was left unsighted by the wall and wrong-footed for the first goal which was whipped in from a Hakim Ziyech free-kick, but was left blushing even more when an almost identical delivery was fired at him in the second half, only to effectively push it into his own net and reduce the Red Devil’s two-goal cushion to one.
As commentator Darren Fletcher and pretty much everyone watching said at the time, “What on Earth is the Manchester United keeper doing there?!”. It really doesn’t make for great viewing…
Although mistakes like these could be forgiven in isolation, as one-offs or more widely spread out over a longer period of — many Reds had grown accustomed to watching their previous number one, David de Gea, making a gaffe or two in his time — for all of them to happen in the space of just a few months doesn’t help.
In the Champions League alone, Onana has seven individual unforced errors leading to goals (four more than any other player) and in a knockout competition against the best teams in Europe, you simply don’t have enough games to make up for mistakes like that.
That being said, as opposed to the usual reaction from supporters on social media that we have seen so far this season, a large proportion of fans and neutrals alike weren’t berating him but were instead expressing their sympathy — especially after seeing Onana‘s visibly upset reaction after full-time:
On the other hand, not everyone was so forgiving and to further sum up how things are going for the United keeper, both in terms of his bad luck and the pity plenty are now starting to feel for him, there were countless posts online dubbing him “the new [Harry] Maguire”, who had previously been a scapegoat and a target of abuse at both club and international level.
In contrast, while the England centre-backs’s performances have started to improve, a goalkeeper’s mistakes are always going to be even more highlighted as although defenders usually have the man between the sticks as a last stand, when it goes wrong it usually results in conceding a goal.