Sergio Aguero and Kevin De Bruyne led the tributes as David Silva brought his trophy-laden spell at Manchester City to an end.
Having signed a short-term contract extension amid the coronavirus crisis to keep him at City until the end of the campaign, Silva finally ended his 10-year stint at Etihad Stadium following the club’s defeat to Lyon in the Champions League on Saturday.
It was ultimately a disappointing end for the 34-year-old, who joined City from LaLiga club Valencia in 2010 and went on to win four Premier League titles, two FA Cups and the EFL Cup on five occasions.
On Monday, City revealed plans to immortalise Silva in statue form, while the World Cup-winning midfielder will also have a bespoke mosaic dedicated to him, reflecting his contribution to the 6-1 defeat of Manchester United in 2011.
Former team-mate Aguero, who joined City a year after Silva, paid tribute to the playmaker on Twitter.
“We learned a lot from you. Everyday,” Aguero tweeted. “You made Man City bigger and you made us better. It was an honour to have shared all these years with you and with so many achievements. We will miss you. All the best in what comes. Eternally thank you.”
Aprendimos mucho de ti. Todos los días. Hiciste más grande a @ManCity y nos hiciste mejor. Fue un honor haber compartido todos estos años contigo y con tantos logros. Te vamos a extrañar. Todo lo mejor en lo que viene. Eternamente gracias @21LVA #Legend #GraciasDavid #ElMago pic.twitter.com/s8728hYTNX
— Sergio Kun Aguero (@aguerosergiokun) August 17, 2020
In their nine years together, Silva and Aguero combined for more goals than any other partnership in Premier League history bar Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba.
“We play really close to each other and Kun is the one who needs to score goals because he is the striker,” Silva told City’s official website in a wide-ranging interview released on Monday.
“I am only there to help him and create the chances for him to score goals and in this case I am happy because I think I helped him.
“The stats are there, I gave him lots of assists and to be fair he makes it very easy because he knows how to find the spaces and he is clinical in front of goal.
“Yes, of course [he is one of the best strikers in the world]. He has been playing at a very high level for so many years, scoring lots of goals, which is very hard to achieve.”
As Silva has become a more irregular feature in City’s starting XI, his fellow midfielder De Bruyne has gone from strength to strength, and the Belgium playmaker also used social media to pay tribute to the Spain international.
“Sad to see this man leave the club after an incredible 10 years,” De Bruyne posted on Instagram. “It was an honour to play with and wish you all the best in the future my friend.”
Meanwhile, Silva – who has been linked with Lazio – is satisfied with everything he has achieved at City.
“We converted City into a winning club and this is a good thing despite the higher demands,” he said.
“This is something good and our fans deserve it after all the years without winning silverware.
“At the end what matters are the collective awards because this is a team effort. I am happy enough with the people who enjoy watching me play football every week – fans, team-mates, people I work with. Having their appreciation is enough.”
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