EPL

Guardiola: I doubted milestone man David Silva before City move

By Sports Desk August 23, 2019

Pep Guardiola acknowledged he was among those who doubted David Silva would be a success at Manchester City as he lauded the midfielder's "just incredible" longevity.

City captain Silva is set to make his 400th appearance for the club against Bournemouth on Sunday, having joined from Valencia in 2010.

The Spaniard has played a part in four Premier League title wins, yet, to many, his diminutive stature and silky skills did not appear a good fit for English football.

This was put to Guardiola in Friday's pre-match news conference and the City boss interjected to say he had similarly thought Silva might struggle before being proven spectacularly wrong.

"Yep, me included [in those who thought Silva would struggle]," he said. "I think it's his character. It's not just his quality to move in small spaces, it's that he's a huge competitor.

"In the training sessions, the games, in the bad moments, how he reacts, he is a huge competitor.

"For his specific qualities to survive in the Premier League is not easy for a long time. And he did it. He has to be so proud of himself and what he has done.

"He's a technical player - he's not a box-to-box - and my image of English football from the outside was that maybe he's going to falter. But I was happily, happily wrong.

"That was my first impression, but from the beginning - it's not just that David played well this season - he was playing good with other managers, Roberto [Mancini], Manuel [Pellegrini], with us.

"After I spoke with managers he had in Spain, what everybody speaks, I realised what I realised here. Everybody knows about his quality with the ball, but he's more than that. He's incredible.

"He is a competitor, a winner. Four Premier Leagues he won, and a lot of domestic prizes. This generation of players - like Joe Hart, Vincent Kompany, Sergio Aguero - helped to make this club in a better position in the Premier League and in European competition."

Discussing his appearance milestone, Guardiola said of Silva: "I admire a lot. What I admire the most is when you look at these records or numbers.

"To do 400 games means many years, many bad moments, many good moments, being there day by day, week by week. I admire that a lot. You can have a good year, a good season, but almost 10 seasons here doing that is just incredible.

"Big congratulations. For the City supporters - me included - it is a privilege what he has done at this club. Hopefully in the last season he is going to be here, he can help us to achieve."

Related items

  • Real Madrid midfielder James suffers knee injury in Colombia training Real Madrid midfielder James suffers knee injury in Colombia training

    James Rodriguez has been ruled out of Colombia's friendly against Peru on Friday after suffering a knee injury in training.

    The Real Madrid midfielder, 28, will miss the clash in Florida after hurting his left knee, the Colombian Football Federation (FCF) said in a statement on Thursday.

    James complained of "discomfort" in his left knee during training, leading to the FCF ruling him out of the Peru fixture.

    "The player was evaluated by the medical body and his first diagnosis is reserved," the statement said.

    "For now and as a precaution, the player James Rodriguez is ruled out for the match against Peru.

    "In the next few hours, a detailed imaging study will be carried out to confirm the definitive diagnosis."

    Colombia are winless in their past five matches and will also face Ecuador on Tuesday.

    James has made nine appearances for Madrid this season, scoring once.

  • Ronaldo is the best in the world – Mario Rui Ronaldo is the best in the world – Mario Rui

    Cristiano Ronaldo is the world's best player and is always hungry for more, Portugal team-mate Mario Rui said.

    Ronaldo inspired Portugal to a 6-0 thrashing of Lithuania in Euro 2020 qualifying on Thursday, scoring a hat-trick in the Group B win.

    Mario Rui lauded his 34-year-old team-mate after Portugal moved a step closer to qualifying for next year's showpiece tournament.

    "He is the best in the world, never tired of winning, wanting more, and it is this hunger that makes him what he is," the Napoli left-back said, via A Bola.

    "We are happy to have him on the team and I hope he will continue to give us joy as he has done so far."

    Pizzi, Goncalo Paciencia and Bernardo Silva also scored for Portugal, who are second in the group on 14 points, behind Ukraine (19) but ahead of Serbia (13).

    Portugal can secure their place when they visit Luxembourg on Sunday and Mario Rui said a tough task awaited his side.

    "Mathematically, we know it is not [guaranteed] yet," he said. "We will face a tough team, Luxembourg, we still had that confirmation with the result in Serbia [who won 3-2].

    "We know it will be a very difficult game, but our goal is to be at Euro 2020 and we will try to bring all three points to Portugal."

  • Traore not called up on a whim, insists Spain boss Moreno Traore not called up on a whim, insists Spain boss Moreno

    Spain head coach Robert Moreno insists he did not call up Wolves winger Adama Traore "on a whim" for this month's Euro 2020 qualifying matches.

    Traore was surprisingly named as a replacement for the injured Rodrigo Moreno only for a hamstring issue to force him to withdraw from the squad.

    It had been suggested Traore was only called up so that he would make a competitive appearance for Spain and therefore no longer be eligible to represent Mali, the country of his parents.

    However, Moreno - who worked with the player at Hospitalet and Barcelona, where he made his senior debut - says he has long considered calling up Traore due to his ability to unsettle deep-lying defences.

    "I'm looking for players who can create an imbalance. Adama Traore has that and is very different from others," he told a news conference.

    "He suffered a little problem on Sunday. I spoke with him and he told me he couldn't come.

    "Adama is very well-known because he came out of La Florida, my local club. He was at Hospitalet, where I was, and we gave him his debut at Barcelona. Nobody knows him like I do.

    "He wasn't called up on a whim. We've been following him for a long time and he has been on two preliminary squad lists."

    Spain, who have already qualified for the Euro 2020 finals, face Malta and Romania in their final two games in Group F.

    Moreno is eager to see a more clinical edge in attack from his players given they were held by Norway and Sweden in their most recent games.

    "We lacked aim in the last two games against Norway and Sweden. We create chances, but you still have to create more," he said.

    "This week, we've emphasised working against teams who close things down, as I think that's how the games against Malta and Romania will be."

    Moreno also suggested he could give Roma goalkeeper Pau Lopez a chance to impress, as the battle for the number-one position continues between Kepa Arrizabalaga and David de Gea.

    "I said I wanted to try everyone and I'm a man of my word. It could be that Pau Lopez plays one of the next two games," he said.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.